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Byline: By Mike Malyon

BON JOVI set the standard for the Ricoh Arena last night.

This is what the stadium was built for' to be the venue for top-class entertainment.

And if you're into rock music they don't come any better than this.

Bon Jovi gave a scintillating 2 1/2 -hour performance that had the 40,000 crowd swaying, singing, cheering and lapping up every second.

On the warmest night of the year this was the hottest show Coventry has ever seen.

Band leader Jon Bon Jovi shrugged off a bout of hay fever to go down a storm and prove why he is one of the top rockers in the world - with 22 years of touring and 100 million album sales on his CV.

From the moment the blond haired, eye-shaded, black-vested singer strutted on to the cat walk, out in front of the stage just short of the centre circle, he was on to a winner.

Backed by six tight-knit musicians, featuring ace guitarist Richie Sambora and whirlwind drummer Tico Torres, the New Jersey football lover gave a faultless display at the home of the Sky Blues.

After an hour's warm-up by Canadian four-piece Nickelback, Bon Jovi took to the stage at dead-on 8pm. They opened with Last Man Standing, swung into Rockin' All Over the World and worked their way through a chant-along repertoire, including hits, You Give Love a Bad Name, It's My Life and Bad Medicine. Another number, Raise Your Hands, had the massed throng doing just that.

The concert-goers had come from all over the country and were of all ages. One poster held aloft by a youngster read "I've been a fan for 12 years and I'm only 11" while another said simply: "You're the best".

Song No 21 was Bon Jovi's anthem, Livin' on a Prayer, but the band came back for two encores and six more songs - before dashing out of the arena and into a waiting car to Baginton Airport.

It was a memorable, magical event - when after nine months of teething troubles, the Ricoh came of age to show its true potential.

Bon Jovi sang Have a Nice Day - we surely did.

Amazing show brings traffic to a standstill - Page 1 8


ARMY OF FOLLOWERS... A fan's tattoo shows their devotion to the rock supergroup. D33997_5' D33997_47' HOT NIGHT OF COOL MUSIC... Bon Jovi gave the crowd what they wanted with 2 1/2 hours of their greatest songs. Picture: James Balfour D33997_55' D33997_31' D33997_63' RAISE YOUR HANDS... About 40,000 fans (above left and left) packed into the Ricoh to see top rockers Bon Jovi supported by Canadian rock band Nickelback (above).
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 8, 2006
Next Article:Concert crowd brings traffic grinding to a halt; BON JOVI CONCERT ++.

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