Live Review: Bon Jovi at the San Siro, 3 Hours Of Energy (Milan, Italy)

By Andrea Morandi (Repubblica.it)

50 thousand people for the Italian show of the New Jersey singer, who gets really emotional before the surprise prepared by his fans, a huge mosaic of Italian and American flags.

He promised before getting to Milan: the Rolling Stones, going on stage at Glastobury at the very same time, would have envied his stage. And Bon Jovi kept their promise, as they performed at San Siro for the first time before 50 thousand fans, on a very ambitious setting, a perfectly recreated hood of a 1959 Buick. 

Leather jacket, guitar and his signature hair, John Francis Bongiovi Junior, a.k.a. Jon Bon Jovi, 130 million records sold and direct Italian inheritance (his grandfather was from Sciacca), opened his Milanese concert with a song from his last record, “That’s what the water made me”, before getting the fans absolutely ecstatic with “You give love a bad name”, from 1986, which the fans welcome with the loudest yells, making the whole stadium shake.

“It’s so good to be here, what a unique place. We’ve got a lot of songs to play, so fasten your seatbelts and let Johnny drive”, he shouts in the microphone before starting again with “Runaway”, the band’s debut single from 30 years ago, in 1983. The absence of guitarist Richie Sambora, replaced (for personal reasons, as officially reported) by the Canadian Philip Theofilis Xenidis alias Phil X (previously on tour with Alice Cooper), was not that suffered, as the set list went on and on, including hits such as “Lost Highway”, “Born to be my baby” and the recent “Because we can”, inspired by the second term of President Obama. A big surprise from the fans during this song literally moved Jon: a huge mosaic of Italian and American flags. He stopped singing and said “Thank you, thank you, thank you”, hiding his face for the emotion.

Among the most moving moments of the evening, the performance of “Amen”, with the darkness finally coming over the stadium, this making everything even more special. And then it’s time for “In these arms” and explosive songs that overwhelm the fans, including “Sleep”, “Love’s the only rule”, a cover of John Fogerty’s “Rockin’ all over the world”, “Wanted dead or alive” and “Bad Medicine”, for six minutes of pure excitement, with a hundred thousand arms lifted to the sky.

Whether one likes it or not, the recipe of the New Jersey singer is the same as always, the ingredients the same that made his band become one of the world’s most famous groups ever, as well as one the most profitable, since in 2012 he gained something like 200 million dollars, with the tour alone: powerful rock, strong guitar riffs, melodies that never leave your brain and your ears, and on top of all this a five star singer that never spares himself.

So, after three hours of music, comes the triumphal finale with “Have a nice day”, “Livin’ on a prayer” (with the inevitable karaoke effect), “Always”, the romantic seal on a very special evening. And just before the very end with “These days”, he shortly sings “O’sole mio” and “This ain’t a love song”, with the 50 thousand fans getting delirious, while the hashtag #BonJovi was becoming one of Twitter’s trend topics right during the last minutes of the show. What to say, thirty years of career and still on top of their game.