Together and with The Power of We, we can start a revolution. One Soul at a time... ~Jon Bon Jovi *** There's a Story on every street corner, my friend. All you have to do is open your eyes... ~Richie Sambora

Review - Bon Jovi @ Tulsa BOK Center

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From Tulsa World:

Bon Jovi stays true to rock roots in Tulsa concert

Bon Jovi kick-started its set Tuesday night with an inspirational and perhaps too-literal video montage of the rock act’s tour and new album, “The Circle,” with a large circle of words that morphed into, well, a huge circle.

“So, what y’all been up to for the last 20 years?” lead singer Jon Bon Jovi asked the audience, referencing how long it’s been since his band last performed in Tulsa. He then launched into “When We Were Beautiful,” and his eyes looked misty as cameras projected his face onto a huge screen behind him and drums rumbled the BOK Center arena.

The high-definition video imagery on “We Weren’t Born to Follow” was a visual dedication to liberal icons and all-American heroes, including Bob Dylan, firefighters and athletes. But the tone soon shifted from political to party.

Jon Bon Jovi worked his larger than life antics and Mick Jagger-dance moves, hands open and fingers splayed. He didn’t need to prompt the audience when “You Give Love A Bad Name” launched to squeals and claps. The audience knew every word.

“Born to Be My Baby” wooed a crowd that wouldn’t sit down as Richie Sambora’s guitar segued into “Lost Highway.”

“Superman Tonight” flew into “We Got it Goin’ On” as Jon Bon Jovi yelled, “I’m just now getting started!” and rolled into one of the band’s signature tunes, “Bad Medicine,” followed by “Roadhouse Blues” and “It’s My Life.” Sambora then took over lead vocals for “Lay Your Hands on Me.” More than 20 songs filled the two-plus hour set.

These older white men are toned, talented and musically attuned. But they don’t dance as well as they used to. Not that anyone seemed to really notice, unless, possibly, they were big fans of musical dance productions like “Hair” or “West Side Story.”

Frontman Jon Bon Jovi, 48, easily could pass for 30 in every sense, especially vocally. He still has his full range.

Three behemoth video screens reflected the crowd back to itself as it cheered and screamed, then split into several dozen smaller screens that flashed scenes of cultural icons, including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and even President Barack Obama.

The band performed a handful of rarely performed tunes, including “Open All Night” and “Something for the Pain.” Other hits included “I’ll Be There for You,” “Work for the Working Man” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”

The concert’s set list was an intelligent mix of tried-and-true and brand new.

The newest album, “The Circle,” is a somewhat contrived return to the band’s blue-collar rock beginnings. So was the tour.

After nearly 30 years together, it’s hard not to come across that way. These days, the group sings about politics and individuality more than day-long diner shifts, but Jon Bon Jovi and his bandmates are still the genre’s golden boys.

And that’s OK.

The hi-definition video screens screamed modernity. The band may be a long way from its humble beginnings, but it’s stayed true to its original path.

They’ve learned a lot about showmanship over the years and still sell out huge arena venues across the globe. The guys have worked their way up the ranks and now own their own pop culture company, so to speak.

Opening act Dashboard Confessional brought its skinny-boy indie rock doused in melodramatic, theatrical vocals. It was valiant but doomed — the audio quality was sub-par, muddy and distorted, though “Valiant,” “Hands Down” and its version of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” were spot-on, both lyrically and musically. The sound quality just wasn’t there.

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