Live Review: Bon Jovi enchants San Siro during his one Italian show (Milan, Italy)

By Luca Dondoni (

Bon Jovi enchants San Siro during his one Italian show (without guitar player Sambora). A concert for fifty thousand fans. The set list is a medley of thirty years of rock.

An explosive start with “That’s what the water made me”, for the one Italian show of Jon Bon Jovi and his band, without that Richie Sambora (guitar player and razzle-dazzle partner of the singer) who, between a rehab break and a quarrel with the former friend, was replaced by Phil X.

San Siro filled with 50.000 fans hungry for music is always a great sight, and on this chilly 29 adrenaline of the crowd has created the warmth that the weather is not giving us.

“You give love a bad name” makes everyone put their hands in the air, even before “Raise your hands”: thousands of arms up to the sky keeping the perfect rhythm of the guitar played by Phil X, totally comfortable and at ease in his guitar solo role, so that nobody despairs over Sambora’s absence. Before performing “Runaway”, Jon invites the fans to fasten their seatbelts as they will lose their mind over the three hours of music ahead of them. It’s fair to say, the amazing band’s live performance is enriched by the set made of the hood of a 1950’s Buick with the lights going on and off with the music. “The States are my homeland – he’s always said – New Jersey is my home”. Said and done, as he’s wearing a leather jacket with the USA flag on it.

“Born to be my baby” and “It’s my life” run fast as drummer Tico Torres enjoys beating hard on the drums, showing off his big and tonic biceps. “Because we can” is the first single from the band’s last record “What about now” and Jon thanks the crowd for the great welcome he got from our country. For the record, records sales are not huge in our country, but for sure Bon Jovi can count on a good number of hard core fans that not only buy their albums but also buy the tickets to see them live. And right on “Because we can” the fans present their very special present to the band: each fan had a plastic square (some blue, some red, some white, and some with the Italian flag’s colors). The tough Jon Bon Jovi just stopped to watch the crowd lifting the pieces of plastic high in the air, to form the name of the band on the left side of the stadium, the American flag on the right, and a multitude of Italian flags in the field. “I can’t cry like a girl” –he said drying his tears – “I’ve got to keep playing for you. Thank you so much, this takes my breath away”.

Before starting “Keep the faith” Jon and his band compliment the Italian ladies, who “are wonderful when they scream”. And of course all the ladies scream to that so loud, their voices probably reached the nearby square. The band’s success is not surprising: they play a full-blooded rock with voice, bass, guitars, drums and the keyboards to make the melody from time to time. They shout plenty of “yeah babe” and “come on make some noise”, but that’s good.

One more song from the last record, the sweet “Amen”, which the singer dedicated to his mother and all the mothers in the world. Then it’s time for “In these arms” and thousands of lighters in the sky. 

“Captain crash &  the beauty queen from Mars” is for true aficionados, as it’s from the band’s most hidden repertoire. 

On “We weren’t born to follow” the fans enjoy some wonderful footage on the big screens: here it is, the American Dream. In the crowd, to watch these fifty-year-old musicians with their perfectly-colored hair and tanned faces, there are tons of families with their kids along. There’s the dad telling his son how wonderful the Eighties were. There are moms telling their daughters how gorgeous their idols were, not like the One Direction types they like so much, only good to take their dogs to the park. In the meantime, the band performs a John Fogerty’s cover of “Rocking all over the world”, and everyone sings it as it was the hit of this summer. The stadium gives a great vibe when the band performs “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and Jon and David Bryan put their cowboy hats on their heads. 

Tico Torres’ biceps seem to explode during “Bad medicine”, as his drums go right into your tummy.

“Love is the only rule” offers the best guitar solos by Phil X, while Jon finally makes the girls happy by taking off his jacket. The grand finale is coming, and we’re still missing those two or three “bombs” that made the band sell millions of records and get to the top of the charts. Jon and his mates know that, and don’t let the fans down. One after the other they perform “Wanted dead or alive”, “Undivided”, “Have a nice day”, “Livin’ on a prayer”, and “Always”. And when the concert seems to be over, the band gives the fans one more present: “This ain’t a love song”. Everyone goes home happy.