Bon Jovi performing at Homebush on Saturday night.

Bon Jovi performing at Homebush on Saturday night. Photo: Steve Lunam

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Reader rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (9 votes)

Bon Jovi

ANZ Stadium, December 14

Reviewed by Bernard Zuel

Such teeth. Such glittering and flashing and beaming. Such danger to aircraft and safety warning to shipping. Such a seal on a you-and-us-together-forever experience which sticks it to the Man and the grumblers and frowners because "when the world keeps trying to drag me down/I gotta raise my hands, I'm gonna stand my ground". Yeah baby, rock'n'roll.

From the double denim to the mid-show acoustic bracket played on the satellite stage to the show edging past 150 minutes (try doing that One Direction!), a Bon Jovi show offers rock'n'roll's traditional values. And, no, I don't just mean the admirably fashion-resistant poodle perm on keyboardist David Bryan.

Bon Jovi – the band, though really, the man – make it clear that they work hard because we work hard (even if precious few of us do it "tough, so tough" on the docks and the factory floor).

They write songs "for the broken hearted", pen paeans for those who know "we weren't born to follow" and croon, with resolutely straight faces, the advice that even though "you know you're gonna live thru the rain/Lord you got to keep the faith".

So they play long and they play rousingly. They bring the big, dumb but – admit it – entertainingly big and dumb You Give Love A Bad Name with its slamming drums and punching the air chorus. And the big, dumb but perfect for singalong power ballad Wanted Dead Or Alive. Ooh, see the stadium erupt.

Ok, it's true they also bring the just plain big and dumb Raise Your Hands, the schlock number Warrant/Motley Crue wished they'd had back in the hair metal days, Bad Medicine, and the almost violently determined to be tender Make A Memory.

But somehow snuck in there too is a genuinely fine piece of writing, Who Says You Can't Go Home, which lifts itself above the valley of cliches around it. My god, they can do it.

And, of course, to close the night, to carry us through our blue-collar lives of noble endeavour, or at least through the ridiculous car park queue, there is that emporium of cheese, that triumph of first principle rock, that undeniably irresistible call to discover your inner falsetto, Livin' On A Prayer.

It's a tough note but let me tell you, for love, for JBJ, for rock'n'roll, we'll give it a shot.