Pop-rocker Bryan Adams to visit Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township
WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Among pop-rock hit-makers who came to prominence in the 80s, Bryan Adams is a benchmark, a level to be reached, an example of an artist who had both chart-topping radio singles and humble, behind-the-scenes songwriting successes.
The celebrated Canadian songsmith will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The show, co-promoted by the arena and the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, marks the first occasion on which the two venues combined resources to bring an act to the area.
Adams, who made an impact on popular music in 1983 with his third studio album “Cuts Like a Knife” and was launched to stardom by his 1984 follow up “Reckless,” tours in support of his most recent record, “Get Up.”
Released in 2015, “Get Up” was co-written with longtime collaborator Jim Vallance and produced by Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne.
“He was very inspiring to work with, fantastic musician and producer, and I’m a big fan,” Adams said of Lynne. “It was great to be able to send my demos and tracks to him and then let him dial up some of his magic on them.”
Vallance, who was instrumental in crafting enduring hits like “Heaven,” “Run To You” and “Summer of ‘69, is approaching 40 years in his partnership with Adams.
“If you don’t know someone after 40 years, you might as well forget about it,” Adams said. “He’s great, because I know he will always have an angle on my ideas.”
Before Adams was a household name, the pair wrote songs for industry veterans like Kiss, Ted Nugent and Roger Daltry.
“We always find a groove that fits what we’ve been asked to write for too,” Adams said, “except if we’re writing for my albums; that’s usually inspired by lunch and a cup of tea.”
And Adams’ albums have continued to strike chords with fans throughout the three and a half decades since he first garnered their attention.
Released in 1996, “18 Til I Die” yielded charting singles “Let’s Make a Night to Remember” and “Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman?”
The 2000s brought commercial success in the form of motion picture soundtracks, with Adams writing songs for feature films “Spirit: The Stallion of the Cimarron” and “The Guardian.” Both efforts earned him Golden Globe nominations.
He also released his 11th studio album, “11,” in 2008, and he toured Europe in support of the record.
Beyond his music, Adams concerns himself with humanitarian work. He formed the Bryan Adams Foundation in 2006.
“I created a foundation, because I was getting asked to do so much charity work years ago,” Adams said. “Those requests have subsided somewhat. Now, I direct the foundation to projects that are close to home, such as music in schools and lately to create safe urban space for children to run around in in my neighborhood.”
Adams shows no signs of slowing down in the current decade. He and Vallance are currently writing a Broadway musical based on the film “Pretty Woman,” and Adams is eyeing a best-of collection that could be released around year end, with “possibly two new songs” and “maybe” a new album on the horizon.
When it comes to writing songs, Adams said the duo often starts with a title and works backward.
“Jim is very good with lyrics too, so there’s a good balance,” Adams said.
The pair’s creative process is time-tested, Adams said, “except for the fact that we now email ideas back and forth. That has made songwriting easier. In a strange way, you don’t necessarily need to be in the same room all the time.”
Adams, now 57, expressed gratitude for having a career that has spanned decades and continues to put him in positions to be creative and perform for fans.
“I am grateful, very grateful,” Adams said, “but it’s not been easy, because artists today are not judged on their music; they’re judged on their age. You can’t get onto the radio if you are over 30. If I released ‘Summer of ’69’ today, it would flop.”
But it wasn’t released today, and it certainly didn’t flop. Adams continues to perform “Summer” and other hits as part of his live show, which venue directors at the arena and Kirby Center thought appealed enough to the market to warrant the unprecedented joint venture.
“I wasn’t aware of that,” Adams said of the co-promotion, “but again, I’m grateful.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Bryan Adams
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township
When: 8 p.m. June 13
Additional information: Tickets start at $19.69 and are available now through the arena box office, online at ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. This event is a half-house show, so only 4,250 seats are available.