If you have any doubts about seeing Richie Sambora perform live sans Bon Jovi, cast those dispersions aside as the man is on fire! Sambora and his band performed for over two hours at The Espy in St Kilda with all profits going to The Starlight Children's Foundation.

Currently here in Melbourne for Soundwave, the sidewave performance was a rare treat for Sambora fans. The Gershwin room was packed out and although the setting was far more intimate than a stadium show, the audience were enthusiastic and putty in the musician’s hands.

Sambora has a remarkable 30- year career and communicates beautifully as a songwriter. His voice is incredibly powerful and it was clear the audience loved every second of it. Crowd favourites were “Every Road Leads Home to You”, “I’ll Be There For You”, “Sugar Daddy” and ‘Lay Your Hands on Me”.

Although the band has only played five gigs together they were tight and played with ease. Joining Sambora was Australia’s own guitar goddess Orianthi, who has worked with the likes of Alice Cooper and the late Michael Jackson. Sambora and Orianthi’s chemistry on stage is intoxicating making them even more hypnotic to watch. Sambora’s frequent interaction with he crowd was playful and he demonstrated his quick wit when the audience yelled out suggestive comments.

Prefacing, “Seven Years Gone” from the highly popular album Aftermath of the Lowdown, Sambora spoke of dealing with ups and downs, depression and divorce. His openness and willingness to put himself out there makes him all the more endearing.

Sambora payed homage to INXS in the encore with a moving performance of “Don’t Change”. Much to the audience’s delight the encore included the highly anticipated “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “These Days” and “Purple Rain”. Overall, Sambora gave a stand out performance and one I wont forget anytime soon. He has true rock star qualities and knows how to make the audience feel loved.