I promise you that I am not going to turn this blog into a review site as I do enough of those for the web magazines that I write for. However; I must share with you the events of an amazing gig that I went to at London’s O2 Arena this last weekend.
Now Mrs Rock God has been a bit of a Bon Jovi fan since she bought me a ticket to see them at Wembley Stadium in 95, being supported by the outstanding Van Halen and decided to go along as well.
Things went a bit quiet on the BJ front until they made an appearance at the Bristol City Football ground a couple of years ago. With tickets in hand we made our way down to the ground and join the rest of the throng in what turned out to be a bit of a disappointing evening.
The highlight for me was getting a cup of Bovril (it’s a kind of meaty soup like substance for those that have been fortunate enough never to have heard of the stuff…however; it is said that you need to imbibe this black substance if you are attending football matches, so I did).
We had managed to get seats right at the back of the stadium, which meant that we couldn’t really see anything. This was not aided by the wind that was whipping through the stadium like a blowy whipping thing, lashing dust into the faces of the expectant crowd. It also took the sound and threw if as far away from where we were sitting as it could get it.
So as you could imagine this was not the best way to start and evening. It was also not helped by some plonker of an announcer declaring that the band would be taking to the stage in 5 minutes, JUST as BJ were launching into their first number. All in all it took about 20 minutes before the confusion subsided and anybody could figure out what the hell was going on.
It wasn’t until it began to get dark that we could see the screens and the sound began to improve as the wind died down. With that they were off!
In transpired later that the council had placed a serious time clause on the gig and the band had to get off before they got a fairly hefty fine.
We read later that not only were the audience left disappointed and feeling not a little cheated, but so had the band. I suspect we won’t be seeing the Bouffant One in the West Country any time soon.
Time moved on as it does and the band recorded a new album called ‘The Circle’ and set about organising a tour to promote it.
However; these boys aint young anymore, in fact the drummer is a clear 9 years older than me, and the prospect of spending their lives back on the road clearly did not appeal to them and so they booked themselves a residency at the O2 in London.
Twelve nights in one of Britain’s premier venues was too good an opportunity to miss and Mrs RG hit the internet with enthusiasm, only to discover that all the good seats had gone within the first 30 seconds and all that remained were the naff seats OR would cost us the equivalent of the national debt of a small European nation. So we opted for the cheap seats.
I was a little concerned as knowing my good ladies enthusiasm for all things Jovi and off of the back of the last disappointing gig being stuffed at the top of the arena, slightly behind the stage, was beginning to suggest that we wouldn’t be able to see a flamin thing.
Anyway, after months of anticipation the weekend arrived and we duly made our way to London and The O2.
The first thing you notice about the venue is that is enormous. The second is that it is extremely high….nose bleed, in need of Oxygen high. My hopes of being able to see anything were dwindling faster than the hope of an England World Cup victory.
We worked our way to the back end of the venue (and it seemed the universe) and then began to traverse the escalators up into the clouds. I began to feel like we had somehow died on route and were in fact on our way to the ‘here after’. But no, we were still climbing towards our seats.
Having reached the summit further wandering to an even more excluded entrance followed. My heart sank.
Then, we were met by an eager O2 official who asked is he could see our tickets.
He then announced that we were being up graded and asked to take the lift back to the first floor and he dispatched the Sherpa, removed our climbing equipment and led the mountain goats away.
As well as enormous excitement I felt a sick feeling of ‘what if we have just been conned’ in my stomach.
Anyway, the lift doors opened to reveal the seating where we would be spending the evening and the view was amazing. And I mean amazing. We were so close to the stage we would be able to see the boy himself flashing his white smile and even the small superman tattoo on his arm.
Just to set our minds at rest around us sat a group of people who had just suffered the same good fortune as us and we all chatted excitedly about our good luck.
That was all apart from one couple who sat silently and with a slight scowl on their faces. It was my estimation that they had actually forked out the 200 quid face value for those particular seats, only to be surrounded by a bunch of lucky nare-do-wells who were giggling in excitement and boasting of their good fortune at having been handed the musical offer of a life time.
At the end of the day the concert was a blinder. If you ever get the chance, and can afford it, go and see Bon Jovi, treat yourself, they really are as good as it says on the tin.
Right I’m off to watch the video footage that I took with my phone as I still can’t believe my luck.