Bon Jovi at British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park
Yesterday, the first day of British Summer Time took off with performances on the main stage by the likes of Bush, Kaiser Chiefs and the headliner, Bon Jovi. What can be said about the latter that hasn’t been said before? Bon Jovi are now a household name with everyone already hanging off their every syllable, which means there’s little effort involved in transforming a concert into a success. The show in Hyde Park, of course, was no exception.
The American band, returning to Hyde Park after ten years, played a set of 26 songs naturally full of smash hits from the past, but also including tracks from the newly released album What About Now. Lead guitarist Ritchie Sambora recently pulled out of future live dates and is currently substituted by touring member Phil X, but nonetheless, the group gave a staggering performance, with fans ecstatic right from the start. There were several generations, all equally enraptured, some of them shrieking like teenagers fallen prey to their hormones; it was obvious that the excitement and enjoyment would be total.
A staple in Bon Jovi’s repertoire, You Give Love a Bad Name came as the second song and settled the mood for the rest of the gig, mostly comprising energetic tunes. The weight of time was evident as Jon soon seemed fatigued, but all members played vigorously and impeccably. Every track was like a hymn: not a soul in the crowd was unfamiliar with it and sang along to the lyrics of Lost Highway, Because We Can, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead and many others. The most famous tracks were received with particular enthusiasm, and were the ones Bon Jovi gave the most attention, with long instrumental sections characterised by virtuoso solos.
At times the fans’ voices would cover Jon’s, his vocals really coming out best during slower songs. Wanted Dead or Alive was a big one, Livin’ on a Prayer started acoustically, and an extended Bad Medicine featured powerful covers of Pretty Woman and Roadhouse Blues. The crowd wanted more and the band gave them a typically magical Always.
Bon Jovi went away in style once again, demonstrating that alongside the impressive history behind them, they are undeniably still able to rock.
Photo: Marco Maas
For further information and future events visit Bon Jovi’s website here.
British Summer Time Festival is on in Hyde Park until 14th July 2013. For further information visit the festival’s website here.
Watch a live performance of Because We Can here: