“Here we are freezing cold in the rain with 46,000 crazy people”

Bon Jovi fans had in some cases waited in the rain for up to three nights.

The boys from New Jersey settled into their compact stage set and quickly pleased the damp crowd with opening song ‘Blood on Blood’ and’ You Give Love a Bad Name’.

With a flash of his trademark smile and perfect teeth Jon Bon Jovi stalked the stage, in black and addressed the fans ironically: “It’s a sunny Friday evening in Manchester!”

Lead guitarist for the evening was recently returned Richie Sambora who wore an angled rock guitar hat.

Richie and Jon, joked, smiled and jammed together; the only performers unprotected from the night and the rain Tico Torres, huddled under a protective canopy, bashed away with grim determination on drums.

The familiar figure of David Bryan elevated and sheltered on keyboards.

As the set list progressed, things were lifted with It’s My Life and shiny happy thousands in the stadium bounced in the steady rain.

Jon by now was beginning to glisten as the rain streamed down his hair and blinked hard. "C’ mon, I’ll warm you up!”

The best spot of the gig began with Bad Medicine/Hot Legs, cleverly interspersed with a great version of Jim Morrison’s Roadhouse Blues and later, Lulu’s Shout.

Jon managed a few cautious walks to either side of the stage and crouched gingerly (hampered by a recent knee injury) to touch adoring fans.

The evening finished predictably with Livin’ On a Prayer.

“We’re the luckiest band in the world tonight”. The fans didn’t care, they just loved the show!