Thursday, February 10, 2011
Crowd roars approval as Bon Jovi kicks off tour
Just as the sellout crowd became engulfed in Bon Jovi’s 80s-rich anthems, lead singer Jon Bon Jovi brought them back to reality for a second. He told the crowd that his four children back home had strep throat, and he tried his best not to catch it — so much for rock star cowboys.
The BJC opened up extra seats behind the stage due to high demand and every fan from the expensive seats circling the stage to those touching the ceiling sang along. Large, moveable high definition screens formed shapes and displayed a wide variety of scenes, sequences and song lyrics on and around the stage. Bon Jovi glinted his pearly whites between tunes and the fans screamed just as they have been over the past two decades.
“Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful,” he said. “To be doing this for 26 years.”
Not every song received the same treatment from the crowd, but the lead singer twisted, waved his hands and danced with the same energy nonetheless. With radio staples mixed seamlessly with relatively less-known tracks, the audience didn’t know whether to stand up or sit down, awkwardly rising and falling between songs.
Bon Jovi chatted with the roaring crowd after every third or fourth song. “This is one big frat party and we’re all in the same fraternity,” he said. After that, the band dropped into a heavy version Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.”
The first big crowd reaction came ironically during “Lay Your Hands on Me,” a song guitarist Richie Sambora sings. With a retrospective of songs, it’s hard not to notice that a lot of the band’s tunes sound strikingly similar, from Sambora’s talk box to Bon Jovi’s prevailing vocals. But another thing each song has in common is that they are all crowd pleasers.
The loudest roar came during a break in songs when Bon Jovi stood stoically and smiled at the crowd. He thanked the adoring fans profusely and talked about the challenges of living in the United States. He touched on the economy, the housing market and the divorce rate, among others. With his words the theme of the show — perhaps the whole tour — came into fruition.
The bulk of the band’s setlist showcased songs about overcoming obstacles and living life to the fullest, including “We Weren’t Born to Follow,” “Whole Lot of Leavin’ ” and “It’s My Life.”
The evening concluded with super hits “Living on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” during the band’s encore. After the show, the energetic crowd filed back out into the cold reality after almost two hours of sweating to one of the most popular acts in the past 25 years.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
on Wednesday, February 9th at Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA! Fans worldwide can tune in and rock out along with the group on the campus of Penn State University.
To watch the band rock the Bryce Jordan Center LIVE, click BonJovi.com, Facebook.com/BonJovi, ustream.tv/BonJovi, or live.newsinc.com/bonjovi.
You don't want to miss out on this LIVE stream so make sure to tune in Wednesday, February 9th starting at 7:30PM EST!
- US/CANADA: 7:30PM EST, 6:30PM CST, 5:30PM MST, 4:30PM PST
- SAO PAULO: 10:30PM BRST
- LONDON: 12:30AM GMT (2/10)
- ROME: 1:30AM CET (2/10)
- SYDNEY: 11:30AM EDT (2/10)
Thanks Imp, for passing this along :)
It seems students at Penn State got to help with set up for the Bon Jovi show tomorrow night...
Students Join Bon Jovi Tour Crew
University Park, Pa. -- For several hours on Monday afternoon, the main arena floor of the Bryce Jordan Center became a classroom for about 14 or so Penn State students in a variety of majors. Their instructors for the day included Mike Savas, Gordon Hyndford, Jeremy Knight, Dan Witmyer, Carson Austin and Mark Woody – all members of Jon Bon Jovi's tour crew – and the class could be called "tour setup 101."
"This is our first time doing this," explained Savas, who handles publicity for Bon Jovi. "We've got the students helping us with load-in, showing them how something like this works." This is highly unusual for a tour of this magnitude. Major musical tours typically don't allow anyone to see the set-up in progress before a show. Not so for this tour, Savas said.
"This was a no-brainer for us, with this being an educational institution, to invite the students in to observe and help. There's plenty of great stuff for the students to see and learn about lighting, video, audio and public relations production."
Several students who took advantage of the unusual opportunity were excited about what they were learning. "I always go to concerts and see all the lights set up and think, 'Wow, that's gotta be insane.' But to be here before everything's actually up in the sky is pretty intense. And it was certainly interesting learning a lot of things from the guys in the crew," said Kevin Foedinger, a senior broadcast journalism major.
The students spent time talking with the crew and observing, but they also "got their hands dirty," actually working with members of the crew, Savas said.
"I worked with a lighting engineer, setting up all the trusses and the lighting equipment. We set up a lot of zip lifts – all the different mobile lights – and the things that go around the set," said Chris Hickey, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science.
Hickey later assisted Austin as he set up his long-lens camera. "I'll train this on Jon, from about just below the neck," the camera-operator said. As he asked Hickey to hand him a cable to attach to the camera, he explained to the students why he sets up the camera the way he does, and how he operates it. "You always want a leg of the tripod up front, under the lens, to help keep it from tipping over," he said. He explained that the location of the focus and zoom controls varies with the operator, based on personal preference.
Jillian Greenstein, a senior communication arts and sciences major with a minor in business, spent lots of time learning about the marketing and public relations end of things, as well as helping with the set. "I talked to Mike Savas about the business side and the PR side, which was great. I also learned about how the stage goes up as well, and I also talked to Gordo (Gordon Hyndford) who puts up the video screens with the robots so that was cool."
Greenstein also got to help Hyndford's crew with setup for one of the video screens. After flipping a lever to enable the robot to move the board, Greenstein took over control of the "kill switch," which she would have had to hit if something had gone wrong. "I never knew all this goes into a show. It's so interesting to hear, and learn all these new things," she said.
Matt Wagner, a sophomore telecommunications major, was soaking in everything he saw. "This is my first time doing anything like this, so it's been interesting to see what it takes to have a show build-in progress like this, and then to come back Wednesday and see the final product and know we were here to help build it," he said.
The students are taking away more than just a cool experience, however. What they saw and did with Bon Jovi's tour crew applies directly to what they're learning in the classroom.
"This is fantastic. I get to see how things like this are actually set up, what it's really like to see a big band come and perform, and how much time and effort it takes to set everything up. It's a great experience," said Alex Ciccione, a junior telecommunications major. "Basically this shows how you can take a telecom degree, take it out on the road and be in charge of video or the audio side of creating a show like Bon Jovi's."
The students' experience doesn't end with what they did on Monday. "They'll be back on Wednesday to see how the business model, the customer-service end, works," said Savas. They'll see how we run our VIP packages. They'll also get to take pictures alongside the local media, and then stay and watch the show. It's just our way of giving back to the community."
Monday, February 7, 2011
The next chapter of New Beginnings has been posted.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Sources: Jon Bon Jovi in Falcons talks
New Jersey rock star Jon Bon Jovi has been in confidential negotiations with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank in which Bon Jovi would purchase 15 percent of the NFL franchise for $150 million, according to league sources.
Blank is among a select group of owners who have been seeking more minority partners to gain an infusion of cash that in Blank's case will also help him realize his plans to build a new outdoor stadium in the Atlanta area.
Bon Jovi was owner of the Philadelphia Soul, an Arena League team for five years from 2004-2009.
The two sides have signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose details of negotiations but a league source pegged the financial talks based on a $1 billion valuation of the Atlanta franchise. Each percentage point would be valued at $10 million to arrive at the proposed $150 million on a 15 percent purchase, another source said.
Hmmm, maybe Mr. Bon Jovi's dream of owning an NFL team are that much closer to coming true. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...