REVIEW: Bon Jovi Because We Can Australian Tour With Kid Rock - Etihad Stadium 07.12.13

08 December 2013

“Hey, remember this,” says Jon Bon Jovi, leaning conspiratorially on his mic. “If your mother or brother, boyfriend, wife or boss asks where the hell you’ve been all weekend? Tell ‘em you spent the night with Bon Jovi.”

With that the singer breaks into his gleaming wide-screen grin, one he uses liberally throughout the show, and it galvanizes the immense crowd. It has to be said – performers don’t come much more charismatic and charming than JBJ.

This stadium show doesn’t rely on pyrotechnics, acrobatics or overt gimmicks. It’s a singer and band working hard to make a connection through force of personality and, of course, songs. Big songs. Stadium shaking songs.

Highlights include the extended workout on “Keep the Faith” led by Jon and his maracas. “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is injected with some tasty “jukebox” moments – the Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, a David Bryan driven “Great Balls of Fire” and Chuck Berry’s festive offering “Run, Rudolph, Run”.

One of Jon’s go-to stadium moves to fire people up would be described as ‘gospel hands’, which he employs to great effect in tracks like “Raise Your Hands”, “Have a Nice Day” before making perfect sense during the Isley Brothers’ “Shout”.

Kid Rock would’ve won over plenty of people too as they made their way to their seats. He and his band worked super-hard. Great show.

It was the ADHD set – smashing and mashing his way through different genres and never settling into one – from the country twang of “I’m F***ing 40!” to DJ scratching to Elton John style moments on a grand piano to good ol’ boy southern rock of “All Summer Long”. There was 2Pac’s talk box [“Melbourne loves to party”], some “Cat Scratch Fever” and ever present nods to AC/DC and ZZ Top – all filtered through a great sense of humour.

Bon Jovi Set List

That's What the Water Made Me
You Give Love a Bad Name
Raise Your Hands
Lost Highway
Whole Lot of Leavin'
It's My Life  
Because We Can
What About Now
We Got It Goin' On  
Keep the Faith  
(You Want to) Make a Memory
Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
Born to Be My Baby
We Weren't Born to Follow
Who Says You Can't Go Home
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (w/ Jumpin' Jack Flash, Great Balls of Fire, Run Run Rudolph)
Bad Medicine
(w/ Shout)
In These Arms
Wanted Dead or Alive
Have a Nice Day
Livin' on a Prayer

Review by Christopher Hollow


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