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Bon Jovi
ANZ Stadium Sydney

8 Dec 18


The last show of the tour was in Sydney at the ANZ stadium and a feature of this show was that it was also part of the Runaway Tours Trip.  I like some of the others on the Runaway Tours trip decided to head straight to Sydney instead of going to the Brisbane concert and then having to have a very very early morning to get on a flight to Sydney and risk cancellations etc.  Anyway the Boeing 717 aircraft are slightly better than the Dash 8s but yeah give me a Boeing 737 or bigger anytime and we did get to Sydney pretty much on time.  Once there the Uber got us to the city where I then learnt how easy it is to get an Opal card and travel via train in Sydney.  Its quick, easy and plenty of staff at stations if you need assistance.

Friday morning and what fantastic weather Sydney put on for all of us who were visiting for the trip and the concert weekend.  A couple of hours checking the shops in Darling Harbour and then off to the ICC for the Runaway Tours Check in where we collected our tour passes with our line up and bus allocations and autographed photo etc and Rob, Darrin, Lou and the rest of the staff were efficient and very helpful for our questions.  Then it was back to Darling Harbour for lunch (I recommend the Pancake place up near the Martime Museum) then a walk around the Maritime Museum before heading back to the ICC for the line up to go in for the Questions and Answers with David, Jon and Tico with the group photo to follow.  I was lucky to be seated in the perfect spot about four rows back in the centre just off the aisle - really there was not bad seat in the venue but the centre block always is a better view.  The Q&A went for an unexpected 90 minutes which was fantastic for the Australian audience as we dont get the chance to attend the trips as often as some NH fans would being the other side of the planet (its 24 hours travel time to say New York and only a little less to London we are so far away).  It was revealed that there are new songs on the way with the band heading back to the studio in March and hopefully something new coming out later in 2019, Jon also answered that its fine for fans to take photos and videos as they have nothing to hide (as we all know if you find a decent recording on youtube the band always sounds fantastic and well as for photos - take a look below) and that Jon doesnt believe in the myth that those who choose to take photos are in anyway 'living through the camera' (I agree I remember concerts through the photos I take and will often look over or under the actual camera when taking a quick group of pics).  They said they would never do a residency in Las Vegas but hey would be open to Sydney - so would the whole crowd there Jon so anytime the band wants to head to Australia for an extended stay feel welcome!!  I was even lucky enough to be able to ask a question about if the full production of any of David's musicals might head to Australia (there was a small production by a theatre group in the Melbourne suburbs for a week in October 17 but in a tiny venue and projection on the wall to change the 'sets' is nothing compared to the full production in the main theatres in the state capitals - Memphis deserves the full big commercial production in a venue like the Festival Theatre in Adelaide and the equivalent interstate).  The it was to the photo op where although it was quick there was a great system where we could leave our bags and lanyards at the last second and then choose our spot as the Runaway staff sent us through and the band and Rob as the photographer did a wonderful jobs making sure the photos all looked fantastic for everyone.  It was then a quick break for a couple of hours before the evening cruise on Sydney Harbour.  Now I am NOT a boat person I seriously do not handle standing/walking on boats but did have a quick walk upstairs later on catching up with friends before returning to a seat and table down stairs with other friends.

Saturday morning and it was time for a little sight seeing on the other side of Darling Harbour on what was another perfect day for a concert.  There is a Madam Tussards, a Mini wildlife zoo and the Sydney Aquarium and then I went for a walk along the harbourside but had to go around a massive construction so the photo below of the headland is as far as I went but past that headland is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Then it was back to the Hyatt to catch the buses to ANZ Stadium where we were taken into the stadium to watch the three songs of the band soundcheck and then be filmed for Phil Xs Santa Clause is coming to Town clip.

Soon Bird of Tokyo were on stage and once they finished their set the countdown started for Bon Jovi to be on stage.  Now in Melbourne there had been issues with people who had bought cheap seats running up and pushing in at the front but in Sydney it was completely over the top with security not just stopping those from the back but anyone who moved even a row forward by standing in the aisle because there wasnt enough room within the seats got approached despite no one pushing etc. Anyway whinge over onward with the actual show....

Now during the end of the soundcheck Jon had appeared at one of the entrances to the oval area of the stadium so it was suggested that there would be a B Stage at the show - in the end there was no B Stage but Jon instead made his entrance at the start of the show by coming in through the crowd area and then around along in front of the stage before taking his place with the band for You Give Love A Bad Name which was soon followed by Raise Your Hands the Lost Highway and a rousing version of Who Says You Cant Go Home.  A group of newer songs followed with This House is Not For Sale then Rollercoaster followed by We Weren't Born to Follow then We Don't Run then crowd favourite It's My Life which had the massive crowd in raptures as it ended.  God Bless This Mess was next and then Born to Be My Baby where Jon was renown for the last three shows of the tour making his way of stage and along the front rows.  Might be an older song but bringing a whole lot of new memories when they hear it in future for a lot of front rows fans!  LIke Adelaide the pace didn't let up as Have a Nice Day was next then Keep the Faith where Jon left briefly as John Shanks, Phil X and David Bryan launched into their solos in the extended concert version of the song.  Finally things slowed down with Bed of Roses where Jon made his way down the catwalk and sat briefly on the edge of the stage to the delight of fans up in the front areas.  The pace picked up again with Lay Your Hands on Me then I'll Sleep When I'm Dead followed by Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars with the obligatory crowd participation.  Its not the biggest or the best song but its a fun song that gets everyone involved with the side to side arm waving.  Then was a surprise and the band probably saw the front rows collectively get this 'what the ... why is this being played already!!' reaction as Living on a Prayer started when it has been the regular staple of the end of the shows at most in recent times.  But to the relief of everyone it was just the end of the main set.

Bad Medicine started the first encore quickly followed by Wanted Dead or Alive then Lay Your Hands On Me before they left the stage again but no final bow so we knew it was another brief break before a second encore.  And so it was they returned with Blood on Blood and then finally ended it with a marathon rock version of Someday I'll Be Saturday Night.  With final bows it was the end of the show and the end of the short Australian tour.

Runaway tour staff made sure we all found our way back to the buses for the trip back to the city and the next day like the band we all headed home and hopefully we get the chance to do it all over again a lot sooner than the endless 5 year break it was this time around.    


Please note these personal  images are copyright to Jenny Barnes and are not to be copied/distributed/used in anyway.
 


ANZ Stadium
 



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