Villa Park Birmingham 9th June 2013.
In true stadium rock style, the Bon Jovi ‘Because We Can’ world tour swung into Aston Villa Football Club’s ground, Villa Park. The enormous stage set was composed of a giant vintage Buick front end, surrounded by speaker stacks and video screens that filled the whole front of the North End stand.
Even from the better vantage points, the legend that is Bon Jovi was dwarfed by the huge stage spectacle. This was not to be any disadvantage in the slightest, all part of the experience! The three-hour set included two encores and obviously showcased the tracks from their latest 12th album ‘What About Now’; however it was still the old favourites that the thousands of fans at Villa Park wanted to hear the most, keeping them rocking, dancing and singing all night long.
From the classic Jovi rock tunes to the power ballads, the set list seemed endless and included the firm favourites such as ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’, ‘Runaway’, ‘It’s My Life’, ‘Keep the Faith’, ‘Bed of Roses’, ‘Bad Medicine’ and ‘Dry County’ to name but a few.
Supported by the superb band of excellent musicians that are David Bryan (keyboards), Tico Torres (drums), Hugh McDonald (bass), Bobby Bandiera (rhythm guitar) and Phil X (lead guitar), Jon Bon Jovi strutted around the Villa Park stage oozing confidence, showing he is a man who can still excite the crowd even after nearly thirty years of rocking and rolling around the world.
The fans know he can still deliver… and so does he. Jon happily bantered with the crowd at times and even joked that he had been around for ‘longer than Bieber and Timberlake put together’. The night would not have been complete without the Bon Jovi anthem ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’.
Everyone’s karaoke favourite lifted the lid off the stadium. At critical points in the tune, the band could not be heard through the roar of the crowd singing along. A truly epic experience was enjoyed by all. The diehard fans may have been disappointed at not seeing Richie Sambora gracing the boards, but rock’n’roll politics didn’t prevent the show from going on. Hopefully issues can be sorted before the next Bon Jovi tour.
Checkout the full set of picture here.
Photography and review by Stephen Turner.