Bristol City Football Ground 25 June 2008
I resisted the temptation to have a soft perm for Wednesday nights spectacle -
that of Bon Jovi in Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol City Football Club.
With the highest capacity crowd for this home match in 19 years and opening with
local band SwitchbladeUK who provided support after winning a competition in the
Bristol’s Evening Post newspaper. I liked this idea and am heartened to see
local talent being encouraged in such a positive way.
One problem however was the sound just didn’t make it at all. Tinny and weak
it’s a shame we didn’t get to hear what this band had to offer but I suppose an
outside venue and one of this relative size requires an equivalent PA. Was that
the problem? I don’t know but hopefully these guys will get some continued
support on this their exciting journey into the beautiful world of rock!
Surprisingly that was it for supports. Nobody else to warm us up so it was
straight into the Bon Jovi set and for those of a sensitive nature, insert your
ear plugs. No sound problems for Bon Jovi. This got noisy, noisy, noisy!!!
And all fuelled by an absolutely jumping set from the Bon Jovis who electrified
the stadium with unlimited energy from the start.
‘Lost Highway’ kicked us off then straight into ‘Born to Be My Baby’ from the
1988 ‘New Jersey’ album.
Frontman Jon belted them out and gave it everything he’d got with ‘You Give Love
a Bad Name’ and one of my all time BJ faves ‘Raise Your Hands’ from the multi
platinum selling album, ‘Slippery When Wet’.
This band are so solid. Dependable, breathtaking and sweeping you off your feet
with more tunes, including a cover of ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ and then back
to the hits.
‘Blaze of Glory’, slowing it down for ‘In These Arms’ then pumping it back up
with ‘It’s My Life’ and another crowd pleaser, ‘Keep the Faith’. And all kept in
time by drumming legend, Tico Torres, thumping it out and rocking it up.
It was wonderful to see Richie Sambora back doing what he does best, playing
great rock music and looking healthy and happy again.
And despite all the unhelpful and invasive publicity he receives for things
other than rock which so detract from how great a musician this guy is and
aren’t anything we as music fans want to read about anyway.
As he often does, Richie took the lead on ‘I’ll Be There For You’, another
corker from ‘New Jersey’ and the audience loved it.
A word about keyboardist David Bryan whose additional vocals/keyboards are
completely evident throughout. Maybe lesser known to the wider music loving
public, Bryan is Jovi through and through and at all of these BJ gigs his
mastermind genius on all things keyboards never fails.
‘Have a Nice Day’ from the album of the same name and impromptu country hit ‘Who
Says You Can’t Go Home’ also from that album, sounded real good and just enough
time for another oldie ‘Bad Medicine’ and it was encore time. Already?
Well yes and boy was I glad when the chaps hit the stage again. Bristol…you made
Returning with a couple of Bon Jovi stalwarts ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and the
ever brilliant ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ sang word for word by the Bristol faithful
and that’s your lot.
And what a lot it was. In absolutely no uncertain terms, Bon Jovi took it to
another level with this live set. For sound and set wise, For Jon, Richie and
the boys, for rock music, for coming to visit us on this side of the pond and
for giving it everything they’ve got.
The results of the Bristol jury…indisputably, unequivocally and utterly
undeniably… top marks!!
Born To Be My Baby
You Give Love a Bad Name
Raise Your Hands
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Knockin On Heaven’s Door
Blaze Of Glory
Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen From Mars
Whole Lot of Leavin
Lie To Me
In These Arms
We Got It Going On
It’s My Life
Keep the Faith
I’ll Be There For You
Have A Nice Day
Who Says You Can’t Go Home?
Bad Medicine (including a snippet of a cover of Lulu’s Shout)
Wanted Dead or Alive
Livin On a Prayer
Review by Judith Reeves
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