Saturday night myself, my husband and a couple of friends went to Etihad stadium in Melbourne to see legendary rockers Bon Jovi. I’ve been a fan ever since I can remember. In fact I don’t remember ever not listening to Bon Jovi. My first introduction was, like most, the Slippery When Wet album of 1986 when I was a mere ten years old. And no my parents didn’t ‘get it’ which made it all the much sweeter. From there I discovered their first album ‘Bon Jovi’ which to this day remains my all time favourite Bon Jovi album.
I could go on all night here about how awesome they are and why they are so. I could rattle off their entire back catalogue and what the songs mean to me and memories they bring flooding back but I won’t. I think you get the picture.
So to Saturday night.The last time I saw Bon Jovi was about fifteen years ago and it remains one of my favourite concerts, so I guess this concert had a lot to live up to. Here’s my round up of the Good, the Bad and the totally awesome.
Jon Bon Jovi. It is worth the ticket price just to see his smile. Melt. And his vocals are amazing. There’s no backup, pre-recorded overlays just Jon, Tico and Dave. The way music should be. Jon rules the stage and has a charisma on stage that is spine-tingling.
The stage. There’s been much talk about the massive stage featuring a 1959 Buick Electra. It’s mean and in your face. Impressive is an understatment.
The noise. There’s nothing better than a stadium full of loyal fans screaming when the band begins on stage and singing every word to Wanted Dead or Alive and Livin’ on a Prayer. Goosebumps.
More sad, than bad. Richie Sambora. It has to be said. Whatever is going on between Jon, Richie and the band he was sorely missed. The elecricity between Jon and Richie on stage is a major part of Bon Jovi and it was missing. Jon played guitar a lot more than usual and didn’t seem to work the stage as much because of this. Richie’s masterful guitar solo’s were missing and although the fill in Phil X was certainly up to the part, it wasn’t the same. His vocals which meld so much with Jon were also missed. I didn’t want to go all ‘Bring back Richie’ on Bon Jovi, and I knew he wasn’t going to be there going in, but that’s how the heart feels.
Etihad. As amazing as a stadium full of screaming, singing fans is, I didn’t like Etihad as a venue. The sounds was pretty good for an arena type show, thankfully the roof was closed, but I missed the intamacy of Rod Laver Arena where really there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even though we had good seats but we were so far from the stage that the band was actually dwarfed by the monsterous stage and the big screens were our eyes.
And they played my favourite Bon Jovi song of all time. All. Time. “Runaway” off their very first album. It was actually their first single before they hit it big, before they even made the album. I think I squeeled and jumped up and down like a crazed toddler on sugar when I heard the opening intro on the keys. It made my night, my year and possibly my decade so far.
Oh and Jon, I love you. Just because that’s what true fans do.
Are you a Bon Jovi fan?
Or a lover of good old, eighties rock?
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