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Monday, June 23, 2014

Live-Report: RICHIE SAMBORA feat. ORIANTHI live @ Huxley's, Berlin (June 22nd, 2014)

It was around two years ago when I wrote my first live-report to Richie Sambora's "Aftermath Of The Lowdown" show in Berlin. It was the same venue, same people (I've seen lots of people, who attended the show in 2012) and also most of the musicians were the same. So what was different at this evening? First of all of course the appearence of the Australian Rock chick Orianthi, a new setlist and the fact that Richie reached a point in his life where he is absolutely satisfied with himself and with those things he wanted to reach two years ago when he decided to be a solo artist again.

But before I tell you the details about the show let me give you some facts: the location "Huxley's Neue Welt" was sold out again. 1.500 people attended the show from all over the world. At times I thought I'm in a different country, because there weren't many people who spoke German. That was strange, but it shows that seeing Richie Sambora live is always a very special event where different cultures and fans unite to celebrate their favorite musician. It's hard to explain, I just have this feeling of unity and family at Bon Jovi and Richie shows. There is always a special kind of fanaticism & dedication - and I mean this in a positive way. There are many concerts where people just come to see a band play although they don't know much about the songs or the artist. You know, they are just there to get drunk and have fun. On BJ and Richie concerts it's different - here the people know exactly everything about the story of a song and the band members. People are here to show the band how much they love them and they express it with various "fan-actions" like one at this evening: when Richie was playing "Every Road leads Home To You" many people in the audience hold up posters with the line "Every Road leades us to you, Richie" and you just wonder how many people had those posters. This is just one example - so thumbs up to a great audience in Berlin!

But when it comes to the fans I also have something to complain about: last time some people thought they could do some kind of "number system" for the entry - that didn't work very well. Luckily this stuff didn't happen this time but it is going on my nerves when I see people telling other fans how they should pass the entry or how they have to behave. To those people I just can say: we are all grown up and most of the fans attended already at least one concert in their life, so there is no need to tell other fans what they have to do or what they don't have to do. Are we still little children or what? I really don't need that, especially because everybody was very kind.

But now let's talk about the show. Some days ago Richie started a contest for young local musicians. Someone should get the chance to be the opening act in Berlin. The quality of the candidates was that good so he decided to give five people/duos the opportunity to play at this evening. So we saw lots of talented, young people. Everybody was allowed to play one single song. Good idea and it worked pretty good.

Around 9 pm the "King Of Swing" Mr. Sambora entered the stage and I've to say it was a weird start for the show, because Richie performed one of the slowest songs in the setlist right at the beginnig ("A Song For You"). To me a Rock'n'Roll show has to start with a bang and this cover song wasn't the perfect choice - at least to me. But the "bang" came some minutes later and was called "Burn That Candle Down". Here Richie and his band rocked the hell out of this place and also the following tracks "Nowadays", the Bon Jovi classic "Lay Your Hands On Me" and the rarity "Rosie" from his first solo album kicked everybody's ass like I haven't seen it at a Bon Jovi show last year (no, this time I won't tell you again that I think  Richie is the better singer in the band Bon Jovi these days ... oooooppps :P ).

Richie looked a little bit more tired on stage than last time, but he was in really good shape when it comes to his vocal performance. Damn, he has such a fantastic and emotional voice. On songs like "I'll Be There For You", "Stranger In This Town", "Seven Years Gone" or "The Answer" I had goosebumps all over me. There are shows from various other bands where I have those feelings maybe two times in 90 minutes, but at this evening I couldn't count it in a 2 hours and 30 minutes long show. That speaks for itself. So, Richie's performance was top notch - also at the guitar, but this is no wonder. He is and he will always be my favorite Axeman. Point. For sure he could move a little bit more on stage, but what makes Richie so special beside his skills at the microphone and on the guitar is the fact that this guy makes you feel very comfortable during his show. I mean, he is joking around with the crowd and with his band members - it just feels like you are part of a big jam session. It makes the whole thing very personal and this is something I really appreciate.

Although the whole band was fantastic at this evening I have to say some words again to the "Queen Of Shred" Orianthi. I saw her two times with Alice Cooper and was fascinated and I couldn't wait to see how she would team up with Richie and all I can say is - she was amazing. You don't see her smile that often, but she is definitely one of the best female guitar players out there. She also had the opportunity to convince everybody from her voice, while she was singing her song "You Don't Wanna Know".
Most of the songs ended with a guitar duel by Richie & Orianthi and it was always totally insane. Sometimes the sound mix just wasn't that good. Often you couldn't recognize who is playing which solo, because it just was a wall of sound. The sound engineer should have done a better job here and there.

Speaking about the setlist it was the typical mix of covers, Bon Jovi classics and Richie's solo stuff. It was obvious that most of the fans got crazy when Richie played one of the Bon Jovi songs. Another highlight was the cover "Lean On Me", where all the finalists of the contest entered the stage to sing this song together with Richie. After 21 tunes (with two encores) the show came to an end. To be honest the setlist was good but it could have been better. Two years ago the mix was just awesome, but this time Richie left his second solo album completely out of sight. This was very, very sad, because it has also many jewels to offer and I also would have liked to hear some more raritys. Beside "Rosie" there weren't any surprises at this evening.

Yeah, but no matter what - it was a great night with lucky fans, a pretty cool band, a fantastic Orianthi (who got a Kiss from Richie at the end of the show. I think there is no doubt that they are a couple, but I don't want to discuss this here) and an awesome performance by Richie Sambora. To be honest in my opinion he don't need Bon Jovi anymore. He wants to do his own thing and he is pretty good in it and it's great to see a man on stage who has fun playing the music he loves and who isn't just working for a "cash machine". These feelings are real and Richie transported this mood to all of us. I think I don't need to say that you shouldn't miss this talented man on his current tour. I can't wait for the new album. Recordings already started. Well done, Mr. Sambora!

You'd like to see more pictures from the show? Then take a look at the official Facebook-Page to this blog:


01. A Song For You (Leon Russell Cover)
02. Burn That Candle Down
03. Nowadays
04. Lay Your Hands On Me (Bon Jovi)
05. Stranger In This Town
06. Rosie
07. Every Road Leads Home To You
08. Sugar Daddy
09. You Don't Wanna Know (Orianthi)
10. Storybook Love (Willy DeVille Cover)
11. I'll Be There For You (Bon Jovi)
12. Seven Years Gone
13. Learning How To Fly With A Broken Wing
14. Get Up, Stand Up (Bob Marley Cover)
15. These Days (Bon Jovi)

Encore 1:
16. Lean On Me (Bill Withers Cover)
17. Livin' On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)
18. Taking A Chance On The Wind

Encore 2:
19. The Answer
20. Bad Company (Bad Company Cover)
21. Wanted Dead Or Alive (Bon Jovi)


  1. I was there,came from Prague in my old Fiesta to see my long time idol. I was a bit afraid and held fingers crossed for Richie who was recent times so compared to BJ shows... But all worries have gone in first 2 songs. I agree with 80% you wrote,especially with Richie's honesty and treating the fans... As for me as a musician-I'm so glad I've had idols like this and that I can say honestly-he was awesome... And as a bonus-standing 2 meters close to him before his transport to the hotel was...Woooow... It was so worth the road,money,sleeping in my car and adventure to see this show...

  2. Hey Jan,

    great to hear that you enjoyed the show! I think the concert in 2012 was a bit better, but like you already said it was worth the money and the trip to Berlin!