Jon Bon Jovi at London Palladium

Bon Jovi at London Palladium

Bon Jovi are launching their 13th studio album ‘This House Is Not For Sale’ with a handful of shows in intimate venues around the world. Following a hometown performance at New Jersey’s Count Basie Theatre, the band decamped to the London Palladium for a “live listening party” of the new record.

Kicking off with a punchy rendition of the title track, the group treated some 2000 fans to songs like the defiant ‘Knockout’ (boasting lyrics like “I’ll be giving you the finger, sticking out my chin”), anthem to living life with no regrets ‘Born Again Tomorrow’, and the ragged music industry indictment ‘The Devil’s In The Temple’.

It’s not just music, though. Frontman Jon Bon Jovi takes the time to reveal the inspirations behind the new material – ‘All Hail The King’, for example, is about the selfless people who support his Soul Foundation charity – and obliquely detail the personal, business, and line-up difficulties of the past three years. Mostly, though, the singer uses the opportunity to acknowledge the fans and band members who’ve stuck with him: drummer Tico Torres, keyboard player David Bryan, bassist Hugh McDonald, and guitarist Phil X.

Tonight the line-up’s reinforced by guitarist and long-time producer John Shanks and percussionist Everett Bradley, who add extra muscle to new tracks like ‘Rollercoaster’ and ‘God Bless This Mess’ as well as the exhilarating roof-raising encore of ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ and ‘Bad Medicine’. But it’s one of the new album’s bonus tracks, the cinematic ‘Real Love’, that stands out. Performed with just Bryan’s accompaniment, the ballad well and truly lives up to the tradition of ‘Bed Of Roses’ and ‘Always’, showing that the recent hardships have reconnected Jon Bon Jovi to his sensitive side.

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