Events and Reports - Bon Jovi - Live At Messepladsen, Randers - June 19th, 2008
Written by Tommy

After 12 years absence Bon Jovi returned to Denmark on June 19th at a field in the middle of nowhere, but with plenty of space, quite idyllic surroundings and around 35.000 expecting fans.
The same four guys have travelled the world for 24 years, played more than 2500 shows and sold 120 million albums. That alone demands respect and after the lights faded some 2 and a half hours later you had a clear idea of why people still turn up. The music, the show, the stories, it all somehow defines life as we would like it to feel like, at least once in a while.
At around nine o'clock the band entered the stage and went straight into Lost Highway, not the spectacular big bang opening I had hoped for but they carried it home OK.
Born To Be My Baby kicked things into a whole different gear, a great catchy tune that showed that these guys are still partly teenagers on the inside. Feeding upon the energy You Give Love a Bad Name kept the momentum going with the crowd singing the last part home on their own.
Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars is a cool unpretentious song, but it faded a bit too much into a blur and never really got on track.
With the pricier tickets I stood at a great spot 10 meters from the stage but the sound volume was unfortunately not loud in the first half of the gig but slowly kept getting up there as the concert progressed.
It was cool hearing the band's first real hit Runaway, defining simple but effective Rock N' Roll. The band paid a tribute to the genre in general with the groovy I'll Sleep When I'm Dead including vivid selections from The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
Throughout the show Richie Sambora with a few exceptions handled the guitar playing with amazing confidence and soul. The lead parts in This Ain't A Love Song were bent just right so you could actually feel the torment and Have A Nice Day had enough crunch to come off extremely powerful, two definite highlights.
Seen as a whole package the band, including the extra guitarist and violinist, performed as a well-oiled machinery, a few minor episodes where the overall timing didn't click didn't really matter.
The epic Blaze Of Glory from the first Jon Bon Jovi solo album worked out really well too, the background TV screens adding texture to the wildlife atmosphere.
There was one song in particular I was hoping to experience. When trying to pick out the greatest song ever written, In These Arms and Metropolis - Part 1 by Dream Theater often gets to battle it out and I think In These Arms takes it on points. Lets just say that we went absolutely mental for the 5 minutes it lasted, singing, jumping, fits in the air, you name it (Steen, are your knees feeling alright?). The band played it with the appropriate energy and spontaneity... a live moment to cherish forever. 
I'll Be There For You is one of my favourite Bon Jovi songs and hearing Richie singing it from start to finish gave it a new interesting twist. I knew he could sing from his two solo albums and the amazing If I Can't Have Your Love from the 100.000.000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong boxset and he really involved himself in this one with a cool audience sing a long part towards the end.
Throughout the concert I was astonished about how much not into it people were, I knew there would be a lot of so called "come and play the three songs I know"-"fans", but even through essential party songs a lot of people just stood and wandered. I guess that's what happens when you as a band enjoy commercial success. Luckily there were people present who had been waiting for this in a long time and were ready to get it goin' on. I admit that the band could have been a bit more in touch with the crowd between tracks and in a few occasions while performing them, but overall they tried to involve people with sing a long passages, funny gestures, small talk stories and so on. Anyway it's still the music that counts and here things rocked big time.
I had expected more than only three songs from the bands latest release, We Got It Goin' On is the only miss on the album so I obviously would have liked Any Other (Day) track instead, it's just too silly, even live with plenty of drinks in your blood. Whole Lot Of Leavin' was another surprise, but here the tense chorus came off authentically and honest, its thoughtful vibe somehow fitted nicely into the set.
Another unexpected track was Undivided from the often forgotten Bounce album, like all Bon Jovi albums it contains high quality music, just another type of song writing than some people expect from the band. That doesn't alter that this is a great powerhouse rocker with a brilliant chorus line giving extra weight performed live. 
While Keep The Faith became a bit muddy and distant It's My Life was a sure winner, an infectious, spell binding and effusive version.
I hold the Have A Nice Day album as one of the bands best and Who Says You Can't Go Home was a pleasant inclusion to the set, a melodic and joyful track that in no time puts a smile on your face.
The idea of starting off Livin' On A Prayer as a semi acoustic jam section took people by surprise but it worked out refreshingly well. It evidently didn't take long before it was unleashed it its full scaled mania, high intensity on both sides through this world-class rocket, just brilliant stuff.
Jon said that he liked the surroundings and that the band wouldn't leave before the place had been rocked extensively, so when the band left the stage after Livin' On A Prayer it was only a matter of time before the encores would arrive, when they did these songs where some of the best all night. Always swept through the air as a warm summer brezze and Wanted Dead Or Alive was simply huge with screaming guitars and detailed drumming from Tico Torres.
Blood On Blood was one of my personal highlights, that song just contains so much nostalgia and unbound force, and live it rocked completely with a heavy edge.
The party ended with the larger than life classic Bad Medicine, with a fun and highly dynamic addition of Shout with people dancing around, it just gave the concert that something extra and the band nailed it perfectly with David Bryan playing and singing a long vividly as Bad Medicine went into round two.
The thing about the institution called Bon Jovi is that there's more than one side to it, tonight represented this with a superb blend of partytime, deeper emotional stuff, musical flair and a sense of belonging to something truly special. Call it that indefinable but essential feeling we all want to get in touch with from time to time.
Set list:
Lost Highway
Born To Be My Baby
You Give Love a Bad Name
Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (with Jumpin' Jack Flash, Start Me Up, Back In The USSR)
Blaze Of Glory
Whole Lot Of Leavin'
This Ain't A Love Song
In These Arms
We Got It Goin' On
It's My Life
Keep The Faith
I'll Be There For You
Have A Nice Day
Who Says You Can't Go Home
Livin' On A Prayer

Blood On Blood
Wanted Dead Or Alive
Bad Medicine (with Shout)
Written by Tommy
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Stuart (Staff) - Thursday, July 3, 2008
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Comments: 116
Sounds like a great gig. I can just imagine Steen on his knees during In These Arms!

Didn't go see them when they played Glasgow the other week. I went to see a tribute band called Non Jovi the night before instead.It was about £40 cheaper than the real thing and much easier to get to the bar and back :)

Mind you, I was informed after the gig that they actually played Dry County which I'm a bit gutted about missing.

Posted by Stuart (Staff)
Thursday, July 3, 2008

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