On Saturday June 22nd Sexy Hubby and I attended the last of the four Bon Jovi German concerts in Koeln, with Diamond Circle VIP Experience packages no less! Bon Jovi is currently touring the world after the release of their 12th studio album What About Now. The tour started in Washington DC in February and will end in December in Brisbane, Australia. That is, if no more dates are added! Guitarist Phil X is currently covering for Richie Sambora.
There is so much to tell that this week is going to be Bon Jovi week on my blog. It started with my Silent Sunday post yesterday and I will also dedicate a post to the most incredible stage I have ever seen and another one to our VIP package. Today I will focus on the show itself.
For a start, in the words of Phil X, we were treated to a really cool set list. Jon did say at the beginning that the band had a lot of surprises for us and he did not lie. Songs more rarely played such as Wild Is The Wind or Last Man Standing had been picked that night, together of course with some of the band’s biggest hits. My personal highlight was This Ain’t A Love Song, from These Days, which happens to be one of my favourite Bon Jovi albums. This was a tour premiere, and listening to it live while Sexy Hubby was holding me was even better… We also very much enjoyed the moment when Austrian singer Christina Stürmer, who had opened the show, came back on stage to sing Who Says You Can’t Go Home with Jon. You can see the complete set list at the end of this post, and my only regret was that Always was not on it. Even Second Daughter and Cute Doggy appealed to Bon Jovi and Phil X on my behalf on Twitter – more to come about this – but to no avail!
Of course there was the absence of Richie Sambora. I heard some people around us calling for him, particularly when the first notes of Wanted Dead Or Alive resonated. Bon Jovi without Richie is different, no question, especially when it comes to the on stage chemistry that they both share. However, Phil X was amazing and so clearly enjoying himself that his enthusiasm was infectious. I do not play the guitar myself so would never comment on his skills but Sexy Hubby does. And he was bowled over.
Nobody knows what the future holds and if Jon and Richie will resolve their differences. All I can say is that the band is celebrating 30 years of existence this year; the energy is intact and the pleasure to perform on stage in front of a huge audience – 42’000 people in Cologne – is still very much there. Not only with Jon, who has not lost one ounce of his charisma, but also with Tico and David; the smiles on their faces were the proof.
Before Koeln we last saw Bon Jovi during a Circle Tour concert two years ago. Richie was there that time and of course it was brilliant to see the complete band together. Also, although the decor of the stage was different, the layout was the same. The band took advantage of the half-circle separating the Golden circle from the Diamond one to gather together and play a couple of acoustic songs. This did not happen in Cologne: Only Jon used it once pretty quickly, and ended up being given a German football shirt emblazoned with the band’s 30 milestone. That was a bit disappointing. I also thought that Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night was an odd choice to end the second encore. And clearly I was not the only one, looking at some of the puzzled faces around us when the band did not come back. I have since read that they had to leave to catch their plane to Prague but it did feel like the evening had not quite reached its end.
This did not change the fact that it was a fabulous night. The show lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes and started precisely at 20:00, a courtesy much appreciated. And let’s face it: Even if Bon Jovi had performed another ten songs it still would not have been enough for the fans!
- Rockin’ All Over the World (John Fogerty cover)
- That’s What the Water Made Me
- You Give Love a Bad Name
- Raise Your Hands
- The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
- I’d Die for You
- It’s My Life
- Because We Can
- What About Now
- Last Man Standing
- Keep the Faith
- Living in Sin
- Wild Is the Wind
- Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
- We Weren’t Born to Follow
- Who Says You Can’t Go Home (with Christina Stürmer)
- Bad Medicine (with “Roadhouse Blues” and “Pretty Woman”)
- In These Arms
- What’s Left of Me
- Wanted Dead or Alive
- Love’s the Only Rule
- Have a Nice Day
- Livin’ on a Prayer
- This Ain’t a Love Song (Tour Premiere)
- Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night