Gig Review – Bon Jovi, Because We Can UK tour opener, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, 8 June 2013

I’ve lost count of the number of Bon Jovi shows I’ve shot – I’d better check some time! This was the Because We Can UK tour opener. For years they’ve had a runway around the diamond circle but this time we were shooting from behind that runway rather than in the pit, which meant using a 300mm lens for most of the shoot. I’d always prefer to be in the pit, but apparently because the stage is so high you can hardly see a thing from there!

With the showtime being 8pm, it was an interesting mix of daylight and stage lighting which was okay but who wants to shoot a stadium gig in daylight!? You just know from David Bergman’s official photos of the tour that once the sun goes down, the lighting really comes in to its own, but Bon Jovi never allow anyone else that kind of access, and with 3 hour shows, they have to start early.

Still it was an enjoyable shoot, although as a fan of their old (very old) stuff, it was a real shame that Richie Sambora isn’t on this tour, even if his replacement, Phil X, is a fine guitarist in his own right. They sounded great, and concentrated more on the crowd pleasers than plugging the new album thankfully, but is Bon Jovi really Bon Jovi without Richie Sambora? I’ll leave you to ponder that one…