Thanks to the lovely people at Best Buy we find ourselves enjoying a tasty meal in the VIP area of the O2 before the show. It’s all very civilised and grown up, very fitting for a band now a mainstay among parents rather than their rebellious offspring. Bon Jovi are certainly an institution, so let’s see how they fair in a giant dome crammed with their rabid fanbase. (Hint- they do well)
But to get to Bon Jovi, we must first endure Kid Rock. His blending of terrible rap and even worse country-metal music was at least slightly relevant back in the bad old days of nu-metal. He’s not even that any more. He’s a dinosaur. He has become bloated (musically – he still looks like a trailer park meth addict) and needs to be hit by some kind of metiorite. Or a truck. I’m not bothered.
Swaggering around the stage in a series of stupid hats, backed up by a band of clearly talented, but slightly bored looking musicians, he plows his now almost exclusively country furrow to a venue that is not interested. People are here for Bon Jovi. Kid Rock is like an excitable muzak tannoy, allowing people to take their seats without silence. At one point he goes around the stage playing all the instruments. This would be impressive if he was good at them, but he plays to about the same level as a talented teenager in a school-age rock band.
With the audience not exactly warmed by this act, we await Bon Jovi. Best Buy’s corporate box is in a great location, overlooking the stage, but this view is traded off by the most overpriced beer I have ever seen in a venue. £4.80 for a bottle of Becks. VIP – Very Immoderate Prices (Yes, I used thesaurus.com for that)
Bon Jovi hit the stage to rapturous applause – they are note perfect and have an impressive array of age appropreate stage moves – these guys are still in great shape, but no one is diving off a speaker stack or flying over the audience on a harness. It does seem to be the Jon and Ritchie show though, they get the front of stage, the rest of the band are relegated to the backline with the amps. But still, those two know how to work a stage – and strangely the O2’s stage-space is actually quite small.
Around half way through they bring out special guest Bob Geldof. Thankfully for everyone in the venue he comes on, does ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and buggers off. No sanctimonious speeches. Well done. This is a Geldoff I could get to like.
We get a bit of acoustic treatment, and even the inclusion of an accordian is welcomed. Ritchie Sambora sings his song, and we get some of Jon solo. The full gamut is covered.
But. We know that most of the people are here for the big ones. Bad Medicine, You Give Love A Bad Name, Livin’ On A Prayer. How do they hold up?
Let’s be honest. You love those songs. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t. They are pop rock perfection. And even if you would deny their majesty, after a few pints you would be singing along. I’d put money on it.
They hold up very VERY well. Bon Jovi are not to be fucked with when delivering songs that have made them multi millionaires. They kick them out with precision and passion and a set of teeth so white they burn your eyes.
I’m a bit jaded and hard to impress when it comes to music these days. I’m a bit of a dick like that.
I was singing along by the end.
Yeah, they were good.