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Bon Jovi rock St Mary's with a Prayer
IT was one of the greatest performances I've seen at St Mary's in a long time.
Bon Jovi gave an on-pitch display Saints would have been rightly proud of - worthy of a title, not a relegation battle.
Well they are not known as the best live stadium band in the world for nothing.
But it was a fairly lack-lustre start by Bon Jovi standards as they began with two tracks from their latest album Lost Highway, supposedly the reason for this worldwide jaunt. That was until the ever energetic Jon gave the rest of the band a telling off for enjoying a vacation rather than preparation ahead of their first UK show in Southampton last night.
They knew just what the crowd wanted and from then on it was one classic after another from the back catalogue.
And what a back catalogue.
Keep the Faith,You Give Love a Bad Name, Runaway, It's My Life and Have a Nice Day were all there. But it was a medley including Bad Medicine and Livin on a Prayer which received the most rapturous reception from a vocal crowd.
They sandwiched an amazing version of Shout which was far better received than when it was performed by Lulu during Elton John's visit in 2005.
The crowd had enjoyed sunshine during the set of Southampton band HourstilAutumn, who opened for their heroes after winning a competition.
As the sun went down the forecast rain arrived. Very few minded though after a sexy Jon promised a shower for 35,000 people.
Bon Jovi are the returning heroes of two summers ago and their live shows are hard to beat.
Exceptional musicianship is fused with sensational stadium rock and a set to dazzle.
In and two-and-a-quarter hour show, which drew to a close with rousing encores of Always and Wanted Dead or Alive, Jon even managed to pay tribute to our local heroes.
He hoped for better future fortunes for the Saints.
Some might say that would be living on prayer but I will certainly keep the faith.