By Alexa Coetsee (News.com.au)
“THIS ain’t television, baby!”
With that, rock god Jon Bon Jovi had fans out of their seats and onto their feet last night, in what was the 100th show held at Perth Arena and the 99th stop of Bon Jovi’s Because We Can World Tour.
It was four songs in before the crowd stood up, but if a paying fan won’t sway and point to a classic like ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ what are they there for?
Source: Getty Images
It was Bon Jovi’s anthems of the late eighties and early nineties like In These Arms and Bad Medicine that lit the place up - but the band also had some sweet treats for the true believers with Born to Be My Baby and The Radio Saved My Life Tonight appearing on the set list.
The tour’s spectacular mega-staging that the band has dubbed ‘Sofia’ - in the shape of a blue 1959 Buick - was kept in the garage (she’s only rolled out for the stadium shows and has to be moved in 26 sea containers) which meant last night’s show was all about the music - and Jon Bon Jovi’s charm.
Guitarist Phil X does a solid job filling in for Richie Sambora, who’s been ‘on a break’ from the band since April, but more than ever it becomes the Jon Bon Jovi show without Sambora, who co-wrote the band’s biggest hits with the frontman. Jon, now 51 but easily looking 15 years younger, kept his famous Superman tatt covered under long sleeved leather last night, despite literally dripping in sweat as he star-jumped across the stage. Later, he thanked fans for their support over thirty years.
Jon Bon Jovi performs at Perth Arena last night. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
It’s My Life brought universal fist pump action to the venue and Because We Can (off 2013’s What About Now album) was well received. Keep The Faith still sounds fresh, 21 years after its release.
The set list was shorter than the three hours that they play for at the stadium shows, but fans were still treated to more than two hours of hits. The pace slowed in the middle with an acoustic rendition of Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night and the romantic Thick as Thieves built up to a soaring ballad. The lyrics sound pretty genuine from a rock singer who has been married to the same woman for 24 years.
The encore was pure Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive (one of the night’s highlights), Have A Nice Day and an all-in singalong to karaoke fave Livin’ On A Prayer. There is just something magic about hearing 15,000 people deliver that keychange.
With a back catalogue like theirs, not every song can be included. Power ballads Always and Bed of Roses were missed and at times, so was Richie Sambora, but surely no fan could leave disappointed by an evening with one of the biggest rock bands in the world.