Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bon Jovi in Frankfurt ~ Commerzbank Arena

2.5 hours of Bon Jovi in Frankfurt starting at the decent rockin’ hour of 8 PM, instead of those matinee performances in Tokyo. It was good, it was wholesome, it was awesome, it was rock and it was addicting, but they didn’t play 'Always'… Not sure if I’ll ever be able to forgive the band for that. Especially, since they played it several times before today and they’ll do it again during some of the upcoming European concerts (I have a magic eye into the future ;)), including the Amsterdam gig. Don’t they read my blog, didn’t they know I was only able to attend one concert in Europe this year, and that it wasn’t even in my own country... Couldn’t they just have played 'Always' in Frankfurt? So, I still desperately want to hear 'Always' performed live by Bon Jovi, well I guess it’s good to have a goal in life ;).

Minke had a bad experience pit-wise in Gelsenkirchen last week: the pit in front of the stage was way too full making it very hard for her to enjoy the show. So unfortunately, Minke really felt the need to protect some spot in the back of the pit during the many hours leading up to the concert. I on the other hand just wanted to enjoy the freedom of walking around the concert venue, and still being able to return to the Golden Circle with my wristband. This was my only concert in Europe and I wasn’t going to waste it sitting on a spot which I knew I wasn’t going to be occupying during the concert anyway. Disappointed Minke wasn’t joining me to do some highly entertaining ‘monkey-looking’ and chilling in all the corners of the stadium, I headed out by myself. I spent my time looking at the interesting people, the expensive merchandise, the huge beers and bratwursten, and the exciting things that go on behind the stage and generally absorbing the whole concert feel that I so dearly missed during the Japanese tour.

The support act was some Italian rock band which is popular in Europe now. I don’t know the band and I don’t understand Italian so their show wasn’t very entertaining to me, but the Germans sure seemed to enjoy it. A little while after their performance Bon Jovi appeared and made everybody happy. Although the sound in the stadium was truly horrific, with a loud echo that even made Jon Bon Jovi tell us how shitty the sound quality was… they won’t be back here, that’s for sure. The stage in Japan was basically non-existent (it was embarrassing), but luckily Bon Jovi did go all out for the European tour and brought an awesome stage with fancy lights and moving screens. The TV screens kept moving everywhere: sometimes together, sometimes individually and at other times the bigger screens split up into thinner slices of screens to create cool visual effects. At some point in the show part of the floor moves upwards which turns out to be a big video screen too, which is mostly for the benefit of the people in the back of the stadium because it’s hard to see when you’re up close. But luckily this time the pit was half-empty due to good wristband management by the security, so I could leisurely stroll to the back of the Golden Circle to take pictures of the amazing stage.

A Bon Jovi show is commonly great to listen to, but not always enjoyable to watch if you’re far from the stage and can’t really see what’s going on. Especially when they use a non-stage like in Japan, but I’m sure that even the fans in the far back of the stadium had something very esthetically pleasing to look at in Europe. They had lots of special effects with the movable video screens, the lights, the stage screen that came up from the floor over the band and of course the footage on the screens itself. I especially liked what they did during ‘We Got It Going On’:

Then the memory card of my camera told me it was full, so I had to change it and caught the last part of the song:

I loved the ambiance, the set list (not too many Lost Highway songs although I did miss the beautiful ‘Make A Memory’), I loved the chairless pit and all the space to dance, jump around and run in (the running mainly occurred when I wanted to take a picture from a different angle or closer up) and especially the freedom to take pictures and movies without being afraid of an escort out of the venue. Not that I managed to take many decent pictures as those damned spotlights ruined almost all my photographic opportunities. Or maybe I’m just a crappy photographer, but I used to take beautiful concert pictures... but that was with an old-fashioned camera, not a digital one… Luckily, Minke discovered some kind of take-spotlight-out function on her new camera, which seemed to work. Maybe I should finally read that user manual I downloaded (the original was in Japanese) for my camera, and discover my camera can probably do that too. Ah, well… at least my camera captured some videos which will serve as a great memory, or perhaps even better than pictures ever could.

So, as passionately mentioned earlier Bon Jovi didn’t play ‘Always’ for me, but they were nice enough to treat me to some special and tasty snacks like ‘Bed Of Roses’, ‘Blaze Of Glory’ (awesome with the light effects), ‘Damned’ (a song we requested in 2003, and now finally got to hear live), and ‘Blood Money’ (which is one of my favorites in the karaoke box, and very rarely heard live and therefore the biggest treasure of this show). I kept hoping for ‘Always’ or at least ‘Hallelujah’, but after ‘Bed Of Roses’, I knew I was pretty much shit out of luck on the ‘Always’ front. Maybe next time?

Blood Money

Bed Of Roses

Damned

All in all it was a great concert and the atmosphere was outstanding. The whole European tour they’ve been playing songs they rarely play live, every city gets something unique. The first European tour without me and they do this, maybe I shouldn’t have moved to Japan? Well, at least I was here for one of those special concerts and it was awesome. Now, how am I going to persuade the Japanese to do concerts European style (without the annoying chairs and during the evening) from now on, because I mean come on, it’s just way more fun this way! Yeah, I know: keep dreaming… Well then, let’s just hope next time, Bon Jovi rocks Japan like they did Europe this tour.
SETLIST
01. Lost Highway 02. Born To Be My Baby 03. You Give Love A Bad Name 04. We Will Rock You / Summertime 05. Just Older 06. Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars 07. Sleep When I’m Dead / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Mercy 08. Blood Money 09. Blaze Of Glory 10. Whole Lot Of Leavin’ 11. Bed Of Roses 12. In These Arms 13. We Got It Going On 14. It’s My Life 15. Keep The Faith / Sympathy For The Devil 16. I’ll Be There For You (Richie) 17. Lay Your Hands On Me 18. Have A Nice Day 19. Who Says You Can’t Go Home 20. Bad Medicine / Shout 21. Livin’ On A Prayer 22. Any Other Day 23. Damned 24. These Days 25. Wanted Dead Or Alive

3 comments:

Minke said...

Joehoeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Minke said...

Damned is zoooooooooo cool! Gaaf dat ze die speelden voor ons samen;)! xxx

Anonymous said...

Great blog and what a great night, I travelled from Australia to see them, I too couldn't get tickets in my own country ha!