Bon Jovi performing their This House Is Not For Sale Tour at The Ricoh Arena Coventry on Sunday 23rd June 2019

Images and review by Kevin Cooper

Last night the Ricoh Arena in Coventry welcomed Bon Jovi back on the last date of their three leg UK tour and to start the evening off was Welsh rockers, Manic Street Preachers.

Having supported them at two gigs in Milton Keynes in 1992, the Manics knew exactly how to warm up this Bon Jovi crowd. Opening with the soaring crescendo of Motorcycle Emptiness before following up with fans favourite, You Stole The Sun From My Heart, the crowd were quickly singing along to its bouncing chorus.

International Blue was the only song from the Manic’s latest studio album, Resistance Is Futile, to get a moment in the spotlight, before they returned to their greatest hits set list. The Everlasting was delivered with impressive gusto and early single You Love Us still sounded as infectious as it did thirty years ago.

The song that propelled the Maniacs to fame was included and the crowd did justice to If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, before shaking the arena foundations with No Surface All Feeling.

Delivering a cover of Guns N’ Roses’, Sweet Child Of Mine the set was brought to a close with a thunderous A Design For Life which saw the crowd taking the lead on its anthemic chorus.

Coming on stage to a backdrop of huge screens and screams that could be heard miles away, Jon Bon Jovi threw his arms in the air to greet his fans and launched straight into the opening number, You Give Love A Bad Name, before whipping up the crowd with their classic sing along hit, Raise Your Hands.

Pulling out hit after hit this five piece threw in a mix of their older tunes such as Born To Be My Baby and Lay Your Hands On Me which kept up the energy levels as the consummate arena rock juggernaut prowled the stage. There’s no doubting that Ritchie Sambora’s presence was missed but Phil X who replaced the guitarist back in 2013, deserves to say that the spot is now his own.

With Jon’s voice not always reaching the heights it once did, this crowd was still in Bon Jovi heaven, especially when This House Is Not For Sale was introduced.

We Weren’t Born To Follow and We Got It Going On flowed swiftly into Have A Nice Day. And as the mighty acoustic riff to Wanted Dead Or Alive rumbled around the arena, the energised crowd made their voices heard, only to go absolutely wild when Phil X ripped into the solo of Keep The Faith.

Filling the hits quota with I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead they finished the main set with Bad Medicine. Back on for an encore that saw them perform their debut single, Runaway, before the arena erupted for a mind blowing Livin’ On A Prayer which finished an incredible evening and its show stopping set list.

It has been eleven years since Bon Jovi last graced the stage at the Rioch and on this performance they really should not leave it so long to make a re-appearance. Just give the crowd long enough to save for the ticket price and the £25 parking fee.