Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams brought his biggest hits to Sandown Park Racecourse tonight for a huge night of music following an evening of horse racing.

Here’s what you need to know…

It was a low-key start
A few minutes after the final race, Adams came on and started knocking out the tunes like the old pro he is, with absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. It took a few minutes, to realise from a distance that it was even the man himself.

But that all changed when the hits started in earnest
The first few chords of Run to You were plenty to put a bit of pizzazz into proceedings. 'Can you hear me out there?' yelled the singer midway through the tune. Yes, we're listening now Bryan!

He has more solid tunes than you remember

Certainly enough for a two hour set that didn’t feel like it was filled out.  I guess that figures from a guy with 15 Grammy nominations and a career dating back more than 30 years.

He's not afraid to mix it up
Going acoustic for the usually upbeat Mel C duet When You're Gone, he started a good old sing and clap-a-long. The first of a few.

The new stuff ain’t bad either

An early highlight was Go Down Rockin’ from last year’s album Get Up.

He knows how to get the rhythm right

As befits a man who has been rockin all over the world for more than 30 years, Adams knows how to hit the sweet spots. New ones following old ones and rockier numbers such as Kids Wanna Rock hot on the heels of a slower song ensured there was no lull.

He got the crowd involved

In a fun interlude, Adams went on a search for a ‘wild woman’ to show off her dance moves. It could have gotten sleazy but he kept it fun and Sue (and her happy husband) were very game.

It was a mixed audience
How many turned up for the racing, how many came for Bryan Adams and how many came just for a good night out? Plenty of people enjoyed a flutter on the gee-gees but a few took some shifting from the bar when the rocker came on, but plenty were also clearly just here for the three-time Oscar nominee. In a Venn diagram with 'Bryan Adams' and 'Racing' circles though, Adams may had the edge.

And they’re a good bunch

By and large, Bryan Adams' fans were as charming as the man himself. A mixture of ages and both men and women – but certainly lots of the demographic that remembers his 80s hits too. And inevitably when you get some older men, you get some grumpy older men too. The greying chap who swore at my heavily pregnant wife did put a bit of a downer on my own evening. But then the kindly soul who made friendly small talk picked it right back up.

The moment we were all waiting for…

…or the moment I was waiting for at least, came early in the set. Sometimes it still feels like you can’t go anywhere without hearing Summer of 69 and it was a real pleasure to hear such a stone cold classic performed live. And so well. It wasn’t quite up there with hearing Prince hitting the high notes on Purple Rain, but not half bad.

It couldn't have been a better evening
Weather is obviously very important for any outdoor gig and as the sun went down the night was warm with a gentle breeze. Just right. The venue helped – Sandown Park makes for a good spot to watch a show, especially if you get a good view up at the grandstand or near the front. And it’s well equipped with bars and lads wandering round with barrels of Carling on their backs.

The summer (or at least show) seemed to last forever
Bryan Adams does not simply turn up, play the hits and go home. The guy goes hard and goes long. With the best will in the world, it seemed like his set would never end. Some of us have work tomorrow! Still, you can’t knock the value for money.

Nothing compares to ‘that’ hit

Adams’ mega hit (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is often referred to with a smirk these days. But, as Drake’s failure to equal its record-breaking sixteen week run at number one recently indicated, that song was massive. And hearing it live in 2016, you are reminded it wasn’t just because of its link to Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. It’s a flat-out tune, but he did milk it just a tad.

Bryan Adams is a better photographer than us.

We realise we won’t win any awards for our photos from the night (see above), unlike old Bry whose pictures have graced the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ among others.

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