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Bon Jovi Experience – Playhouse, Whitley Bay

Reviewer – Louise Sharp

Among all the Bon Jovi tribute bands touring around the world celebrating the bands distinct rock and roll sound, only one has ever been asked to perform with the legendary front man, Jon Bon Jovi himself. This would give any fan high expectations of the night ahead, with Tony Pearce as frontman Jon Bon Jovi.

The show started off with ‘Blood on Blood’, from the bands 1988 New Jersey album, then followed with ‘Raise your Hands’, and the rest of the first Act continued with a mixture of hits from the bands very early days right up to 2013. By the third song, the audience were encouraged to get involved a little more and asked to stand up. The crowd then remained standing during the third song ‘Bad Name’. Some danced, while some stood looking a little uncomfortable but didn’t want to appear boring by sitting down, but did immediately as the song ended.

‘Keep the Faith’ then kicked in and the audience appeared excited by a more familiar song, but a massive hit was slightly ruined with music played a little too loud drowning out the vocals in parts. In addition to this, the song dragged on a little too long, and then was followed by two more recent hits which the audience didn’t seem to enjoy as much. A highlight of the first act was the fantastic ‘Bed of Roses’ which the audience thoroughly enjoyed, swinging their arms in the air and holding their lit up phones mimicking lighters.

Act 2 got off to a brilliant start with ’Lay your Hands on Me’. However, this vibe was not consistent throughout act 2, with only eight songs to follow and only two or three of these had the audience on their feet. ‘Blaze of Glory’, one of the bands biggest hits which had everyone captivated and allowed guitarists Edd (Richie Sambora) and Steve (Hugh McDonald), demonstrate their fantastic musical skills and talent.

The audience loved the encore of the massive Slippery When Wet hit, ‘Living on a Prayer’ ending the show on a high note.

Tony Pearce, not only sounded like Jon Bon Jovi, but also looked very much like him and took on the persona convincingly, engaging with the audience well and doing so with a New Jersey accent.

The show was a mixture of highs and lows. It had big hits which everyone knew and loved, but too many lesser known songs, and missing out massive hits like ‘Bad Medicine’, and ‘Someday I’ll be Saturday Night’. The audience participation was encouraged a little too much, rather than allowed to happen naturally which is slightly uncomfortable and interferes with ones experience of the night. An enjoyable night, but probably one for the more hard core Bon Jovi fans who have followed the band since it began.

Reviewed on: 20th February 2015

Reviewer – Louise Sharp Among all the Bon Jovi tribute bands touring around the world celebrating the bands distinct rock and roll sound, only one has ever been asked to perform with the legendary front man, Jon Bon Jovi himself. This would give any fan high expectations of the night ahead, with Tony Pearce as frontman Jon Bon Jovi. The show started off with ‘Blood on Blood’, from the bands 1988 New Jersey album, then followed with ‘Raise your Hands’, and the rest of the first Act continued with a mixture of hits from the bands very early days right…

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Enjoyable

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Mark Clegg. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.