Bon Jovi: Still wanted (preferably alive)

Jon Bon Jovi's hair might have gone from blonde to grey, but his band is still a rock 'n' roll force to be reckoned with.

Just ask the fans who showed up to support Bon Jovi last night at the 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, closing the F1 weekend with a bang. Organisers estimated the crowd to be up to 60,000 strong.

Bon Jovi last played in Singapore at the Indoor Stadium in 1995, and fans have clearly missed them in the 20 years since. No matter that the original band members are now in their 50s and 60s.

"I missed seeing Bon Jovi when they last came here, as I was still in school and had no money for tickets," said hotel manager Christy Guna Desa, 37. "So I'm very excited to see them this time, it's a dream come true. I actually sang You Give Love A Bad Name to my girlfriend when I was 14."


Bon Jovi's Singapore gig was part of the Asian leg of their 2015 tour to promote their latest album Burning Bridges, which was released on Aug 21.

"We came a long way here for one reason, and one reason only," lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, 53, told the ecstatic crowd. "To hear you scream!"

Bon Jovi's concert kicked off at the Padang Stage at 10.30pm, with a set lasting around 90 minutes.

As expected, they played their newest songs from their 2015 album Burning Bridges, We Don't Run and Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning.

Though the crowd grooved gamely to the new material, the biggest cheers were saved for stadium rock favourites like You Give Love a Bad Name, and It's My Life.

Founding members Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres were still on hand to deliver electrifying rock music. Bassist Hugh McDonald, lead guitarist Phil X and rhythm guitarist Matt O'Ree completed the line-up, sans former star guitarist and co-songwriter Ricky Sambora. Sambora left the band in 2013.

Still, Phil X proved he was more than up to the task, delivering a blistering guitar solo for classic cowboy tune Wanted Dead Or Alive.

It was a solo that almost didn't happen due to a technical problem.

"Far too famous a guitar solo to play on a broken amplifier," Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd, pausing the song so the error could be fixed.

"The guitar tech's going to have a long walk home to America," the lead singer joked.

Bon Jovi roused the crowd a final time with encore songs Runaway, Have A Nice Day and Livin' On A Prayer.

The Singapore Grand Prix organisers certainly saved the best for last: Friday and Saturday headliners Pharrell Williams and Maroon 5are supremely talented, but Bon Jovi are bona fide rock legends after over 30 years in the business.

And like fine wine, Bon Jovi keep getting better with age.

This article was first published on September 21, 2015.
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