So many of the memorable moments on Heartbreakers' tours happen onstage, but it was a special visitor the band met just before they went on at the sold-out Haifax Metro Center that won't soon be forgotten.
Adam Keys has been a fan of the band for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Whitehall, PA, he and best friend - Jesse Reed - caught a few Heartbreakers shows together over the years. Thursday night was his fourth show; he'd seen them twice in Camden, NJ and once in Madison Square Garden.
On July 14, 2010, Adam - an Army Specialist in the 618th Engineer Company - was injured when his vehicle was hit by a large IED in southern Afghanistan. He was the sole survivor in the five-person patrol, but sustained severe injuries that required the amputation of an arm and both legs. Unfortunately, Adam's loss didn't end there that day. Reed - his childhood friend who enlisted with Adam in 2009 - was one of the soldiers that died in the incident.
After 15 months recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Adam transferred into outpatient care earlier this year and is already learning to walk on prosthetic legs. In Haifax to attend his grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, Adam found out the Heartbreakers were in town and bought a ticket. After hearing about his story, Tom and the guys invited Adam and his family to visit backstage before the show. After all the pictures were snapped and the last autograph inked, Adam leaned over to Tom.
"You guys are freaking awesome," he gushed as only a true fan can. "I'll remember tonight for a long, long time and can't thank you enough."
"You're the awesome one, Adam. We're just a bunch of guitar players," Tom said with a grin. "We're so honored to have you here with us tonight."
Normally in these reviews, we comment on special songs or particular moments during the show, and there were plenty in Halifax: a stunning "The Best of Everything," the return of "Oh Well" and a phenomenal "Crawling Back To You," to name just a few.
But the memory of Halifax will be the look on Adam's face sitting side stage when the house lights came up after "American Girl," as the band made their exit to the cheers of 10,000-plus screaming Nova Scotians.
"That was incredible!"
Listen to Her Heart
You Wreck Me
I Won't Back Down
Here Comes My Girl
Handle with Care
The Best of Everything
Damage You've Done
It's Good To Be King
Crawling Back To You
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Shoulda Known It
Runnin' Down A Dream