Revellers banish summertime blues
Vicki Notaro gives it welly as the sun shines
THE sun shone on Slane Castle as Bon Jovi played to tens of thousands of revellers in the historic Co Meath venue.
And although wellies seemed to be the footwear of choice for a good number of fans, the rain stayed away apart from a shower or two.
With support from Irish acts Ham Sandwich, Bressie and The Coronas, the American rock group took to the stage without guitarist Richie Sambora – whose conspicuous absence has raised eyebrows throughout the Because We Can world tour.
Nevertheless, Bon Jovi rocked on without their lead guitarist, mixing some of their massive anthems like 'You Give Love A Bad Name' and 'It's My Life' with tracks from their latest album. The encore as darkness fell was filled with crowd-pleasing tunes, and the set culminated with monster hits 'Living On A Prayer' and 'Always'.
Marie Claire Reilly (26), from Drogheda, Co Louth, enjoyed the concert but noticed Sambora's absence.
"There's a nice crowd, great atmosphere and three full hours of Bon Jovi entertainment but Richie was missed," she said.
Model Rozanna Purcell, who was at the concert with her family, said: "It was my first time in Slane and I was blown away by the stage set up and venue.
"I didn't realise just how much I liked Bon Jovi until he came on stage and suddenly I was on my feet signing along to all his songs! I had one of the best days in a long time."
Following his band's support slot, The Coronas' lead singer Danny O'Reilly said he had been bowled over by the whole Slane experience.
He said: "I came to my first gig here in 1995 to watch REM, and never believed I'd be up here playing on this stage and opening for Bon Jovi."
Rock lover Jane Murphy (42), from Dublin, said: "I was a big fan already, but seeing Bon Jovi here in this setting has made my summer."
There was also a strong contingent of fans who travelled the world from their base in New Jersey to see their favourite band play.
The traffic restrictions gardai put in place meant there were no major transport hiccups, with most fans travelling to the venue by coach or bus
Slane Castle will next host rapper Eminem on August 17.