Uniting at least three generations, everyone congregated for an electric night packed full of bombastic rock anthems as Bon Jovi took over Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.

Infinite and resounding cheers filled the stadium as the quartet emerged onto the stage designed like a vintage American convertible, complete with pivoting lights and lazers. It soon became apparent that lead guitarist Richie Sambora was absent, fortunately Canadian session guitarist Phil Xenidis stood in for him.

Breaking into That’s What The Water Made Me, a track from their most recent release What About Now, some of the crowd exchanged a few perplexed facial expressions but danced along nevertheless. A few songs from the new album were played throughout the course of the night but despite the fact they were well received it’s the older material that still gets the loudest reception.

Subsequent to the less explosive start than was anticipated, the band lashed out the classic You Give Love A Bad Name which helped propel them to notoriety; driven by a catchy, grandiloquent vocal melody and dramatic guitars, this was what most had come to see. Cue the roaring sing-along and guitar solo – which Xenidis executed flawlessly. From here onwards the energy levels remained elevated, maintained by songs such as the aptly-titled, Raise Your Hands and Jon Bon Jovi’s antics as he strutted about on a pathway amidst the audience during We Got It On. A couple of covers where also incorporated into the mix including Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain you and he sure did! Along with Status Quo’s, Rockin’ All Over The World and The Doors’, Roadhouse Blues.

After a substantial eighteen tracks, that would have left any other audience happy, the Cadillac style car revved up its engine once again before commencing a virtual drive whilst the four-piece returned for a further five tracks. The familiar wild-western sound that accompanies Dead Or Alive began while Jon Bon Jovi commanded the audience to wave their phone lights in the air to mimic a clear night sky and being loyal fans they were happy to oblige. Perhaps this was also the reason why a number of people were wearing humorous cowboy hats. Of course quintessential Bon Jovi hit, Livin' On A Prayer ended the encore and turned the Stadium into frenzy with the crowd singing every note and hanging off Jon Bon Jovi’s every word.

Just when we thought it was all over, encore number two initiated with the frontman announcing “I ain’t done yet!” and that there’s nowhere else he’d rather be which was reinforced by the monster setlist nearing three hours which eventually ended with power-ballad Always. If there wasn’t a curfew at the venue then we’d have been there for the night not that anyone would complain given the reception the band received.

Bon Jovi are continuing the UK leg of their world tour until early July.

1. That’s What The Water Made Me
2. You Give Love A Bad Name
3. Born To Be My Baby
4. Raise Your Hands
5. I’d Die For You (Tour Premiere)
6. Lost Highway
7. It’s My Life
8. Because We Can
9. What about Now
10. We Got It Goin’
11. Keep The Faith (with cover, Let Me Entertain You.)
12. Make A Memory
13. I’ll Be There For You
14. Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars
15. You Weren’t Born To Follow
16. Who Says You Can’t Go Home
17. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (with covers, Roadhouse blues and Rockin’All Over The World.)
18. Bad Medicine (with cover, Shout.)

19. In These Arms
20. Garageland (Tour Premiere)
21. Wanted Dead Or Alive
22. Have A Nice Day
23. Livin’ On A Prayer

Encore 2
24. Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
25. These Days
26. Always