Sunday, June 11, 2006

Outed: I am a Bon Jovi fan.

In January, tickets went on sale for a concert. A concert that I had a not-so-secret desire to see. I immediately called Buni and Sarah, thinking they were pretty much my only friends would be up for the concerty goodness. Sarah declined, as she had already seen the band in concert. Buni was in.

And thus it began.

I bought Bon Jovi tickets.

They were more than I thought they would be, but still I thought, Bon Jovi. C'mon! They're clearly worth it. It was scheduled to be at the new Wembley Arena, so I bought mediocre seats and thought no more of it.

A few months ago, I got an email from Ticketmaster. Wembley wasn't going to be ready, so the concert was being moved to Milton Keynes. Travelling to see Bon Jovi? Even better! Now it's an event!

And yesterday was event day.

The gates opened at 2, so we figured we'd get there for about 3. Nickelback, the opening band, was scheduled to go on at 6, so that would give us plenty of time to snag a good spot. Oh, that's right. We did some planning.

This was the crowd when we arrived. We got there at about 4, and we thought this was crowded.


Oh, we had no idea what was coming. We snagged a spot on the sloped bit, just to the right of this walkway thingy.

After about an hour, a few more people had turned up.


Man, that's a lot of people. So, we sat in the sun for a few hours, drank some beers, contemplated which t-shirts to buy, chatted, the usual. Good times were had by all.

At about 5:30ish, the first opening band went on. It was a band called Spin, who won some kind of contest on some radio station to open for Bon Jovi. They were from Leeds, I think. They were kind of annoying. The lead singer was all "Milton Keynes! You must love us! Now sing along to this song you've never heard! Woooo!" Dude. Relax. They're here to see Bon Jovi. No one cares about you.

Nickelback was on after them. Now, I am not a Nickelback fan. I find them annoying. I tend to describe their music as "that one song and all those other songs that sound like that one song." So, I assumed that they would suck.

Now, we all know what happens when we "assume", don't we? That's right. Nickelback isn't as bad as you think they'll be. What? That's the definition of assume that I'm familiar with. This is just the first time I've been able to properly use it.

The lead singer guy was very funny and charming. So even though I wasn't the hugest fan of their music, I find myself liking them now. At one point Buni turned to me and said "Dude, he just sounded just like you." We're both Canadian. It's in our Canadian genes. We're funny, and we all sound the same.

Not everyone enjoyed the Nickelback though.


This lady slept right through them. Well, you can't win 'em all.

But then Nickelback was done! And you know what that means!


That's right. The last of the sixty five thousand people turned up. All there for Bon Jovi. Sixty. Five. THOUSAND. That is a LOT of freaking Bon Jovi fans.

And then there they were! Bon Jovi, right there in front of me. Well, there were about thirty thousand people in between us. But still!


Bon Jovi! Hee! They came onstage, and I turned to Buni and was all "Dude! That's totally Bon Jovi!" Hee!

I have to say, they were pretty awesome. They played for two and a half hours, pretty much straight. They played most of their big hits, and in a good order. They mixed the big singalong hits with the slightly more obscure songs and newer stuff. And they were great.


They had a bass player, rhythm guitarist and keyboard player with them, but they didn't get any screen time. That was all for Bon Jovi. And they were awesome.

The part that I loved best was that they were clearly having such a good time. And they obviously like each other a lot. And goddamn, Jon Bon Jovi is a good looking guy when he smiles. They were obviously loving the fact that there were sixty five thousand Bon Jovi fans singing along with every word.

When they sang "Livin' On A Prayer", Jon Bon Jovi started by singing the chorus alone by himself on the stage, and got the whole audience singing along. Sixty five thousand people singing the chorus to your song, and clearly loving every single second. How could that not be the biggest rush of all time?


It was dark by this time, and when the song started, the sea of people in front of me lit up with little white lights. Thousands of people recording video and audio on their mobile phones. Awesome.

They didn't play "Blaze of Glory", which was the only disappointment, but it's technically a Jon Bon Jovi solo song, so I didn't really mind.

As the concert was ending, I was getting nervous though. Sixty five thousand people in Milton Keynes. Now, let's say that a quarter of those people were taking the train back to London. That's probably a conservative estimate. So, that's sixteen thousand two hundred and fifty people getting trains, the last of which is leaving at 12:13am. Bon Jovi finished at 10:30. It's a half hour walk back to the station. That means that there will be one hour and 13 minutes to get those sixteen thousand two hundred and fifty people onto trains.

Obviously, some of them are going to be stranded in Milton Keynes. I was determined to not be one of those people. Fortunately, we got on a train. I was happy that we made one. Not everyone shared that sensible attitude. This short blonde woman wearing inappropriate footwear was moaning the entire time we were lined up to get into the station. Now, I thought they had the whole thing organized pretty well. The line was moving, they were only letting people into the station when there were trains to get on, and there were obviously more trains than normal running. But no, she was all "this is so stupid and frustrating, I'm meeting someone, why am I not on a train already, I'm so angry, this is so annoying, why aren't I on a train, I'd better meet that person or I'll kick some ass".

I wanted to kick her ass, but I resisted. I'm strong like that. We got on a train, sadly without any seats left. I sat on the floor and we got to Euston in time for me to catch the second last tube train. Sweet!

Not so sweet was Buni's experience on the tube, where she caught her last train, and ended up on the same car as annoying blonde woman. Apparently her friend was pointing out to her that even though they got back to London later than she planned, they were lucky enough to get the last tube train. Obviously, logic is not welcome to such a crazy person. She's just lucky I wasn't on that train, because I don't know if I'm strong enough not to have kicked her ass then. You do not want to mess with me.

In summary: Bon Jovi is awesome. Blonde women with inappropriate footwear are annoying. The rest of the photos are here. Woo! Bon Jovi!


Studley said...

Yes, it was a great day! Don't forget that us Brits had the added bonus of winning the football in the afternoon too, which helped to fire everyone up.

They're some nice pictures, we were in the Gold Circle which was pretty cramped so we didn't really appreciate the scale of just how many other people were there. I only got a few photos myself because my camera battery was low, but if you want to check them out then you can view my blog post:

Bon Jovi @ Milton Keynes Bowl

Anonymous said...

Yes, but what I want to know is do you still have that Concrete Blond t-shirt?


Anonymous said...

I, too, Loves the Bon Jovi. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure none of my friends (who still live in Canada) would spend money to see him!! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you! Now I'm going to to go walk the streets with a loaded six-string on my back...