BON Jovi exercised their band-of-the-people credentials recently by waiving their fee for playing in Madrid – their contribution to boosting the beleaguered Spanish economy.
Hampden Park, Glasgow
* * *
There was no such gesture in austerity Britain, though ticket prices did start at a very affordable level. No sell-out for the band – but also no sell-out at their only Scottish show.
Guitarist Richie Sambora was missing due to “personal reasons”, with touring sessioneer Phil X deputising instead.
But otherwise it was comfortable soft rocking business as usual with the band cruising along in front of a giant car bonnet stage set to anonymous new track That’s What The Water Made Me.
There was a brief flurry of excitement when the enjoyably overcooked rock ham of You Give Love A Bad Name was given an early airing, but this lusty singalong opportunity was followed by thankless stretches of rootsy blue-collar blandness, the product of a rock band growing old too safely.
Relevance is a tricky balancing act to pull off and Bon Jovi were at their best when they didn’t try. The pop metal cheese of Raise Your Hands (cue for audience participation), melodramatic pomp rock of Runaway and catchy power rocker It’s My Life were the work of a band who were out of time and didn’t care.
Apart from a convincing wigout to Keep The Faith, the band reserved most of their fuel for the home run of hits, during which Jon Bon Jovi properly woke up and engaged with the crowd and the material, including the hoary Bad Medicine and Wanted Dead Or Alive and the ultimate stadium shoutalong number Livin’ On A Prayer.