Bon Jovi, Manic Street Preachers, Anfield Stadium, Liverpool 19/06/2019

Legendary rock hearthrobs Bon Jovi head to the iconic Liverpool Football Club grounds Anfield Stadium to rip it up. Jack Cinnamond writes.

Fresh off their Olympia date only mere weeks ago, the Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers open the night with their wandering alternative sound.

Kicking off with “Motorcycle Emptiness“, the band had their own lot in the crowd. “International Blue“, “The Everlasting” and a ramblin’ rendition of Guns N’ Roses‘ “Sweet Child o’ Mine“. Arguably, the band succeeded in warming up the crowd, but it seemed as-if they were playing their usual set.

After a short wait, Bon Jovi waltzes on stage with their opening number “This House is Not for Sale” as the crowd erupts. “Raise Your Hands” and the effortlessly cool “You Give Love a Bad Name” kick off their huge, rare local show.

A run-through of “Born to Be My Baby“, “Whole Lot of Leavin‘” and “Lost Highway” come up next before frontman Jon Bon Jovi spends a few minutes playing with the large crowd.

“Tonight, we’re going all the way back” he notes, having keyboardist David Byran tease their first hit “Runaway“, before launching fully into it. “We Weren’t Born to Follow” and “Have a Nice Day” follow, before the audience erupts again for “Keep The Faith” backed with “Amen“.

The band seemingly doesn’t slow down, they’re not running against the clock, more-so having a good time with it all.

I’ll Be There for You” and “Blood on Blood” are featured next, but the hit-loving crowd want more of the big stuff and they’ll get it.

It’s My Life” and “We Don’t Run” waltz in next, with Jon Bon Jovi singing his voice out with first of the two. “Wanted Dead or Alive” arrives, and the crowd sings every word.

Lay Your Hands on Me“, “Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” mark the rundown towards the end.

Tonight, they end with “Bad Medicine“, which fits knowing they somewhat opened with another major song.

They return for “These Days” and the anthem of all anthems, “Livin’ on a Prayer“, which becomes a stood-still moment, one of many likely at Anfield.

Unexpectedly, Bon Jovi return yet again afterwards, this time to celebrate our city, with a birthday message of McCartney and a rocking run of “Birthday” and “Twist and Shout“, which is far less tacky than it would sound. It’s fun, and from earlier in the night, definitely in Bon Jovi‘s playbook.

While Jon Bon‘s voice is on its last legs, he definitely makes it through the smaller songs well, and the crowd lovingly takes over for the hits. It’s fair and it fits, and the band knows that. We’d say that this was a triumphant show at Anfield and would hope for some more next year.

Words by Jack Cinnamond. Photography courtesy of Sakura.

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