Thursday, May 19, 2011
The next chapter of New Beginnings has been posted.
Enjoy and thank you for your patience!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
From the Houston Press:
Last Night: Bon Jovi At Toyota Center
May 17, 2011
It's no easy feat to emerge relatively unscathed from the ruins of the '80s metal boom. Bon Jovi's more glam-oriented contemporaries can no longer hope to fill the big arenas (though we understand you can catch Whitesnake and Warrant at Coushatta this weekend), and while Jon and the boys certainly exploited the spandex and Aqua Net trappings of that era to their full advantage, you could tell they craved something that eluded their peers: Legitimacy.
Because when you get down the nuts and bolts of it, Bon Jovi's appeal has always rested on their ability to match power chord to cliché. Look at some of those song titles: "The More Things Change?" "Have a Nice Day?" "Keep the Faith?" You wonder sometimes if JBJ eats a lot of fortune cookies.
But what can't be denied is the man's ability to work a crowd. There is a dearth of rock and roll showmen here in the new millennium, but even at 49 years of age, the formerly leonine lead singer pranced, cajoled, and posed his way into the audience's heart at Toyota Center last night.
Put another way, he saw 20,000 faces, and he rocked them all.
The band came out to an animated opening sequence that looked like TRON as directed by Michael Bay, and they didn't open especially strong. "Lost Highway" is one of those songs that makes people think of the New Jersey band as "Sprinsgteen lite," with its talk of "dashboard Jesuses" and "half a tank of gas." But from there the band kicked into "You Give Love a Bad Name," and the crowd was Jon's from then on.
When we say JBJ is a poser, we mean it in the best possible - literal - way. He's honed his stage presence over three decades of performances into a well-oiled fist pumping, foot stomping machine, and the audience licked it up. To quote another, more flamboyant rock group.
"Born to Be My Baby" was next, followed by another relative clunker, "We Weren't Born to Follow" from their most recent release, the poorly received Circle. The quasi-motivational visuals on the otherwise impressive video system didn't help, as the color palette was obviously meant to remind us of those Obama "Hope" ads. It's cool, because we know JBJ's an Obama guy, Aftermath just wasn't sure Oprah Winfrey belongs in the same stratum as Winston Churchill.
For "Runaway," JBJ said he was taking us back is his time machine to the Summit ("I was there once!"), and we must admit, for those three minutes he could have led 20,000 people burning and looting their way through downtown Houston. Pray he never uses his powers for evil.
You can read the rest of the review here.
Over the past 12 months Bon Jovi earned more than Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry--combined. How did that happen?
The next time you play Rock Band don't invite Jon Bon Jovi. The 49- year-old singer's wife and kids recently convinced him to give the popular videogame a try. So he picked up the microphone and launched into a rendition of his classic "Wanted Dead or Alive," backed by family on virtual guitars and drums. He never made it through the song.
"I failed--it buzzed me down," Bon Jovi admits over lunch in Manhattan. "So I stood up off the couch and I said, 'All right, goddamn it, press play.' They did it again, I failed again, and I said, 'Everybody's going to bed. That's the end of this. Turn that shit off.'"
Fortunately for Bon Jovi, audiences in real arenas around the world are kinder. His eponymous band took home $125 million over the past 12 months by FORBES' estimates, more than any other music act besides U2--and more than relative whippersnappers Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Kanye West combined. In the past year the band has played 74 gigs in 15 nations, grossing $203 million in ticket sales and $20 million in merchandise; Bon Jovi ranks No. 8 on this year's Celebrity 100.
Surprised? Bon Jovi out-earns younger, glitzier acts thanks to a relatively affluent, aging fan base who turn out to hear the ballads of their youth and see a tightly run touring machine built on decades of experience.
"They're one of the highest-grossing bands every year," says veteran concert promoter Ron Delsener. "Jon is a workaholic, constantly touring, constantly making loads of money."
"It wasn't some conscious decision to be penny-pinching. I think it's just wise to be efficient," says Bon Jovi. "I know big bands where each of them has personal assistants on the road, each of them has a security guard. We don't have a security guard. Take your own friggin' bags!"
On the revenue side the band's U.S. fans sport an average household income of $78,989, slightly higher than the mean for the 350 music groups tracked by research firm NPD's Brand Link database. The economic difference between Bon Jovi's fans and those of, say, Justin Bieber ($71,389) or Metallica ($71,089) is more than enough to cover a pricey special like the Crush Package, which comes with a grab bag of perks and tchotchkes, including souvenir lanyards, autographed lithographs and two front-row seats that you can fold up and take home after the show. The average cost for this VIP treatment is $2,550 per couple; lowend alternatives set you back $450. Bon Jovi sells an average of 600 individual special package tickets per arena show.
Though regular tickets start at $20, these packages push Bon Jovi's average price to $95, about 50% higher than acts like the Dave Matthews Band ($59) and the Black Eyed Peas ($63). Bon Jovi shows have up to 20 different price points, including special packages; on a recent tour AC/DC offered only one.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The next stop for Jon on the Listening tour was in Houston on Monday...
Jon Bon Jovi Listens to Houston's Youth
HOUSTON - Rock superstar Jon Bon Jovi spent the day finding out what Houston's young people hope for their future.
He visited 'SEARCH' which helps homeless youth with a place to stay...
Bon Jovi is part of the President Barack Obama’s Council for Community Solutions.
He's taking part in a "listening tour" in major cities to find out what kids are concerned about.
"The one underlying premise that keeps coming back is information,” Bon Jovi said. They need to know how and who to get help from and then they embrace it.”
Bon Jovi will take the information he's gathered from kids and report back to the White House.
He'll play at Houston’s Toyota Center Tuesday night.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Concert review: Bon Jovi at Amway Center
When it comes to rock ‘n’ roll icons from New Jersey, Jon Bon Jovi obviously isn’t the Boss.
Yet a little of the Bruce Springsteen work ethic was evident in the singer’s generous performance with the band that bears his name on Sunday at Amway Center. Maybe it’s just something in that New Jersey water.
For almost 2-1/2 hours, the band used its loaded six-strings to execute an old-school arena rock showcase. There were some special effects, but the biggest weapon was the guys on stage – and the songs.
“Get up outta your seats!” Bon Jovi commanded after the spirited opener “Lost Highway.” “If you wanna see some magic, get up outta your seats!”
The band made it easy to obey by launching into “You Give Love a Bad Name,” an arena-rock anthem that stands the test of time. It set the tone for a show that rarely stopped to take a breath, much less sit down.
Only Springsteen, and a few others, push toward the three-hour mark in an era when the average flavor-of-the-month heads for the bus after an obligatory 75 minutes.
Bon Jovi approaches its work with too much heart for that.
Yeah, there are cheesy, boiler-plate sentiments at the root of many of these songs, but the hard-charging delivery on Sunday made it work in “We Weren’t Born to Follow,” “Born to Be My Baby” and others.
“I got 20,000 seats in my time machine!” Bon Jovi exclaimed in a very Springsteen-esque way, before launching into his seminal hit “Runaway.”
He might have needed most of them. In addition to a marathon performance, Sunday’s show also featured another rarity: a packed house, including the seats directly behind the massive stage.
One of the band members, of course, didn’t make it.
Richie Sambora isn’t on the tour, after reportedly checking into rehab about a week before the band’s recent set at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. His substitute, session guitarist and ex-Triumph member Phil “Phil X” Xenidis, filled in capably – especially with his frenetic solo in “Bad Medicine.”
Not everything was magic. The ponderous “Work for the Working Man,” for instance, showed that this band is better off leaving the social commentary to others. And a low-energy stretch of ballads, including “Bed of Roses,” lasted too long – unless you were one of the fans next to the runway where the singer performed them on amid the crowd on the floor.
Even some of the rockers – “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” – started to sound the same. Although the lesser songs lacked the killer punch of “Wanted Dead or Alive” or “Livin’ on a Prayer,” there were way more peaks than valleys.
Musically, the band’s core unit – featuring drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan — work together as a high-powered, finely tuned machine. And the newcomer on guitar, Xenidis, found a few other moments to shine, offering inventive melodic leads that helped elevate the slower songs.
Behind the band, the music was embellished by special effects on giant video screens that stretched the length of the stage.
“How are we doing so far, ok?” Bon Jovi asked at several points.
Way better than that, dude. When a band works this hard, it gives arena-rock a good name.