Support: Vintage Trouble / The Riptide Movement
First night of a double header at Dublin's RDS Arena and yet another great show from the mighty Bon Jovi. There really is very little left to be said about the New Jersey band. A band that in 2013 will celebrate thirty years in the business (and if you have ever seen interviews with Jon Bon Jovi then you will know that it is very much a business). For me the reason they are still going and the reason for their continuing success comes down to four main things:
Never have been and never will be. Whereas other bands that grew out of the '80s glam fell away Bon Jovi have gone from strength to strength. Yes they have changed over the years (just listen to the '80s Slippery When Wet, the '90s These Daysand the most recentThe Circlealbums and the progression is there to be seen) but never once changed from what they do best and that is entertain with feel good rock music.
2)RAPPORT WITH FANS
Some bands don't seem to care about their audience while others have a huge connection with their fans. Jon, Richie, Tico and David have that great connection and it pays off in style. They have adapted to the changing times…..whether it's millions of fans on Facebook and Twitter or having a web site that encourages fans to interact. They have embraced the new mediums and the fans have responded.
3)THEY WORK F**KING HARD
They are a hard working rock 'n roll band. A minimum of 135 mins for every show, some shows reaching close to 180 mins...why play one encore when you can play two...or three. Only Springsteen reaches such levels nowadays (and Guns n Roses back in the day). Must be something in the New Jersey water I guess (yes I know...another cliché!).
4)NEVER THE SAME SET LIST TWICE
Only when Richie missed a few, well publicised, gigs recently have the band played predictable sets. Every night seems to be different. I really have no idea how they can have rehearsed that many songs but sure enough each night they seem to pull out a song or two not played for a while.
So what about tonight? Well the RDS isn't one of my favourite venues on the whole, although if you are near the front you tend not to notice its shortcomings. Towards the back the sound can get a little lost (so my friends have told me in the past!).....luckily we were near the front so it didn't matter.
Vintage Trouble were the main support and were surprisingly highly entertaining with front man Ty Taylor especially showing off his dance moves. A support band getting a good response from the crowd is always nice to see and they certainly deserved it for their energetic set.
As for the main event? Well opening the show with a storming Raise Your Hands, Bad Name and Born To Be My Baby is not a quiet way to start by any means but they were only getting going. Playing a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes and 24 songs this is possibly one of the best Bon Jovi gigs I have been to...and I have been to a few.
- Beautifully sung (by Jon and the crowd) trio of ballads: When We Were Beautiful, Bed Of Roses and I'll Be There For You.
- An absolutely storming Dry County guitar solo from Mr Sambora.
- Wanted Dead Or Alive...never, ever get bored of that.
- The guy in front of us who complained to everyone who even gently brushed into him...you are at a rock concert near the front what do you expect! Oh yer and while I'm at it some people may not like you smoking next to them and blowing your fecking smoke in their faces!
-My arms hurting afterwards! A work out Jovi style.
So a good night was had. A great night in fact......if you like your rock music with masses of entertainment then Bon Jovi are for you. If you prefer the bands that stare at their feet while playing to their fans then avoid at all costs.
Round two for me tomorrow.
Ticket Price: €91.25 (Gold Circle)