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 @ SPAC 7-22-13

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bon Jovi and Kings of Suburbia partner to have a blast at SPAC



SARATOGA SPRINGS — Rock superstar group Bon Jovi took a break from playing football stadiums and dropped in at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center Monday night with some of the band’s biggest hits, along with a new look and sound throughout the night.

Conspicuously absent from the stage was Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the band in April citing “personal issues,” but in his place, the packed inside seats and capacity lawn patrons were treated to a summertime marriage — something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue(s).

Instead of an opening band that most concert-goers ignore until the headliners come out, Jon Bon Jovi filled the stage with “his friends from New Jersey,” the Kings of Suburbia band, asking the audience to pretend that they are at a big beach party.

The old never disappointed at SPAC as hits like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Born to be my Baby” and “It’s My Life” kept the fans on their feet and their hands in the air with every request from the New Jersey front man.

Including in Monday night’s set were new songs from the band’s latest production, “What About Now,” including “Because We Can,” “What About Now?” and “The Fighter.”

Borrowed for the current tour is guitarist Phil Xenidis, filling in for the absent Sambora, along with the mesmerizing Lorenza Ponce on violin and female backup vocalist.

The blues were nothing but positive as the Kings of Suburbia allowed Jon Bon Jovi to show that his on-stage talent is not limited to looks and lungs. He strutted along during cover renditions of Wilson Picket’s “634 5789” and brought the house down with Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” to close the encore.

Kings of Suburbia, led by guitarist Bobbie Bandiera, opened the evening with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and its four-piece brass section couldn’t have set the bar any higher for the remainder of the show.

Jon Bon Jovi quickly took center stage with the Kings of Suburbia to cover the J. Geils Band “(Ain’t Nothing But A) House Party” before his Bon Jovi bandmates took center stage with “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Born to be my Baby,” along with “It’s My Life.”

The Kings of Suburbia returned for a jaw-dropping cover of the Queen and David Bowie duet “Under Pressure” followed by a Leonard Cohen cover of “I’m Your Man.”  

While all quality songs, the trio quieted the SPAC crowd to the point that their interest began to wane as their focused move to their cell phones rather than the show on stage.

The adrenaline began to pump again with the Kings of Suburbia’s cover of “Pretty Woman” and Jon Bon Jovi returned for its cover of The Box Tops’ “The Letter.”

The headliners returned for “Born to Follow” and “Who Says” that got the crowd jumping, screaming and singing along.

The Kings of Suburbia made their mark on Saratoga Springs with their cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly.” The signature keyboard beginning had fans turning their heads in amazement to what was about to be played in front of them.

With Jon Bon Jovi just supplying guitar back-up, Bandiera amazed the audience with his powerful voice, but it was Ponce who stole the show with her spectacular finish to The Who’s teenage anthem, mesmerizing the audience with her bow earning her an ovation reserved for rock drum solos.

The show continued through a strong finish with “Bad Medicine” before Bon Jovi returned for its rock anthem hits “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Living on a Prayer.”

The Kings of Suburbia returned for Picket’s 634 5789 before the two bands jammed through Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll.”

The combination of Bon Jovi and The Kings of Suburbia didn’t disappoint the capacity crowd at SPAC Monday night and showed that the Superman of New Jersey, Jon Bon Jovi, still has the lungs and looks of a rock superstar but continues to surprise his fans with his appreciation for music old and new.


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Sounds like Saratoga Springs got one hell of a show.   Tonight they're playing at Darien, New York, just a 45 minute drive from my front door.  Too bad I can't go.  After this, I really wish I was able to make it.  Being a grown up sucks sometimes.  *Sigh*

Whomever of you go, I hope you have a rockin' good time.

~ Q

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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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