1 week ago
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Same old bad medicine and leather trousers as Bon Jovi turn up the heat
THEY’RE A relic from the days of hair metal, and they haven’t changed their sound – or their leather trousers – in decades, so what is it about Bon Jovi that keeps the punters coming back for more of that bad medicine? Seems you don’t need giant claws or multiple costume changes to stay on top. You just need some good old-fashioned workingman’s rock’n’roll.
The Bon Jovi juggernaut rolled into town for the first of two nights at the RDS Arena. Last night’s gig was sold out – there are still tickets available for tonight if you want to catch a dose of the band’s past hits such as Livin’ On A Prayer, Bad Medicine, Wanted Dead or Alive and Blaze of Glory.
Bon Jovi may be flogging the same old rock sound since the 1980s, but it’s a formula that still works – at least on the live circuit. The band from New Jersey don’t have much in the way of gimmicks, but they are now the second-biggest pop act in financial terms, just behind U2 and just ahead of Elton John. They haven’t had a hit to equal their 20th century heyday, but that doesn’t matter to the fans – their latest Greatest Hits has notched up another worldwide hit.
As Jon Bon Jovi insists four songs in, his band are “not old – just older”, though they’re still susceptible to the same old pitfalls of the business. In April, guitarist Richie Sambora, still recovering from his breakup with his wife of 16 years, actress Heather Locklear, bowed out of the tour and checked into rehab, temporarily replaced by Canadian guitarist Philip Xenidis. Sambora’s all better now, and at the RDS he showed the form that has made him one of rock’s iconic guitarists. Drummer Tico Torres and keyboard player David Bryan were present and correct, with bassist Hugh McDonald and guitarist Bobby Bandiera completing the line-up.
After a warm-up set by Dublin band The Riptide Movement, joint winners of a competition to be Bon Jovi’s support act, the main band came on in cloudy but mild conditions, and proceeded to whip up their trademark storm. “Two nights and 1,000 songs to get through,” quipped Bon Jovi, wearing a red military-style jacket that made him look like a member of the most kickass salvation band around. You Give Love A Bad Name, Born to Be My Baby, It’s My Life and Blaze of Glory saw him keep his promise to deliver hit after hit. As the crowd raised their arms aloft to the band’s all-American anthems, it became increasingly clear why these guys keep pulling the crowds in. They’re a walking, talking, singing, axe-wielding, gun-slinging slice of the American Dream, evoking a lost era of fast cars, fast women and even faster guitar solos.
Bad Medicine brings an added dose of nostalgia as the band break into a medley that includes Van Morrison’s Gloria , Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away and Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman . “I’m just getting warmed up!” warns Bon Jovi. Over the next couple of hours, the band turns up the heat and blows more than a few clouds away.
He may be unfairly described as the trailer trash Bruce Springsteen – he’s never been a critics’ favourite – but last night Bon Jovi proved he’s still one of rock’s heavyweights, even if he failed – once again – to knock this critic out.
Jon Bon Jovi Talks Tour, Knee Surgery, and Tom Cruise
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi sat down in London with "Extra" special correspondent Laura Whitmore to talk about the band's mega world tour, Richie's return to the stage, his upcoming knee surgery, and Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages."
Bon Jovi has been traveling the world on the band's "Circle" tour since February 2010 -- one of the top-grossing , banking $150 million (grossing more than tours by Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry combined) and playing to over 3.6 million fans! Being at the top was definitely Jon's goal when the band started playing gigs in the early '80s. Jon explains, "Make no bones about it. When I was a kid I wanted to be a Rolling Stone. That's the level you get to in three decades later and you deserve to have those things said about you."
Life on the road has not been without the bands ups and downs. Guitarist Richie Sambora left the tour in late April 2011 to enter a rehab treatment facility, but the band continued with their scheduled dates throughout North American and Europe. Sambora returned in early June and Jon told Whitmore that he's thrilled to have Richie back. "It's always good to have Richie at my side. He's doing great. There's dark clouds in everybody's worlds and he came through them. He's doing well. He's happy, he's healthy and he's focused."
The band has been rocking for over 27 years, and is truly dedicated to their live performance. After crossing the globe and reaching 15 nations, the band has yet to cancel a show on this tour -- and an injury to the front man definitely will not hold them back! Jon suffered a painful knee injury on June 17th while performing in Helsinki Olympic Stadium. "It was raining we were outside. It was nothing that abrupt... it just sort of gave out and tore." Jon tells to Whitmore he'll be undergoing surgery later this week in Dublin, adding, "Fortunately, we have a week off. So the doctor claims I'll be alright for Istanbul 8 days later." Although he'll go on with the show, he's not worried about his knee, joking, "I can't dance anyway, so it's not gonna hurt anybody.'
Tom Cruise and Bon Jovi Are Pals
Another performance Jon is anticipating is Tom Cruise in the movie adaptation of "Rock of Ages." Tom turned to Jon for advice. "He and I actually went out and he was very intense about 'How do you do this?' I said, 'Relax man, you're Tom Cruise, you can learn how to sing a song, don't worry about it!'"
But will the movie star be able to transform to a rock star? Jon definitely thinks Cruise has what it takes. "I'm pleased, I'm curious. But I'm confident that it will be on the "Extra" clip -- Tom Cruise singing 'Wanted Dead or Alive' will be in the trailer -- I'm pretty confident in that." Jon is definitely not worried that Cruise will try to emulate his stage performance or characteristics. "I don't think that he's gonna be worried about duplicating my things -- it'll be an amalgam of stuff. In the meantime, I think it's pretty neat."
Will he go and see the movie? "I don't' know about that. I lived it, I don't need to see the movie. I was there the first time."