Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi

"I've waited a long time to get back here", Jon Bon Jovi exclaimed as he opened the show right on schedule to a multitude of screaming fans, young and old. They clearly agreed as their dedication to the band was echoed through the merchandise they were sporting that had been stock piled from a variety of decades, including t shirts from the 80s, head bands from the 90s, caps from the noughties and the pierced heart imprinted gear that had been purchased upon entering the venue.

Bon Jovi

The passionate energy exhibited by the band was unlike anything of our time, which may be a result of their gratitude to the die hard fans for sticking around or for the hard yards they have undergone over the years as opposed to the current ‘artists’ who need nothing more than a pretty face, a mediocre voice and a money-hungry manager to be blessed with the undeserving title of 'artist'.

Jon Bon Jovi may have the body of a 51 year old (maybe 41), but he has the spirit of a young rising star, complete with colourful leather jacket and spray on skinny jeans to appease the females within the crowd.

While he was visually appealing, he was also musically appealing, boasting the impressive multi instrumentalist feats of guitar and maracas to amplify his electrifying vocals that have clearly not withered with age.

The ANZ Stadium was definitely the most appropriate venue, had he been performing in an enclosed venue, the sheer energy would have blasted the roof off its shackles.

The focal point of the stage was the inflatable 1954 Buick, that Jon personally named Sophia, raised proudly above the band.

Their latest album that corresponded with the tour may have received widespread negative criticism from critics, but it seemed to be incredibly well received by the fans.

The set was a beautiful fusion of the bands fresh new hits, including the anthemic title track from their new album ‘What About Now, and old classics, including the iconic ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’, which was performed with as much gusto as it was in the 80s.

The accompanying video to the set was a marvelous touch, conveying an emotive narrative with each song, from the sea of candles during 'Amen' that became a makeshift candlelit vigil to the broken hearted, to the infamous cheeky red smiley faces during 'Have A Nice Day' that magnified the songs rebellious spirit.

The band even teamed up with pre show act Kid Rock for 'Old Time Rock and Roll', which was like a cranking small town hoe down but on a grand scale and became a highlight of the evening.

Bon Jovi

After thanking the fans “thirty years of support", they did the whole 'everyone wave your phones in the air' for the jangling 'Wanted Dead or Alive' and successfully turned the arena into what Jon described as a "giant Christmas Tree".

As the show progressed, hit after hit, one thing became clear to me, the bands success is rooted in the undeniable kinship between the boys. Although Jon was the world-renowned face of the band, he interacted with his band mates with acknowledgement that each one was as integral to the band as he, which was truly admirable.

The bands jukebox medley, interspersed with legendary ‘Bad Medicine’, was another highlight of the night as each member showcased the individual talents that make up Bon Jovi, including ‘Great Balls of Fire’ by unforgettable keyboardist David Bryan and ‘Shook Me All Night Long’ by touring guitarist Phil X who filled in after the controversial walkout of Richie Sambora, a colossal mistake by the long time member as his spot was easily filled by another incredible guitarist.

The performance ended with the soulful signature song ‘Living On A Prayer’ that the audience, after years of drunkenly butchering the song in karaoke bars, was finally able to sing with their beloved idol in a manner that was appreciated by all ages.
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