When Bon Jovi were announced as the Saturday headliner for Hard Rock Calling 2011, we could barely contain our excitement. Such an occasion called for double denim, our finest guyliner and using really expensive conditioner. Business as usual then.
Six things we learned when we saw Jon Bongiovi in Hyde Park
1) There really is no chorus like a Bon Jovi chorus. These songs were written for moments like these – in a park with friends and a healthy supply of cider. The “Woahs” and “Yeahs” from the crowd got more and more out of tune as the show went on, but it doesn’t matter: JoBo was at hand to make sure everything was A-OK.
2) In April, Richie Sambora checked himself into rehab and confirmed that he would be missing the upcoming North American and European dates. This was worrying news – who else could pull off all the higher harmonies that Jon can’t hit, as well as those mean guitar solos? Luckily, he checked out of rehab earlier this month to rejoin the band in Croatia. Richie Sambora, we salute you.
3) It’s scary how many hits this band have under their belt – you find yourself singing along to songs you didn’t even think you knew. Maybe it was the radio, maybe the songs are just so catchy you get them first time. Either way, very few rock bands ever get to this level. Three hour set from the Jovi? Piece of piss.
4) After a ‘Bad Medicine’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ medley, Bon Jovi then went on to cover ‘Hallelujah’ in its six-minute entirety. When you’re getting pissed in a field singing along badly to pop metal classics, you really don’t need to hear a melancholy number bursting with biblical references. Don’t worry – being the pros that we are, a few extra ciders were necked to help compensate this sobering experience.
5) Bon Jovi are the definition of true rock stars – they make walking out on stage to 50,000 people look easy. Only a band this effortlessly cool could get away with naming their box set 100,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong. You read that right by the way. Not a million. A HUNDRED million.
6) They played pretty much all the classics – but it was ‘Always’ that united Hyde Park with arms swaying and lighters in the air. It may be one of their biggest singles but this monster of a power ballad is painfully omitted from most Bon Jovi setlists, and had only been performed once so far on this European tour. We don’t think we’ve ever seen so many people playing air- keyboards. Nice one, Jovi.
Bon Jovi @ Hard Rock Calling – 25 June 2011 setlist
Raise Your Hands
You Give Love a Bad Name
Born to Be My Baby
We Weren’t Born to Follow
It’s My Life
In These Arms
Blaze of Glory
Lay Your Hands on Me
Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
Bad Medicine / Pretty Woman
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)
When We Were Beautiful
I’ll Be There For You
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Have a Nice Day
Keep the Faith
Wanted Dead or Alive
Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
Livin’ on a Prayer
Blood on Blood
I Love This Town