Saturday, 25 June 2011

Bon Jovi - Manchester L.C.C.C. 24th June 2011

Today is not a good day. The day after a Bon Jovi show never is, because I've no idea when they'll be touring again next and I've got withdrawal symptons already. But last night in Manchester was the best time I've seen them yet. I'll get the negatives out the way first; unfortunately I still didn't get to hear Something To Believe In live. I even made a small banner, which Jon and Richie both read and that was quite special in itself, but my hopes to influence the encore were in vain. Richie pointed at it and smiled and Jon took ages to try and read it frowning then just smiled, so that in itself was very cool. The other slight negative (I'm picking at straws here) was the sheer height of the stage! I was right on the barrier, right in front of Richie which was perfect but I could only see Richie, from the knees up of Jon and Hugh on his riser! Tico, David and Bobby might as well have not been there, as I only saw them either on the screens or when they took their bow at the end unfortunately. I'm sure it improved the view for people nearer the back but I've got neck-ache this morning and only saw half of the band!

Anyway, slight negatives over I just wanted to share a bit of my experience and a couple of highlights for anyone who might be interested. Firstly, I only took two photos because it started to rain when the second support act were on and it just got heavier from then! I don't take a lot of photos at concerts but would have loved a couple of Richie posing just feet from me, although I don't think my phone would have agreed with the driving rain! So the snap at the top of this post was one of them, the other of the white mic stand after it had been placed in its usual spot. We were queueing since 8am and luckily it stayed dry all day; the experience was fine and, as we were numbered, were able to use the loos etc without losing our place in line. We went in at 3pm and I couldn't believe there was a big gap at the barrier on Richie's side, so we sat there until the first act went on. I was expecting some got-lucky, average College band but in fact 'Xander & the Peace Pirates' were fantastic; passionate, talented and grateful. Vintage Trouble, the main support were brilliant live, they're a funk/soul/blues quartet with a very dancey frontman and great songs. Bon Jovi came on at 7.30 (I was expecting it to be 8) and played an awesome 2 1/2ish hour show. Here's the set:

Blood on Blood
Bad Name
Born To Be My Baby
We Weren't Born To Follow
In These Arms
Lost Highway
It's My Life
Raise Your Hands
We Got It Goin' On
Captain Crash
Bad Medicine/Roadhouse Blues/Shout
When We Were Beautiful
Bed of Roses
I'll Be There For You
Who Says You Can't Go Home
Sleep When I'm Dead
Work For The Working Man
Have A Nice Day
Keep The Faith

Dry County

Dry County was fabulous and very epic in the driving rain and heavy clouds. Jon had a little angry rant about being in the band that really plays, without tape-recorders and fancy prancy backing dancers and DJs and 50 other mother-fuckers up on the stage with him which was amusing. I'll Be There For You was very special; one of the night's highlights was singing along with 45,000 like-minded people as Jon and Richie just smiled. They were really enjoying themselves, Jon talked of how he couldn't remember a colder, wetter show in Manchester where the crowd didn't want to go home (it's late June, it should be beautiful weather here!). Him and Richie did their joint-stance at the end of IBTFY and it felt like a lifetime as they stood their and absorbed the reaction, surveying the crowd and smiling at each other. And there were definitely a couple of 'oh my god he looked at me' moments with Jon and Richie too :)

Sure you get used to the staple quotes Jon throws in and, if you follow all the set-lists, could probably write the skeleton for the show but last night's gig was the best yet. I was cold, wet, tired, had a 4 1/2 hour drive home ahead of me in the middle of the night but I can honestly say it was my favourite Bon Jovi show yet. And if they place Something To Believe In at one of the other UK shows I think I'll scream!


  1. We were there too .....brilliant

  2. your first few lines are spot on,i feel like that every time

  3. thought the venue overpacked the gold circle, busiest Ive ever seen that area, diamond looked like there was more space, liked the way they numbered your hands, good idea stops the queue jumpers !! great concert all the same though.... x

  4. We went too and loved it, just listening to the Hyde park gig on absolute radio online, sounds better than last night!
    Only thing that spoiled it for us was the driving rain, got piss wet through!
    All the best kid and keep on rockin!

  5. Hate to rub it in but they played Something to Believe in Edinburgh on Wednesday, fastastic show aswell!!

  6. I must have been stood just by you, we were also on Richie's side, wrote the experience out myself on my blog, it was the only way of getting rid of the morning after blues!

  7. I was there as well. It was awesome. One question though. Whats the name of the other guitarist who played on Roadhouse Blues?

  8. To be honest......
    I have watched Bon Jovi over the last 15 years and this must have been the worst gig for me and my friends who are all big fans........
    What happened with Richie.......completely snubbed....ok just out of rehab.....but what was it ...done without you this far so just stand there and play.....I'll be there for you...sung by JB never seen it before....never not said anything about the other band members also...
    Something seemed off big time......
    From where we were...sound was not too good...atmosphere not good either......why do people pay £75.00 and stand and chat ??????
    Why the early start also ?????
    Just seems to have turned into a money making machine !!!!!!!!

  9. I was at the Manchester gig also and thought it was fantastic! The atmosphere was great and everybody was singing along to the songs,thought richie was fab on guitar! Can't wait until they do their next tour, got withdrawal symptoms already.

  10. I remember my very first Bon Jovi show in Cardiff 10 years ago! I slept on the train station at the age of 15, it was so so worth it! Been to see them many of times since! Was lucky enough to see them at the BBC radio theatre in November 09, never been so star struck in my life! We were that close to them Jon said it was like 'smellivision'! Was at LCCC on Friday and as usual I was amazed by their performance! They truly are the greatest band of all time and I am counting the days until I get to see them again! Thanks for sharing your experience, Ste

  11. we had a great time and was in the gold circle BUT the only let down was the venue and the way it was organised was poor!!! i've seen them in city of Manchester stadium and the facilities was fantastic and even if we are in general admission at that time it was excellent we can clearly see the band and they don't seem wanted to go off stage!! it's worth the money. we hope they use the city of manchester ground next time!!!

  12. I thought the Manchester Gig was amazing - best gig I've seen and the whole band were Awesome - they all played really well and Jon has got the most amazing voice - I think he sounds even better Live!
    Richie - you own that guitar!
    So glad you are back
    Please come back to Manchester soon! WE LOVE YOU!!
    Legends forever!!!!
    Thanks for doing bed of Roses also - that wasn't on the set list I downloaded from the day before, so that made my day also
    Well done guys!
    When Bon Jovi perform, you don't even notice that it's raining!
    Best night ever for me!


Thanks for taking the time to write :)