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Bon Jovi, Ricoh Arena, Coventry - review with pictures

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

They’re one of rock’s biggest acts, having sold more than 100 million records and created some of the most popular party anthems of all time.

Bon Jovi at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Pictures by: Eleanor Sutcliffe

So it’s no wonder thousands of people of all backgrounds and ages flocked to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to see the band on the final date of their UK tour - and they most certainly were not disappointed.

Jon Bon Jovi has been placed on ‘sexiest’ artist lists many times and, though he’s now approaching 60, the New Jersey-born star has not lost an ounce of his appeal; boasting great energy and an endearing, cheeky demeanour for the entirety of last night’s near two-hour show.

His stage presence was electric in fact; jumping and dancing during each and every song, thrilling fans and encouraging them to sing and move along as he bounded up and down a platform which ran from the stage to a short way through the crowd.

Bon Jovi at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Pictures by: Eleanor Sutcliffe

Though the group is touring under the title of their latest album This House Is Not For Sale, the set was greatly varied, packed with back-to-back performances of some of the act’s top hits spanning their 36-year career.

“Good evening, happy Sunday,” beamed Jon, dressed in one of his signature Hart and Dagger jackets, which bore a winged dagger and bleeding heart.

“I ain’t gonna waste a lot of time talking to you, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

Bon Jovi at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Pictures by: Eleanor Sutcliffe

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Kicking off the concert with 1986 megahit You Give Love A Bad Name, the band sounded superb as the fans below went wild.

He may have only officially been Bon Jovi’s lead guitarist since 2016, but Phil X shone from start to end, with incredible high-paced solos and strong, gritty riffs. He also looked delighted to be playing for the entirety of the gig, smiling and rocking out at every opportunity.

Jon, meanwhile, seemed to take a little while to fully warm up - though when he did, his trademark vocals were strong and brilliant, with songs such as Keep The Faith and It’s My Life sounding tremendous.

Bon Jovi at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Pictures by: Eleanor Sutcliffe

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A particular highlight was the band’s performance of 1988 hit I’ll Be There For You, which saw fans light up the now darkening arena with their phones and sing along as they waved their arms across the stadium. A beautiful sight and an excellent atmosphere - one which can only be achieved at arena-sized shows.

Other top numbers performed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers included Wanted Dead Or Alive, Lay Your Hands On Me, Bad Medicine, Born To Be My Baby, and Have A Nice Day, with founding drummer Tico Torres stunning on each and every one of them.

“It’s been great being back in the UK,” announced Jon.

Bon Jovi at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Pictures by: Eleanor Sutcliffe

“I’ve been part of this band for some 36 years now. It’s unbelievable that you’ve been on the ride with us. Thank you all for being here.”

The encore saw the band return with a stellar rendition of their debut single Runaway, before they ended the show with a lively performance of their biggest hit Livin’ On A Prayer, during which the entire stadium could be heard singing along.

An excellent concert, filled with nostalgia, sing-alongs, wonderful light shows, and outstanding talent. We can only hope Bon Jovi will return to the Midlands again sometime soon.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@expressandstar.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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