Before And After The Millenium
Bon Jovi, Switchfoot, Skid Row
This House Is Not For Sale Tour presented by Ö3, Ernst-Happel-Stadion Wien, Austria 20190717
When it comes to stadium concerts in Vienna, the Ernst-Happel-Stadion is the place to be. Big names like U2 and AC/DC made this soccer ground a Rock melting point. After some years, another genre institution makes its way back.
First Skid Row take over the stage, who already toured with this band back in 1989 and played Moscow alongside Scorpions and Cinderella. Thirty years later, their Glam Rock / Hair Metal style still works as a great warm-up. Their set mostly consists of tracks from their acclaimed debut that featured Sebastian Bach, who also joined Guns N Roses on stage. Now ZP Theart delivers a convincing job singing hits like “Big Guns” and “Piece Of Me”.
Second support are Switchfoot from San Diego. Their Pop Rock shifts from some groovy heavier riffs to sweet ballad styles. As they once had a Led Zeppelin cover band, they play “Rock N Roll”. They get close to the fans and singer Jon even goes crowd surfing. During the breaks between the bands, people can read quiz questions and learn that the first concert of the frontman of the main band was Rush and his first song on guitar was “House Of The Rising Sun”. Also the screens show a social media feed, while Foo Fighters and Weezer are played.
Bon Jovi then start their show with the title track of their latest record, that musically follows tracks like “Everday”. The whole set varies between their early work and their newer tunes since the 2000s. Of course “You Give Love A Bad Name” should not be missing, since it gained new popularity because of HIMYM. The band boss early tells the seated sections that no one should be sitting at a Bon Jovi concert. Coming to “Runaway”, he tells a time machine is bringing us back to 1983. Having seen this in a rock club back at the time must have been amazing. “Have A Nice Day” is another mid 2000s hit, while “Keep The Faith” throws back to the 90s again, while the audience is surprisingly quiet.
At least compared to the love ballad “Bed Of Roses” and the big shot “It’s My Life”, that is celebrated frenetically. From “Crush” they also play “Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars”. The encore usually features calmer songs like “Always” or “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” and this night it is the wonderful “These Days”, before “Livin’ On A Prayer” ends the concert. That Richie Sambora left the band and Jon’s voice isn’t that good anymore plus the stadium sound and huge crowd might be few things to complain about. But David Bryan and Tico Torres are still there and as a fan even especially of the early records it is still a great and fun show to experience.