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Bon Jovi - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff - June 12 2013 (Live Review)

Thursday, 13 June 2013 Written by Jon Stickler

Multi-million selling rockers Bon Jovi returned to Cardiff on June 12, bringing with them a superb stage show. Currently in the UK on their Because We Can world tour, the New Jersey legends presented an incredible set of greatest hits to thousands of screaming fans at the home of Cardiff City Football Club.

Transformed into a rock arena, the Cardiff City Stadium did well to host the band's first show in Wales since 2001, a gig that saw the Bon Jovi faithful descend on the capital to lap up an energetic performance.

Stepping out onto the boards of an imposing stage set, Jon Bon Jovi and Co. raised a deafening roar of screams from thousands of adoring women and kicked-off with That's What the Water Made Me, a new song from their latest release 'What About Now'.

Following a rallying call of "get out of your seats and let me know you're with me," the band thundered into renditions of air-punching anthems You Give Love A Bad Name, Born To Be My Baby, Raise Your Hands, Lost Highway and one of the highlights of the evening, It's My Life.

A sea of camera flashes, banners and denim, it's been said before that Bon Jovi fans are among the best in the world. If ever proof was needed for such a statement, this was it. Jon Bon Jovi, who was clearly relishing the experience, beamed a smile throughout the performance, strutting from one side of the Cadillac grill stage to the other, waving and joking with the crowd, leading the way on a road trip through their career

Because We Can, the new album's lead single, What About Now and We Got It Goin' On took the show through the midway point, while things stepped up a gear towards the end of the main set with a return to the classics. Keep The Faith, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and set closer Bad Medicine are all well received, and if there had been a roof, it definitely would’ve been raised.

Re-emerging for a six-song encore a little over two hours after arriving on stage, Bon Jovi sent his fans into a frenzy as he picked up an acoustic guitar and serenaded the enchanted crowd with requests from the audience. I'm With You and Superman Tonight provided the calm before the storm blew back in with one of the evening's highlights, Wanted Dead Or Alive. The band then closed a truly spectacular show with live favourites Have A Nice Day, Blaze Of Glory and, you've guessed it, Livin' On A Prayer.

Some hardcore fans were undoubtedly disappointed to see the band perform without founding member and guitarist Richie Sambora, who decided to leave the tour due to 'personal reasons', although stand-in Phil X delivered an awesome performance, filling some pretty big shoes. Sing-a-longs filled the air on the walk out of the stadium, and let's hope Bon Jovi don’t leave it another 12 years to return. 

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