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  Post Office Box 67
  Fulham Gardens SA

  Phone: 0412 208 011

Bon Jovi Melbourne
7 & 8 December 2013

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 shame. 

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 off.

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 normal show.

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

Contact www.tourphotographer.com for 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.



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