Monday, December 30, 2002 @ 3:44 PM
Bon Jovi Rocks Melbourne, Aust
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REVIEW BY: Al Gammie
BON JOVI at the RUMBA Festival, 8th of December - Melbourne, Australia.
Much controversy had stirred in the weeks leading up to Bon Jovi's performance at the Australian 'pop' festival RUMBA. Fans were disappointed that they were going to have to sit through acts such as 'Sugababes,' 'Abs' and 'DJ Sammy' just to see their favourite band, Bon Jovi, only for 45 minutes. It was a pop festival and many were asking the question, should a hard rock band like Bon Jovi even be there? The verdict, probably not, but still it was great because a REAL rock'n'roll band got the chance to show all the 14-year-old pop princesses how it's done!
I myself queued up from early in the morning and stayed in the same spot for 13 hours straight standing up with no food waiting for Bon Jovi to come on! In the end, it was well worth the hassle. The anticipation started to reach boiling point about 15 minutes before Bon Jovi hit the stage. Of the 30,000 people in attendance, I would say about 25,000 were there to see Bon Jovi. At the front (where I was) with all the other die-hard fans it was crazy! And the show hadn't even begun yet!
9:30pm and the lights went out. A massive roar filled the stadium as we saw four silhouettes take to the stage -- guitarist, Richie Sambora then hammered out the opening guitar lick to the title track of the new album, Bounce and welcomed by a ringing applause. Jon Bon Jovi appeared just in time to sing the first lyrics of the song, "I've been knocked down so many times, counted out, 6 7 8 9" The crowd sang along to every lyric as Jon and the boys had the audience in the palms of their hands. Old favourites followed such as “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” along with great new songs “Everyday” (fantastic live track) and “Misunderstood.” The crowd was also jumping up and down in unison to the anthems "It's My Life" and "Livin' On A Prayer." Richie's guitar tone was big and heavy, as were the drums, and although there were some problems with Jon's monitor system (made obvious by a dirty look at a sound technician while he motioned towards his ears), the mix out front was crystal clear and loud.
SETLIST: Bounce, You Give Love A Bad Name, Everyday, It's My Life, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Misunderstood, Livin' On A Prayer, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, Bad Medicine/Shout.
All in all, the set flew by, even though they exceeded their allotted time by 10 minutes, and the crowd was very thankful for the powerful, passionate performance by Bon Jovi. There are many nay-sayers, many critics of this band, but after seeing them live on stage, few would be able to say a bad thing about them. They are the only hard rock from the ‘80s who managed to stay relevant and who can still sell out stadiums and appeal to a younger crowd, and there is a reason for this. Bon Jovi are one of the best damn live acts there is. No exaggeration.