By PETER GRIFFIN
If Bryan Adams ever had a measure of blue denim in his veins, it's been well and truly transfused with the syrup of romantic ballads.
But that's just fine. The girls seem to love it, and the guys at least know the words of the numerous hits, even if they're too self-conscious to sing along.
This tour marks Adams' fifth visit to New Zealand, and the Canadian-born songwriter with a reputation as an energetic showman had his Auckland audience warmed up quickly with the new single Here I Am.
Thereafter after it was a lively run-through all the hits, including Eighteen Till I Die, Run to You and a nice acoustic version of his early 1990s smash hit Everything I Do.
With an excellent back-up band driven by capable axeman Keith Scott, Adams' songs were crisp, if varying little from their recorded versions.
He produced his acoustic guitar for signature tune Summer of 69, which was the only disappointment of the night - that's an electric number if ever there was one.
His sugary, husky voice, note perfect on this occasion, has endured 15 years' rocking around the world. Adams owned the stagefront in a black T-shirt and jeans, Fender strat wielded like an extra body part.
It could have been 1984, but for the proliferation of digital cameras, mobile phones and of course the slightly higher average age of the audience.
Halfway through the show, Adams made the mistake of asking a crowd of 30-something women for a singer to help him along.
"I just need one singer, not four hundred!" he laughed.
Still, Tamzin the waitress from Milanos had her three minutes of fame in a duet of the poppy When You're Gone.
A tight, entertaining show that had the girls filling the aisles in wide-eyed glee. If only it had rocked a bit harder, Adams might have even raised a sweat.
By PETER GRIFFIN