Friday, May 18, 2012
The Bon Jovi effect
New Jersey megaband making history at Bamboozle
Bon Jovi headlining the Bamboozle on the beach in Asbury Park.
Folks, it’s not just another show.
“It’s going to be the ultimate Bon Jovi experience,” said Bon Jovi fan Denise Balestracci, 51, of Colonia. “It’s literally on the boardwalk. It’s so Jersey .”
Bon Jovi — Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres plus touring members Bobby Bandiera and Hugh McDonald — are set to close this year’s edition of the Bamboozle festival, which moved back to Asbury Park after a several year absence, on Sunday evening. The stage, located on the north end of the boardwalk, will span the boardwalk and the beach.
“Bon Jovi is an iconic New Jersey performer so it made a lot of sense to have him come play for us this year,’ said Christian McKnight, talent buyer for Live Nation who has worked on Bamboozle since its inception.
If you’re wondering why Bon Jovi is playing the Bamboozle, well, the festival has moved away from the pop-punk it built its name on in the mid ’00s. The fest has featured former Bon Jovi contemporaries like Bret Michaels of Poison and Motely Crue in the past.
“What happened is when the festival grew and got bigger, the kind of people who would come to the festival changed — it wasn’t just emo kids or pop-punk kids, it became all facets of life,” McKnight said. “We wanted to give kids a chance to see a band they wouldn’t normally see ... a fan of Linkin Park wouldn’t normally see a Bret Michaels or MC Hammer, that’s kind of been the purpose of the Bamboozle, it’s always unexpected — you never know what you’re going to see.”
Yet, a Bon Jovi show on the boardwalk makes sense in a way. The staging evokes memories of the city’s WNEW radio station concerts, formerly held next to the casino through the late ’80s and early ’90s. In 1985, Bon Jovi filmed the video for the song “In and Out of Love” on another Jersey boardwalk — the one in Seaside Heights.
Sunday’s show takes place, of course, in Asbury Park, where Jon Bon Jovi and his bandmates from Bon Jovi and pre-Bon Jovi bands bands like the Atlantic City Expressway, or ACE, played gigs at the Stone Pony and Fast Lane. The guys are from towns just north of the city: Sayreville, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy and Edison.
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For ticket information, go here.