Live Review: Rock royalty Bon Jovi are Kings of the Castle
Slane Picture Special: Rock royalty Bon Jovi are Kings of the Castle
More than 60,000 fans are thrilled as American rockers deliver specially chosen set list
Pumped-up Bon Jovi wowed the mammoth crowds at Slane tonight – and showed why they’re still rock royalty.
The American band entertained more than 60,000 delirious Irish fans as they played a thrilling set picked specially for the hugely anticipated gig.
The historic Co Meath venue went wild for Livin’ On A Prayer – as charismatic frontman Jon Bon Jovi heard the crowd sing along to the hit.
The singer revealed: “This is the show I’ve been waiting for all year. I like what I see! I’m gonna take in all I see!”
The New Jersey natives had Slane revelers in overdrive as they played tracks including It’s My Life and You Give Love A Bad Name during their two-hour set of their recent and greatest hits.
Lucky punters who attended the concert were also treated to a spectacular fireworks display over the banks of the River Boyne.
Even the heavy showers were not enough to dampen spirits as fans kept dancing through the rain.
Backstage before the gig, Bon Jovi relaxed inside the castle with delighted owner Lord Henry Mountcharles – who had been working overtime to get the show ready.
Before the gig the band enjoyed a special tour around the world-renowned venue put on by the King of the Castle.
They also enjoyed a few glasses of Irish whiskey before heading out onto stage after being presented with a bottle as a present.
A source said: “Bon Jovi have been having a great time at Slane, it’s a place they really love and it means a lot for them to be playing it.
“Since arriving on Friday, members of the band have gone on a tour around the estate and enjoyed the Slane lifestyle.
“When Jon came to announce the gig with Lord Henry, he was shown all around and hasn’t stopped going on about it - so everyone else was on the edge of their seat to see too.
“They even followed in the footsteps of the Kings of Leon with a glass of whiskey before their performance – it’s almost like a Slane tradition.”
And Lord Henry Mountcharles was overjoyed as the performance went ahead without a hitch – as he came out to watch from beside the stage with a massive grin.
Before Bon Jovi took to the stage spirits were running high as support acts Bressie, Ham Sandwich and The Coronas warmed up the crowd.
And overjoyed Bressie - who brought along his young nephew to see his set - couldn’t believe he had fulfilled one of his dreams to play at Slane.
And Kirsty Davison, 27, added: “It’s just such a great vibe down at Slane. It’s always one of the best days of the year.”
While John Smyth, 32, said: “It’s a fantastic experience being down here. It’s my first time, but I’m having such a ball.”
Following the performance, Bon Jovi headed back into Slane Castle for a lavish knees up with Lord Henry, 62, and his pals.
A source said: “With an event like Slane, a lot of preparation has gone into making everything perfect – including the party in the castle afterwards.
“Lord Henry likes to make sure that the bands always have an absolutely memorable time when they come to Slane.”
Now, preparations begin again to get Slane Castle done up for the second gig this year – when rapper Eminem flies in for his August show.
Bosses will be working on clearing out the mud and getting the grass back to perfection for the Lose Yourself sensation.
A source said: “After Bon Jovi, there’s going to a big clean up session having to take place now – especially to get the grass back to a proper state.”
Meanwhile, Lord Henry plans to keep working on plans for next year’s Slane after admitting to Irishmirror.ie he’s already thinking about names.
He said: “It’s always very challenging trying to get it right and being conscious of what the Irish audience are looking for.
“Slane is about rock’n’roll, it’s about entertainment, it’s about giving people a good time. I’m already looking at what we’re going to do next year.
“Sometimes I have to think very far ahead. I look at how acts are performing live and I do emphasise the live aspect of this. It’s what it’s all about.
“I look at bands coming up. We discuss it as a family and we see where we’re going to go but it’s not easy.”
Yesterday, Lord Henry was joined by a number of Ireland’s biggest names who had also made the trek to Slane Castle for the show.
Stars seen hanging out in the VIP area included former Olympic boxing champ Kenny Egan and his Scottish girlfriend Stephanie Williams, model Rozanna Purcell, ex rugby player Shane Byrne.
Organisers were delighted as the gig went off without any major hitches after months of preparation.
Fan Emily Coll, 30, told Irishmirror.ie: “It’s great that it’s all run so smoothly - Slane is just so fantastic to be at. You really can’t beat it.”