Bon Jovi @ The O2 Arena

8th June 2010

I forgot my camera this evening, hence no photos (Not that photos from the top tier of the O2 would be much cop anyways!).

Now in my eyes a band who are as huge as Bon Jovi playing the 2nd of their 14 night run at the worlds largest entertainment venue should bring with them a support band of high stature. So you can imagine my disappointment when I caught wind of the news that an unsigned Scottish group who won a talent search are heading up the bill. Not only that, they are the only support! I expected more, but then and again I missed the date with The Feeling as support, something I can only thank my lucky stars!

The Side after all was said and done, were actually a pretty solid hard rocking band with a very professional set of classic rock inspired tunes, not so dissimilar to those of the headline act. I was rather impressed with their guitar interplay, melodic solos and surprisingly catchy songs. For an unknown entity, they sounded superb…I was left to chew on my words!

Now I am not the O2 Arena’s greatest fan, It’s absolutely huge, seats come with warnings for vertigo sufferers, prices are high and the acts who play here are mega-stars. But the one thing it does well is sound. This is the 3rd occasion I’ve seen Bon Jovi and the sound this evening was definitely the clearest and most powerful than on both previous outdoor occasions. Also the stage setup here was quite something, with lots of huge lcd screens which manoeuvred about stage into all manner of precarious locations.

Jon Bon Jovi was his usual self, flirting with the ladies and generally being Mr. Rock while massaging his steadily increasing ego. But when you have 13,000 women screaming your name he has good reason to enjoy himself. His vocals tonight were great as he led the band through the most impressive set I’ve witnessed from them.

This was an updated greatest hits set which barely missed any of their signature tunes. What impressed me the most is they played songs which I had never seen live before. They opened with the classic riff rock of Last Man Standing, before going on a new album material circuit which wasn’t too bad. All the classics were here Bad Medicine, Runaway, You Give Love A Bad Name, Keep The Faith while Wanted Dead Or Alive was left to the encore. Just to tease us some more, returning for a third encore of Livin’ On A Prayer & Always.

Bon Jovi on their 14 night residence muttered to the crowd that they were varying their set night on night, which is probably why we were treated to some simply superb songs from lesser known albums. Diamond Ring, Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night were among these songs. A brilliant but short unplugged set was played on their stage catwalk using a wooden box as percussion, an accordion as keyboards plus acoustic guitars shows they still have adept musical talents. Another unexpected surprise lay in store as guitar legend Richie Sambora sang vocals on the cracking Lay Your Hands On Me. Though for me the highlight of the evening was hearing the epic tune Dry Country during the first encore with Its simply stunning guitar solo!

Tonight was by far the best show I’ve seen Bon Jovi play! It was simply brilliant and packed with classic pop rock clout! Only another 12 nights to go!

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