the weather gods were kind...

the concert gods were not.

They’ve been predicting rain for two weeks now, and all we’ve seen is bright sunshiny skies. And they were predicting more rain for this weekend, so I had my fingers crossed that they’d be wrong again. Why? Because Saturday night was Bon Jovi concert night. The boys haven’t been back to Australia for five years, and I was looking forward to a rocking good concert (which it wasn’t, but more on that later). So, of course, what happened? The rain that hadn’t turned up for two entire weeks finally decided to make an appearance Friday night. And all day Saturday. It didn’t stop, and it was one of those good soaking rains. You know, the type that makes outdoor concerts absolutely miserable.

So it was a rugged up me complete with big plastic bags (because we weren’t allowed to bring seats and rugs into the concert, and I wasn’t sitting on wet grass) that trundled off to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl last night. And the weather gods kept up with that good soaking rain right until just before the support band started. Though I have no idea who the support act was, because we couldn’t hear the intro and the music was a muddy blur. Signs of things to come, I’m afraid, but at the time, we thought it was a case of the mixing being set up for the main act, and the support act sounding like crap because of it.  By the time Bon Jovi rocked onto stage, the rain had eased to the point where we could take our jackets off (and had to, because it was actually quite warm). So, Bon Jovi started rocking, and we were like, what the…? I don’t know  about you, but I like my rock music LOUD. You know,  the sort of loud that vibrates through your entire body. This was more like a muted whimper. And the mix was muddy–there was no other way to describe it.  It was better than the support act,  but many parts of the songs were still unclear and a lot of the time we weren’t sure what song was actually playing until the wind shifted or the crowd down the front started singing. From comments the band made, it’s obvious they had a noise restriction on them. The Australian Open was on in the next park across, and everyone knows those precious little tennis players need absolute silence to play the game (can you tell I can’t stand tennis?) Usually what happens with outdoor concerts is that you have big speaker stand scattered around the park area, so that the concert vibe reaches everyone. But that obviously would have carried the sound across to the tennis.  Can’t have that, by god, so bugger those of us who paid a fortune for concert tickets. The only speakers we had were the towers inside the bowl itself, so those of us on the grass (and that was the majority of the crowd) got crap sound.

Which sounds like I didn’t enjoy the concert, and I did. It just wasn’t a great concert, and it should have been. Bon Jovi are usually brilliant live–I’ve been to just about every concert they’ve had here in Melbourne, and rate them as one of the best live acts. It was just the stupid sound set-up that let them down, and I blame the promoters here. Why put a great rock band somewhere where the’re restricted sound wise, when there was a perfectly good stadium across the city not being used? They can’t tell me Bon Jovi wouldn’t have sold out Telstra Dome, when the tickets for the Bowl went in a matter of minutes. One thing is for sure–I won’t be going to the bowl to see any more rock concerts.

The one thing that did surprise me last night was the number of young people there–teenagers and twenty-somethings–who rocked to all the songs and probably weren’t even born when some of them were hits.  Radio stations here in Oz tend not to play Bon Jovi because they’re not ‘trendy’ enough, and yet there was just as many trendies there last night as us oldies.  Which just goes to prove the radio stations don’t know it all, and that good music will always drag out the crowds. (even on a wet and rainy night)

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