Hard Rock Calling 2011



The Killers’ headline show on Friday certainly didn’t disappoint. Starting off with Glamourous Indie Rock’n’Roll, Brandon Flowers sauntered on stage in the late afternoon sun in some very tight black skinny jeans which had the girls (and the boys!) screaming. The sound from the crowd was deafening, with the stage shrouded in dry ice as the beginning notes of Reasons Unknown kicked in. Fans sang back the words of Somebody Told Me, echoing every single note to a delighted Brandon, who seemed genuinely humbled at the massive response.

An enormous collective scream signalled the start of Mr. Brightside, a reaction that was paralleled by the opening notes of another epic classic All These Things. The latter closed with huge jets of confetti, much to the delight of the packed audience. They returned to the stage for a huge rendition of Jenny in a blizzard of purple, orange and blue light.

Saturday night saw Jon Bon Jovi, resplendent in his trademark red military jacket and mirrored aviators, launch into the first track for this epic three-hour set – Raise Your Hands. What an opener!

Richie Sambora was looking as contented as we've seen him in a long time, adding his inimitable licks to You Give Love a Bad Name - welcome back Richie, it wouldn't have been the same without you!

We Weren’t Born to Follow and In These Arms were up next, swiftly followed by a storming rendition of It’s My Life – which, naturally, had the crowd singing back every word.

"Is there a doctor in the house?" Jon enquired, as the opening notes to Bad Medicine floated across Hyde Park, to a loud chorus of rapturous cheers and whoops. The surprises kept rolling on as the sun began to set, and as the opening notes of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah rang out across the park, a palpable anticipation stirred. The song seemed like it had been written for the occasion, and sent shivers running through the whole of Hyde Park.

Onslaught after onslaught of classic Jovi hits followed: Keep the Faith, Wanted Dead or Alive, the epic Livin' on a Prayer and Always to name but a few, before they finally retreated from the stage to absolutely deafening applause.

With the crowd begging for more, they emerged once more for a final encore. Blood on Blood came before a very apt Love This Town – and London certainly loved them that night.

Bursting onto the Main Stage to the sound of the classic soul standard Love Train by the O’Js, Rod Stewart’s highly anticipated Sunday headline set at Hard Rock Calling 2011 didn’t disappoint...

Golden sunlight shone over Hyde Park as he belted out Cat Stevens' First Cut is the Deepest, much to the delight of the crowd. A huge onslaught of hits followed, including Baby Jane and Downtown Train before Rod donned a dapper purple suit in time to receive a very special guest in the form of none other than the legendary Stevie Nicks, who joined him for an unforgettable rendition of Young Turks.

The masses were enraptured as the opening notes of the instantly recognisable Maggie May rang out, with Rod even halting proceedings to announce the arrival of none other than Ronnie Wood on stage. Stay With Me was next, and that’s exactly what Ronnie did… pleasing the crowd with his trademark licks!

The time had come for the big guns to come out; I Don't Wanna Talk About It, Hot Legs and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy only served to secure Rod’s already legendary status.

Whata  great way to end another great Hard Rock Calling!

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