Saturday, February 26, 2011
Jonny B good in Jovi-al show
Hey, Jersey, keep Snooki and the gang. We here in New York will take Garden State rockers Bon Jovi off your hands. It's a good deal for us, especially after Jonny B's block buster 2½-hour show Thursday, the first of two sold-out Madison Square Garden concerts.
Jon and his longtime bandmates hit hard right up front with a snarling version of "Last Man Standing," which the singer played on a small riser set up in front of the seats farthest from the main stage.
With exaggerated arm gestures -- so everyone could see -- and a crooner's tone, Bon Jovi hammed it up for those in the "bad seats," then jogged through the aisles to join the band. As he moved through the arena, he high-fived the guys and smooched any good-looking blonde who got in his way.
"We're not the new kids on the block," he continued, referring to freshly minted Knick Carmelo Anthony. "[Bon Jovi] is like a fine wine -- we just keep getting better."
One sip of the anthemic "It's My Life" -- in which rock's golden boy beat his chest as he sang the chorus, "I just want to live while I'm alive" -- made you want to get drunk on the music.
Apparently recovered from a leg injury sustained at a summer show in Jersey, Jon showed he's still a goofy-footed frontman who finds all his moves in the beats of drummer Tico Torres and the flash-fire electric riffs of guitarist Richie Sambora.
Keyboard ace David Bryan -- whose "Memphis" won the Best Musical Tony Award last year -- was the band's unheralded hero, as usual. He was especially good pounding the keys for the old hit "Runaway."
Midshow, the band did trip with a quiet mini-set, with Torres sometimes bongo-ing the beat with his hand on a wooden box. Please, this guy's an extraordinary stickman -- he should never be separated from the skins.
But that was the only low-energy moment in a greatest-hits show that truly was great.