Carolina Theatre—I don't blame Bryan Adams for my misspent youth, but I'll be Kevin Costner's tunic if he didn't write the soundtrack for its worst moments: I spent my middle school years crowding the walls during co-ed dances with my portly best friend Geoffrey, as Adams crooned and classmates swooned to "You know it's true/ Everything I do/ I do it for you." As a 90-pound weakling with a weakness for comic books and high-water jeans, I had a rather ambivalent reaction when Adams asked "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" By the time I heard the feathery-coiffed gentleman beg "Please Forgive Me," it was far too late for apologies. Though the crime of being a legendary dork was entirely of my own making, Adams' songs have become a kind of Pavlovian reminder of the ups and downs (OK, downs) of adolescence. Now, I enter public spaces at the peril of hearing "Heaven" and being immediately transported to a time of bomber jackets and constant rejection.
Still, the Canadian crooner's husky, flirting-with-off-key vocals and predictable lyrics possess a kind of pedestrian charm. And I must admit that sometimes, when I'm alone in the car, I don't change the channel when "Summer of '69"—the only one of Adams' hits I don't associate with couples' skates—comes on the radio.
Adams plays an acoustic show at 8 p.m. At $39.50, tickets are expensive, but can you really put a price on recalling bad memories? —Sam Wardle