Bon Jovi Adelaide Review @ Botanic Park

Published in Music News  
Bon Jovi played Botanic Park (Adelaide) 4 December, 2018. Bon Jovi played Botanic Park (Adelaide) 4 December, 2018. Image © Sue Hedley

It was a struggle to get into Adelaide's Botanic Park for Bon Jovi (4 December) with an eager crowd slowly making their way in to see the band for their first visit to Australia in five years.


Birds Of Tokyo performed for the audience as most people made their way to their seats. The pop-rock band fit the night well, but didn't seem to get much of a reaction from the crowd, despite best efforts and a solid performance.

However, by the time they reached the anthemic hit single 'Lanterns' the crowd were singing along by the final chorus and had warmed to the band just before they made their way off the stage.

Bon Jovi.2Image © Sue Hedley

It was time for Bon Jovi and the crowd roared as the stage lights dimmed. The band went straight into 2008's 'Lost Highway'. The atmosphere didn't peak until the third song 'You Give Love A Bad Name'. When the first line hit, everybody screamed with excitement.

The set list seemed to follow this roller coaster ride of highs and lows of excitement as the band played a balanced amount of new and old material from their 35-year career in an overly generous two and a half hours.

Click here for more photos from the show.

However, only a few die-hard fans seemed to know the past decade's latest albums. Once the audience learned the chorus of these new songs there was a clear peak in participation with 'We Weren't Born To Follow', 'This House Is Not For Sale' and 'God Bless This Mess' standing out.

Midway through the set, the band touchingly dedicated one of the biggest songs of the night, 'It's My Life', to two of the victims of recently convicted paedophile Vivian Deboo. The two Adelaide brothers appeared on the screen, wearing masks in the crowd as Jon dedicated the song to them acknowledging their bravery for standing up in court.

Bon Jovi.3Image © Sue Hedley

Without needing to be said, the highlights of the night were the classic songs from the '80s. The energy was contagious for 'Runaway', 'Raise Your Hands' and 'Bad Medicine', with Jon Bon Jovi feeding off the audience.

'Bad Medicine' seemed to go on forever as Jon kept asking for the chorus to be screamed back at him "one more time", repeating this process before leaving the stage for the encore.

The night reached its climax with the final two songs of the encore being 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' and 'Livin' On A Prayer'.

Overall, as one of rock's most iconic bands they offered a world-class performance. However, these epic moments only shined for half the set as they performed their classic hits with the atmosphere and voices of the audience ringing through Botanic Park.

Bon Jovi.4Image © Sue Hedley

It wasn't that the new material was bad or that the fault lies on the band's performance, they performed extremely well instrumentally sounding near perfect. Vocally, Jon might not be able to directly recreate the outstanding notes of the past but his charisma and stage presence more than made up for a few minor shortcomings.

But in the end, most of the audience was living for nostalgia and they loved it, and who can blame them? These moments were monumental and hard to recreate.

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