Bon Jovi + The Feeling @ Coventry Ricoh Arena – 24th June 2008


The Feeling seem a slightly strange choice for a support act. As a British indie pop band they have little in common with the headliners, however, despite scepticism at first from the predominantly rock oriented crowd, they go down very well. Of course, they will have realised that cheesy covers of 80s favourites, namely ‘Take On Me’ and ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ can’t lose with tonight’s crowd.

thefeel5 240608 small< thefeel4 240608 smallBJ--30

Their own material also receives a good reaction, particularly debut single ‘Sewn’, as well as ‘Never Be Lonely’, during which singer Dan Gillespie Sells really gets involved with the audience. The Sussex guys deliver a relaxed and confident set, however there is a sense that the rockers in the crowd may be disappointed by such a chilled out support act. The Feeling manage to win the crowd over, more with clever song choices than anything else, but by the end of their set many of those who were indifferent earlier are singing along at full volume. Surely a success for any support band.


As soon as Bon Jovi hit the stage there’s no holding back. The entire crowd are out of their seats right to the very back, clapping, singing and dancing as ‘Lost Highway’ is belted out across the arena. Exuding confidence from the start and with their impressive transforming lights behind them, the band give a performance worthy of their stadium rock band status.

bj8 240608 small

‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ is thrown in surprisingly early, although with plenty of huge songs to save for the end, it’s a risk the band can easily afford to make. Jon Bon Jovi clearly loves every minute of this, barely even needing to sing himself due to the sheer volume of his lyrics coming back at him from the crowd. Unfortunately, the sound quality of the vocals is not ideal, a problem which could only be worse higher up in the seating area. When it can be heard clearly, however, Jon’s voice sounds great, his humour also showing through as the band launch into ‘Twist & Shout’ in the middle of ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’.


The rain starts to fall during ‘Keep The Faith’, making Richie Sambora’s solo seem all the more epic. He then takes over the microphone, singing lead vocals on ‘I’ll Be There For You’, allowing him to take the spotlight away from the frontman for a while. Jon doesn’t have it back for long before he hands it over to a ten year old fan who helps him out on ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’, looking slightly overwhelmed by the 40,000 people in front of him. For Bon Jovi, however, this is nothing new, looking right at home as they deliver the well loved ‘Bad Medicine’.

Hearing Living On A Prayer belted out by large crowds of people is nothing unusual, however this is something else. Jon gives it so much passion and energy and the atmosphere is electric, everyone singing every word with all they’ve got. Bon Jovi have one of the best loved songs of the 80s, and they definitely know how to deliver it live.

bj5 240608 smallbj10 240608 small

That easily could have been the end of the show and no one could complain, however the band appear for an encore anyway. The ballads ‘Always’ and ‘These Days’ don’t suffer from the sound quality problems and get couples everywhere swaying along.


‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’ marks the end of the set, and although ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ may have been a more suitable closing song, it’s good to see the band avoiding a predictable set list. Tonight has seen Bon Jovi still on top form, and despite any sound problems, their down to earth attitude and endless supply of hits ensures no fan will be leaving disappointed.


Set List:

Lost Highway
Born To Be My Baby
You Give Love A Bad Name
Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars
Sleep When I’m Dead w/ Twist & Shout + Back In The USSR
Blaze Of Glory
(You Want To) Make A Memory
Whole Lot Of Leavin’
In These Arms
Just Older
We Got It Goin’ On
It’s My Life
Keep The Faith
I’ll Be There For You
Have A Nice Day
Who Says You Can’t Go Home?
Bad Medicine w/Shout
Livin’ On A Prayer

Encore —

These Days
Wanted Dead Or Alive

crowdbj3 240608

Review – Helen Catchpowle
Photos – Steve Gerrard and Michelle Owen

About Author

7 thoughts on “Bon Jovi + The Feeling @ Coventry Ricoh Arena – 24th June 2008

  1. Great Show by Bon Jovi spoiled by poor accustics where little to no voice could be heard over the drums and bass overdive. Whilst being at the back terrace I expected to be able to hear the concert un-distorted ! Very poor sound high up in the stadium.

  2. i was the girl on stage Jon walked over to, bowed to and kneeled down on bended knee he presented his maracas to me after KEEP THE FAITH

    Jon made all my dreams come true and more!
    He is my hero!!!

    It was an amazin night the best gig i ever seen!!!

    xx amanda xx

    pics on my bebo

  3. Went to Southampton which was good but Coventry was fantastic.
    When Jon is on form he really is THE BEST. Coventry was one of those performances.
    One of the best BJ concerts I’ve been to in a while – and I’ve been to a few!
    PLEASE don’t wait too long to come back – I can’t wait. BJ are the only band I will go to see live. Nothing can compare!
    Always keeping the faith

  4. Coventry 24/06/08 was my 10th BJ concert and YES there were some serious sound problems, but the atmosphere was AMAZING. Jon knows exactly how to work his adoring audience (“Who says you cant go home” with the little 8 yr old was so touching!) I just hope they keep on rocking for plenty more years! Shame there were no fireworks at the end as there usually are. As always, I came away on a high note, feeling like a giddy teenager! The lyrics to the songs are inspirational! Money well worth spent despite the sound issues.

  5. My name is daz. I was in Golden Circle, About 3-4 rows from Bon Jovi, and i gotta say.. OH MY GOD WHAT A CONCERT!! it was the 1st time id been to see them and it was soooo good. I remember him giving his maracas to that girl, Well done. Lucky you. lol. And the littel boy was kool too. Did almost all my favourites, Livin’ on a prayer, Always, Have a nice day and my fave is Its my life. Great concert, please come again soon..

  6. that was the first time i’ve ever seen Bon Jovi live. i’ve grown up ith his songs ever since i was born and the concert felt like a fitting tribute to my life so far. every song, sung with passion, reminded me of a memory. Just what Jon would want.

    see you all at the next BJ gig.
    you know it will be good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *