"The Spaghetti Incident?"

Set lists and a little bit of Rock

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Bon Jovi Christchurch gig review

From Stuff You will gringe at the last line.


Bon Jovi put the church into Christchurch last night and there's no doubt they were preaching to the converted – 30,000 fans from around the nation turned up to revisit the '80s.

Local rockers The Valves performed a blistering opening set, including Mile High – a song written by one of the group's 80-year-old mother – which saw guitarist Marc Royal and lead singer Brent Mulligan (aka Brent Black), take to the drums with a vengeance.

My media pass – an A4-sized picture of a dashboard Jesus – signalled what was to come.

Evangelical front man Jon Bon Jovi, wearing more leather than a cow and sporting a jacket emblazoned with the title of the latest album, Lost Highway, with bandmates including guitarist Richie Sambora, revved the crowd into a frenzy from the opening mournful, soft rocking strains of the new album's title track.

The American rockers blasted through anthem after stadium-rockin' anthem from their extensive back catalogue, including hits such as Bad Medicine, Livin' on a Prayer, Keep The Faith, Wanted Dead or Alive, Blaze Of Glory, It's My Life, You Give Love a Bad Name and the country-tinged Who Says You Can't Go Home.

Newer songs from Lost Highway were interspersed throughout the set-list and got a warm response from the crowd.

I've never seen so much fake leopardskin in one place at one time and the audience, which veered between screaming 35-plus-year-olds reliving the '80s and their teen offspring, lapped it up like religious zealots.

Bon Jovi said they had come a long way to hear Christchurch scream and they were well rewarded.

Considering Bon Jovi's longevity – they've sold more than 100 million albums – and have had an endless stream of Top 20 hits in their 25 years in the business, I was surprised to hear so many covers woven into their own songs – including Shout, Knockin' On Heaven's Door and Dancin' In the Street – but the crowd loved it, particularly the front section, ecstatically sporting well-mannered signs that said things like: Bon Jovi We Salute You.

Guitarist Sambora also took to the mic, performing I'll Be There For You, off New Jersey, and was brilliant.

When Jon Bon Jovi returned for the encore wearing a Crusaders jersey the stadium erupted as it does at the sight of such a jersey. On a steel horse he rides and Bon Jovi certainly went out in a blaze of glory.

1 comment:

David said...

Not just from around NZ. We came over from Tasmania.

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