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Bon Jovi re-christens the Dome with hair rock 28 June 2007 article


Last night, the uncoolest band in America broke an imaginary bottle of champagne on the flanks of the new incarnation of Britain's biggest white elephant.

"We are gathered here, under the Dome of the O2," shouted Jon Bon Jovi, "to celebrate the love and power of music. And I'm looking for some faithful out there." And so, rocktacularly on, they went - christening the Millennium Dome's new centrepiece, the 20,000-seat O2 arena.

Seven years and millions of pounds ago, visitors to this great white tent were invited to goggle at a giant sculpture of a crouching child; at ecumenical platitudes inscribed in dangling sheets of glass; at a pubic louse the size of a sea turtle. Yet even Peter Mandelson's promise of "surfball - sport of the future" was not enough to pull in the punters.

Now those days are forgotten, as Bon Jovi proved to be a more reliable draw than giant lice. Last night's concert - their only British gig this year and their first indoor venue in 15 years - sold out in less than a minute.

Rain poured down the Dome's off-white surface and coughed grubbily down into its outflows. Inside, all was shiny and bright and nice, with the feel of a multiplex cinema rather than a rock venue.


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