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Loyal Rock Fans Keep the Faith 21 September 2002
SBE review from Times Online

Source: Times Online

THE queue for returns began yesterday afternoon and by showtime the Shepherds Bush Empire was a building under siege. The story about someone paying £4,000 for a ticket (face value £25) was probably apocryphal, but they were certainly being offered for £350 on the eBay website.
It is safe to say that Bon Jovi could have sold out this venue 50 times over, a situation which always adds a certain frisson for those lucky enough to have gained admission. However, in a ground-breaking exercise, the concert was also being transmitted live via satellite to cinemas in Britain and Europe, providing an additional audience ó and presumably ticket receipts ó and a novel opportunity for the New Jersey rockers to have their cake and eat it.

Designed to publicise the release of their new album, Bounce, next Monday, the show comprised a handful of new songs The Distance, Undivided, Joey, Bounce and the current single Everyday ó which slotted with comforting ease alongside a wall-to-wall deluge of hits culled from various stages of the bandís 19-year history. If their success hinges on a formula, then it remains a dependable one.

But before all that, a rather ragged-looking Ray Davies joined them for a sweet rendition of the old Kinks song, Celluloid Heroes, providing a surprisingly whimsical, and heartwarming start to a performance that was otherwise not notable for its restraint in any department.

With his artfully tangled mop of hair, perfectly aligned teeth and tattoos that have faded like an old sailorís, Jon Bon Jovi looked a picture of carefully maintained, Eighties rockíníroll chic while to his right the alarmingly muscular Richie Sambora displayed a range of facial expressions that suggested that he was engaged in some unpleasant task of manual labour ó mucking out a pigsty perhaps ó rather than playing an electric guitar.

As they surged through a succession of clenched-fist anthems including Liviní on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, Born To Be My Baby and the awesomely aspirational Itís My Life, the antics of the crowd quickly became a part of the performance itself.


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