A weekend with Bon Jovi - well thats what Jon told the Saturday night crowd
to describe it so who am I to disagree as it was just that for many of us
who travelled to Melbourne.
Returning for the
first time in 3 years Bon Jovi were not only celebrating the most recent
album it was also a celebration of 30 years - yes we all feel old now but
you wouldnt know it from the vibe on stage. Australia is the final
stop on the tour that started back in March.
My flight over was
fantastic with the seatbelt light going out barely 5 minutes after take off
so it was Bon Jovi all the way til the final stages for landing and it was a
fantastic day in Melbourne not a cloud in the sky apart from the sky writing
attracting attention 'I (heart) U Bon Jovi' author unknown but they were
stopping in the street to take Iphone photos in the city.
For the first night I had seats outside the circle which it good unless you
get stuck behind someone taller or someone who moves or both and be ready
for the last second crush as others rush in (like all venues they were not
chased back - even when told off by security they ducked back in).
First up was the Telstra Thanks winner - she was fine but a little low key
for the upbeat concert to follow. Then Kid Rock took the stage and had
a wide range of song types with most finding the humour in I'm F***ing 40
especially with the Springsteen and Rolling Stones references and the
pictures on the screen added to the story. After Sweet Home Alabama
and another song the wait started for Bon Jovi.
Notifications appeared on screen in the final 20 minutes and they were right
on time (showing those younger folk that have hit the headlines lately how
its done) - amazingly a fair section near us did not get to their seats
until AFTER That's What the Water Made Me yes crazy and personally I
think rude to the performer to not be there on time. This song always
gives a great lead in to start the concert and was soon followed by You Give
Love a Bad Name then Raise your Hands (you can hear this in the movie
Spaceballs if you listen carefully). Lost Highway followed and then
everyone got a break from the hectic pace with Whole Lot of Leaving.
It was soon back with Its My Life that just got the whole crowd up and
moving with the atmosphere really revving up leading into Because We Can and
What About Now which completed the songs from the new album for the evening.
We Got It Goin' On
saw Jon head off to the edges of the stage and up around the headlights of
the car stage setup and then he was back centre stage for Keep The Faith
which turned into the 12 inch session for the other band members at the end
when Jon took his break and didn't they look to be really having fun up on
stage. The ballad Make a Memory was next then crowd pleaser Captain
Crash before Born to be My Baby and the stirring We Weren't Born to Follow.
Who Says you Cant Go Home got the audience up and going again (sometimes
this year a fan has been selected from the crowd other times its just the
crowd like Melbourne) followed by the I'll Sleep when Im Dead medley which
merged into David on keyboards singing Great Balls of Fire then into Start
Me Up and then Run Run Rudolph on the Christmas theme (its always awesome
when the odd little played song turns up like this) then back to I'll Sleep
When Im Dead to finish it. Next song was then Bad Medicine leading
into Shout and back again - it was during Bad Medicine Jon made a quick lap
around the Circle stage walkway but didn't stay out there long which was a
Jon bid a quick farewell and they headed off stage for a quick break - a few
people chose to leave which was remarkable as Bon Jovi always do one or even
two encores and its not just a quick 10 minutes it often pretty substantial.
In this case the encore lasted 35 minutes starting with In These Arms (yay)
sung by both David and Jon then Runaway an enduring song from the very
start. Wanted Dead or Alive was next and then it was Have a Nice Day
which is another highlight live and finally it was to Living on a Prayer.
Unfortunately some people with a massive banner at the back of the pit
blocked the rest of us from seeing Jon say farewell and only just saw the
group bow (banner was for Bed of Roses which wasnt going to happen by that
time). Bon Jovi were awesome as always but the setlist as only 2 hours
20 min and only 22 songs but there has been mention that Jon may have had
allergies playing up due to the warm weather however it was odd with a Bon
Jovi concert finishing before 10.30 pm but gave us time to get merchandise before heading
Sunday dawned an
awful hot and humid day complete contrast from the day before - I went and
saw the Old Melbourne Goal which includes the City Watch house guided tour
then went for a walk around the shops and lunch - yes the girl said 'Have a
Nice Day' as I paid (no idea though the relevance of that phrase to a BJ
fan!). With the advent of the huge suburban shopping centres it seems
all the little shops Melbourne was once famous for are now a million
different types of places to eat.
That evening headed down to the venue to collect ticket and soon after
sitting down near a gate the sound check started. The previous night
had been very quick but with slight distortion at times it seems Bon Jovi
were going to make sure it was all sorted for tonight and outside we got to
hear Lost Highway and Because We Can in the 'mini concert' while sound check
was done. Seemed a shame they stopped but it was getting close to
doors opening! Tonights Telstra Thanks winner was apparently from the
X Factor and he had a short upbeat set he was a pretty
good lead in to Kid Rock. Kid Rock amended his set slightly dropped a
rap type song for a more easy listening cover and played the last two around
the other way so Sweet Home Alabama ended it and it was much better.
He also went out himself around the circle about 5 times - Kid Rock
certainly doesn't stay in the one place even for a short set like Sundays.
Then it was on to the main act Bon Jovi for Melbourne Night 2.
Right on time they arrived leading off with That's What the Water Makes Me
followed by You Give Love a Bad Name then Raise Your Hands and Lost Highway
but soon Jon was asking who had been there Saturday night and assured us
that they'd be playing 'a heap of different songs'. Whole Lot of
Leavin followed by another rousing rendition of It's My Life into Because We
Can and What About Now. We Got it Goin' On and Keep the Faith remained
the same but then everything changed - others noticed that Jon was not
appearing with the rest of the band on the main stage and up he pops in the
centre of the circle stage walkway - right in front of where we were
Saturday night for Amen a fan favourite ballad off the new album.
Other members David, Tico and Bobby came out for both Someday I'll Be
Saturday Night and Diamond Ring then Jon was left along with the rest on the
main stage for Make a Memory. Jon then returned to the main stage for
Captain Crash as we started to wonder if this night would be one of those
special concerts that rise above the rest with the massive playlist.
Born to Be My Baby was the next song then We Weren't Born to Follow and Who
Say's You Cant Go Home. Tell you one thing if you want to get fit head
to a concert and sing and dance along! Tonight's I'll Sleep when
Im Dead included Start Me Up then Tico did a drum solo 'Wipeout' then Phil X sang his You Shook Me All Night Long (and he's damn good at
it too) then Bobby had his guitar solo before Jon returned to finish the
song. So over the two nights everyone had their solo in the medley.
As Saturday they led into the encore break with Bad Medicine and Shout which
seemed as if it was even bigger and better than the previous night (but then
so far the whole show has just been bigger, better and more awesome that
Saturday - the atmosphere was amazing with the crowd and the interaction
with the band).
Sunday's encore was
bigger and longer than the previous night starting off with Dry County then
Wanted Dead of Alive (this is where Jon gets those all around the arena to
light it up with the lights on the I phones and looks amazing from the floor
seats closer to the stage). The pace picked up again with Have a Nice
Day then what I've always thought would be an amazing concert song I Love
This Town (no matter where you are from tonight you're from right here -
very apt for many of us who travelled to the show). And the songs
rolled on with These Days next one of the rarer additions to playlists and
many have said you never get Dry County and These Days at the same show and
we had them on the same encore! Then with Jon and all of us in the Pit
exhausted the show had to eventually come to an end with another rousing
edition of Living on a Prayer - the band all came together for the group bow
and then it was over. 27 massive songs and 2hour and 45 minute
set - absolutely amazing and the best concert I have every seen (not just
been to but seen). A great chat with members of the forum/facebook
followed before we had to leave so the stage can be pulled down and sent on
to Sydney with the second version of the same Sofia stage currently being
prepared in Adelaide.
Monday we were all
still tired but in awe of the show the night before as those of us who had
travelled headed home. Going to Adelaide means I know the band
eventually followed through the bumpy ride on a plane back to Adelaide
(lovely 2 year old plane on return and even with the very bumpy turbulence
over Victoria it wasn't too bad - or maybe I was too tired to stress much!).
Bon Jovi head to Adelaide for their third Australian concert of the tour for
the first time since the Grand Prix 18 years ago and well beyond that for a
Please note the
images used for this write up are my personal photos from the concerts they
are not for sale in any form and are only used to illustrate this review
the official and absolutely brilliant images by David Bergman from all the
Australian tour shows (and beyond) Bon Jovi photos - they are really well
priced and arrive incredibly quickly once you order them - yes I'll put mine
in after Adelaide.