Rocking in Hyde Park with Jon Bon Jovi at Hard Rock Calling – 25th June 2011

Having booked tickets a lifetime ago (or felt like it), the day finally came.

We were in the queue around 10/10:30PM and so we were about the first people in… so picnic rug in hand set up fort middle center just 2 or 3 rows from the front of the pleb partition. while  the queues for entrance stretch through Hyde Park on a glorious day unlike the damp start to the weekend. But we did visit the Park while The Killers were on, crowd was nowhere near as big as Saturday but nonetheless sounded like a good show from what I heard under my tree from the rain. And ‘wet’ our appetite for Jon Bon Jovi on the Saturday…

The day got off to a slow start – as lets face it the first few unknown bands were dubious choices to begin with, but were  – but as the sun started to come out we just enjoyed the music and sat on our wee patch.

For me Ray Davies was a surprising hit of the day  – I knew/remebered far more of his work that I realised, and he managed to warm the crowd up perfectly for Bon Jovi.

Sadly, did not manage to enjoy much of the rest of the tents – and to be honest the only one I had any interest in was Imelda May (but having seen her recently at another event decided to stick with Ray Davies). And as Davies finishes his set with old favourites All Day and All of the Night and Waterloo Sunset, we’re all nicely warmed up and ready to go… even from our vantage point at the front of the pile of approx 70,000 we could sense the anticipation as we were crammed tighter and tighter as people josstled to get their positions. With such a huge crowd, surely this gig will get loud?

As JBJ hits the stage – and the setting sun – with his shiny aviators…Jon Bon Jovi opens with Raise Your Hands to a realtivley mild reception from the huge crowd. The fans finally find a voice with the second song –  You Give Love a Bad Name, singing along in a fervour.

A few songs here and there from ‘recent’ The Circle album get a fairly quiet appreciation. But I guess this happens to all bands when they introduce new material at such events.

They perform what is undoubtedly a greatest hits set, with only a few newer/obscure songs make it onto a set-list heavily weighted to the favours older, better-known songs – which to be honest is what we went for!

As the sun sets, and by the time Bon Jovi finish their ‘main’ set with Keep the Faith – with a crowd pleasing rendition of Pretty Woman and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – everyone is singing and dancing like true fans (even if they were not before they were by now).

Those who had worn out their voices were replaced and found new wind when the return for an encore that includes Wanted Dead or Alive and Livin’ On A Prayer. And a 2nd encore give us Always, These Days and finally finished with I Love This Town.

For some this was not enough, the crowd were still baying for more… Some furiously waving ‘F*ck the Curfew’ banners to entice the band back! Despite his promise to “play ’till the police drag us away”.

Having played over three hours of rocking, the crowd pours out of Hyde Park satisfied, and Bon Jovi leave London in a blaze of glory… (well to Hard Rock Cafe and then The Savoy for the after show party or 2).


Bon Jovi’s Hard Rock Calling setlist:

Raise Your Hands
You Give Love a Bad Name
Born to Be My Baby
We Weren’t Born to Follow
Lost Highway
It’s My Life
In These Arms
Blaze of Glory
Lay Your Hands on Me
Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
Bad Medicine / Pretty Woman
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)
When We Were Beautiful
I’ll Be There For You
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Hey God
Have a Nice Day
Keep the Faith

Dry County
Wanted Dead or Alive
Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
Livin’ on a Prayer

Encore 2:
These Days
Blood on Blood

Encore 3:
I Love This Town

Will add some picture later!

In the mean-time here is a good video from close-ish to where we were Video from Hyde Park



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