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 - Montreal Bell Centre 2-18-11

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bon Jovi thrills fans at Bell Centre

There has to be a new, concert-related repetitive-stress injury around the corner. One that involves pumping your fist in the air hundreds of times in a short time period. And when they get around to calling it something, they might as well name it after Bon Jovi.

In the first of two sold-out shows at the Bell Centre on Friday night, Jon Bon Jovi and his New Jersey arena-rockers had 21,000 fists – double that number for some songs –pushing upward along with the insistent 4/4 beats and anthemic hooks.

“It’s” (pump) “my” (pump) “life” (pump) was the makeshift choreography, with an arena full of ecstatic fans taking the song’s carpe-diem message to heart.

It made complete sense, because the crowd at a Bon Jovi show deserves, at the very least, equal billing with the headliners.

The group’s music has, for almost three decades, not really been about musical challenge. You could always hear one of those big Bon Jovi choruses coming from several blocks away. What it has always done is provide a springboard for big, communal moments.

It’s true, simple, heartland rock, ever more so since the group decided to mix a little country in with Richie Sambora’s industrial-strength string bending.

And boy, did the fans get what they came for this time. While it was one of those nights where the no-smoking and fire-exit announcements drew excited cheering, Jon Bon Jovi wasted no time in upping the ante, jumping up on a small platform at the direct opposite end of the arena from the stage to open the concert with Last Man Standing.

After that surprising kickoff, some harried-looking security guards guided the singer across the Bell Centre to the main stage as he tried to press the flesh with fans on his way.

Once he arrived at his destination, he goaded the fans to get out of their seats. Like those instructions were needed – at any point.

Perhaps Bon Jovi’s most obvious gift is his showmanship. He’s capable of strutting with Mick Jagger-esque athleticism, as he did on staggered stage surfaces in We Got It Goin’ On, making sure even those in the crummy seats felt close to the action. Or he can do a pensive pause and drive the crowd even crazier, as he did at the end of Whole Lot of Leaving.

During an unplugged sequence, the four key members of the group – Bon Jovi, Sambora, keyboard player David Bryan on accordion and drummer Tico Torres – lined up on the catwalk and consciously tried to tone down the proceedings a little with three-part harmonies on Something For the Pain and a charming cover of the Who’s Squeeze Box, among other acoustic moments.

But it was the crowd-baiting biggies that dominated the night. You Give Love a Bad Name, Bad Medicine (done as a medley with Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman) and Sambora’s showcase Lay Your Hands on Me were but a few.

For the dreamers and screamers in the crowd last night, Jon Bon Jovi and company were Jersey’s most persuasive ambassadors of rock.

Bruce Springsteen at his peak might not have been able to sway them.


Friday Funnies...

Friday, February 18, 2011


Acoustic Superman Tonight... 2/14/11

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toronto,  you got something very special Monday night.  This just took my breath... and the end with Richie... there are no words...


Story Update...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The next chapter of New Beginnings has been posted.



Review: Bon Jovi - Air Canada Centre, Toronto 2-14-11

Bon Jovi gives romantic and rockin' performance

No real surprise but even Bon Jovi had Valentine's Day on the brain Monday night as the New Jersey rock veterans kicked off the first of two back-to-back shows at the Air Canada Centre.

"I'm looking for love tonight? Are you with me?" asked the band's still boyish frontman Jon Bon Jovi, 48, clad in tight black denim pants and a black leather shirt just minutes into the two-and-a-half-hour show.

Judging from the number of screaming, excited females in the crowd, I'm guessing the answer would be an overwhelming yes?

"Bon Jovi is like Viagra for women, you know," the singer correctly summed up while getting a "kiss-cam" trained on couples in the audience who were then triggered into locking lips.

"I want to see some smooching going on!" he demanded. "Happy Monday night to you all on Valentine's Day. ....For all you lovers, and soon-to-be-lovers, and somebody-who-meets-somebody at a Bon Jovi concert and becomes lovers."

Bon Jovi, who had the No. 1 tour of 2010 and released a greatest hits package last year, have been recent visitors to Toronto having played two back-to-back shows at the Rogers Centre last July.

The major difference this time was a much more intimate show - if you can call a large, in-the-round stage, a circular catwalk, and an impressive LED screen and several mini screens as a backdrop intimate - with the energetic frontman able to easily move around and work the room.

Back in July, the singer had just torn his calf muscle at a New Jersey show two weeks earlier and was a trooper but a stationary one.

On Monday night, about 150 audience members were also lucky enough to be in a semi-circle of seating that was actually part of the stage while the band - rounded out by guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres as well as current bassist Hugh McDonald and a touring guitarist - played just a few feet in front of them.

"Now brothers and sisters, you ask why I come back to Toronto time and time again," said Bon Jovi, on one of his jaunts to the back of the stage. "Well the truth is I like to hear you scream!"

Oh, the screaming came alright for such hits from the band's 27-year back catalogue as You Give Love A Bad Name, Born To Be My Baby, Lost Highway, It's My Life, Runaway, Who Says You Can't Go Home, Keep The Faith (with Bon Jovi on maracas), Wanted Dead Or Alive, Just Older and, the grandaddy of them all, Livin' On A Prayer.

Sambora got some mic time too, taking over on lead vocals on Lay Your Hands On Me, but it was the frontman with the million dollar smile who clearly had the arena in the palm of his hand.

Covers included Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman - with Bon Jovi at his most flirty - Robert Palmer's Bad Case of Loving You, which became part of the band's own Bad Medicine, and the jazz standard, My Funny Valentine, which featured Bon Jovi at the front of the catwalk crooning away in a red T-shirt while getting red roses thrown at him for that song and the follow-up ballads, the band's own Bed Of Roses, Superman Tonight and I'll Be There For You.

"Like a fine wine, we just keep getting better," said Bon Jovi of the band early in the evening.

He might just be right.



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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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