Bon Jovi, Bucharest, July 10th

And here I come with a (late) review for the year’s greatest concert – Bon Jovi Open Air on the 10th of July. Actually, it’s better that I write this review later; I had some time to relax and write a slightly more objective review. Only slightly. :)

Bon Jovi is one of the first bands I’ve been able to discover on my own – meaning they weren’t recommended by my parents. I think it was 1992 and a classmate made me listen to a few songs (the Walkman tape clones were the new stuff) and the rest is history. It’s pretty obvious I couldn’t miss the concert of a band that I’m a fan of for more than 18 years.

The location was, the same as last year’s AC/DC concert, the Constitution Square – because, of course the Romanian capital city has no other place to contain 50.000 people. This time though, I didn’t risk walking there so that the organizers can walk all over me. This time, I drove there and parked it on a side street beside the Carol Park.

The organization, was, as usual; food and drink bought on 5 lei chips and the toilets were a touch too few. I can’t really complain about anything, the most time spent in queue was 5 minutes (I only arrived at 20 to 20 because of the heat) I passed the ticket control fairly quickly, bought a drink and found myself a place. That part was really easy, seeing as most of the public at Bon Jovi concerts is made up of girls. As I am taller than most of them, I had a great view of the stage. And if we’re talking about the stage, the set-up was pretty awesome. I lacked the special effects and décor elements that AC/DC and Rammstein had, but the huge display on the background made up for that. And when I say huge, I mean it! It was probably about 40m wide. Throw in the two side displays and the catwalk in front of the stage on which Jon and Richie could get in touch with the fans and you have yourself a show!

I thought the band was placed a little off, to the left of the stage. That could just be me, but maybe they wanted maximum visibility for those in the VIP section, but like I already said, everyone could get a great view. Because I came in later, I only got to see the end of the second opening band. As I hadn’t heard of any of them anyway, I wasn’t daunted. In the end, I was there for Bon Jovi.

And Bon Jovi didn’t let anyone down. The band showed up on stage at 20.00, just as planned. The first thing I noticed, with my heart in my throat, was that Richie was on stage – I wouldn’t have been surprised if he weren’t, considering his alcohol problem.

My fear was unfounded though. Both Richie and Jon (who recently suffered an operation to his leg) were in great shape. Alongside them, the rest of the band was also up to performance. That made for a great show, where everyone sang their lungs out.

As is the custom with the first concert in a country, the set list wasn’t made up only of songs from the tour album, but also of the greatest hits of the band, which we’ve been waiting for about two or three decades. I think there was only one song I didn’t know the lyrics to, and I believe this was the case with most of the people there. There were moments when Jon could just stop singing – 50.000 voices were singing in his place most of the time.

I loved the fact that the band was involved with the audience. They weren’t there just to sing. They entertained the audience as much as possible; dialogue, jokes between the members of the band and we also had the chance to sing Happy Birthday to Richie (interesting, Richie is the second one to have his birthday in Romania, after Marie from Roxette). There were solos medleys rhythm breaks…

Long story short, the show was amazing, the performance was impeccable and the audience reacted properly. And I think the band actually liked it here, because we had not one, but two encores – that’s about an hour extra show. And I think another one would’ve been welcome too.

As usual, here come the marks:

  • Sound: 10 – one of the few concerts where the sound was really good.
  • Lights: 8 – nothing special here, just enough to be good.
  • Effects: 10 – the giant screen was awesome.
  • Personal impression: 10+ along with AC/DC and Rammstein, this was one of my favorite concerts.

Review by Ovidiu Constantin (@ovidiusoft)

Translation by Diana Popa

image - see following caption
Photo: Miluta Flueras / Metalhead