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#145 Bon Jovi @ Punchestown Racecourse (June 7th 2008)

Support: Razorlight / Kid Rock

As always a top performance from one of the best live bands on the planet. I will never get bored of seeing them play and tonight’s gig was one of the greatest. 28 songs…count em…twenty eight. That is an amazing amount of tracks to play at a gig. Springsteen and Bon Jovi are two of very few acts that play such long shows. It probably is a New Jersey thing but it shows a great appreciation for their fans. Hard working and it pays off. Ireland loves Bon Jovi and they in turn love Ireland.

I had splashed the cash tonight and made sure to get Gold Circle tickets. For some bands it just has to be done and Bon Jovi are certainly one of those bands. The sun was shining and the atmosphere was buzzing. I admit that as we walked to the front of the 80,000 crowd we did feel slightly smug but hey we booked early. We actually arrived just in time to hear Kid Rock sing Summertime. If I’m honest I didn’t pay much attention to him although what I did hear sounded good.

Next up were Razorlight. A strange choice of support to Bon Jovi really; an indie band supporting a rock band just seemed a little weird. Up close near the stage they did look slightly sheepish as if they knew this wasn’t their audience. I enjoyed them but in truth this was a wrong selection of support. A good band with good songs, such as America and Golden Touch, but not suited for today.

Bon Jovi came on stage singing the title track to their tour and album, Lost Highway. A nice way to start but it was the next three songs that grab the audience, Born To Be My Baby, You Give Love A Bad Name and the superb Raise Your Hands. The latter being apt for a Bon Jovi gig. You really can’t keep your hands down at one of their gigs, whether it’s swaying them quickly to Captain Crash, more slowly to Bed Of Roses or the good auld air punch to Saturday Night…you really have to keep the hands high all through the show.

The hits keep coming…everything from Blaze Of Glory to It’s My Life. They played a couple of great covers, Mercy and Start Me Up as well but it was their own songs that had the crowd singing and not just the usual ones either. Songs like In Your Arms were immense tonight. It was during this song that Jon got the unexpected female attention. The fan breaking free of the onstage VIP section to make a run at Jon was pretty funny; he really couldn’t detach himself from her…not until she got her kiss. It's actually shown as part of the When We Were Beautiful documentary but check it out on YouTube.

So many highlights tonight, but for me I always look forward to Richie Sambora singing I’ll Be There For You. Obviously a great guitarist but the guy has such a strong voice and when he sings that song the hairs stand up. For those that think Bon Jovi is a person and not a band are really missing the point. With Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan the group has a strong backbone without which Bon Jovi would be nothing.

The encore tonight was great....a stunning cover of Hallelujah, a heartfelt Always, my all-time favourite Wanted Dead Or Alive, a rocking Bad Medicine, a glorious Twist and Shout, a show stopping Rockin’ All Over The World and to finish, from my favourite Bon Jovi album, the title track These Days. I was nearly crying at this stage. Wonderful stuff.

See them once in your life even if you think you would hate me, you won't.

Is it cool to like Bon Jovi? No. Do I care? Do I fuck.

Ticket: June 7th 2008 / Gold Circle Wrist Band

Ticket Price: €86.50 (Gold Circle)

Set Lists: