Friday, July 19, 2013
Bon Jovi thanks Detroit for 30 years of excitement, gives fans at Ford Field plenty on innovative stage
DETROIT, MI - There was no better time in Detroit than Thursday night at Ford Field to hear some Bon Jovi.
Classic like "Livin' on a Prayer," "Bad Medicine" and "Keep the Faith" seemed fitting on the day this city made history by becoming the largest American municipality to pursue bankruptcy.
Less than three hours after news of Detroit's headline-grabbing financial mess swirled across the country, a sold out crowd of at least 50,000 downtown appeared eager to be sent back in time to better days.
"I want thank you for 30 years," yelled the 51-year-old energizer, who started his career in 1983. "... and your patience."
John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.,definitely provided plenty of nostalgia, and also state-of-the-art stage spectacle with a larger-than-life classic 1959 Buick Electra for fans that needed 8,500 amps to power lights, audio, video and motion control.
The first half the show seemed a bit echoey and dull, but that didn't appear to be Bon Jovi's fault.
It just seemed to take a while for the crowd of what appeared to be mostly 40 and 50-somethings to get going and pay attention.
By the time Bon Jovi delivered "Runaway," at about 10:15 p.m., he got most to stand on their feet.
Then he ripped through several more hits like "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" and the encore song "Wanted Dead or Alive," before ending with "Living on a Prayer."
"Let's pretend Ford Field ain't nothing but a big ol' bar," he screamed before a third round of the "Bad Medicine" chorus started up, part of a 22-song setlist.
It made sense that Bon Jovi's show at Ford Field got better with time.
He's still so good as a grown man these days - one that looks better than most of those half his age - that there's plenty to give in the future.
When Bon Jovi simply yelled "Yeah!," the same way he did on all those songs back in the 80s, I couldn't help but recall how geeked I was to buy "Slippery When Wet" via cassette tape in 1986 (I was a second grader at the time) at the Meridian Mall in Okemos, Mich. - with my own money.
It was one of my first music purchases, and when I hear the songs on that album, especially "Raise Your Hands," it takes me back to the fun era of rock I grew up with.
"That's what I'm talking about," Bon Jovi yelled during "Keep the Faith. "You gotta keep the faith, baby!"
Detroit certainly does at a time like this, and it sure was nice to be reminded by a master.
A look at the entire Bon Jovi setlist for the show (in order):
That's What the Water Made Me
You Give Love a Bad Name
Raise Your Hands
Born to Be My Baby
It's My Life
Because We Can
What About Now
We Got It Goin' On
Keep the Faith
(You Want to) Make a Memory
Bed of Roses
Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
We Weren't Born to Follow
Who Says You Can't Go Home
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (with cover of Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing in the Street")
Bad Medicine (with cover of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman")
Wanted Dead or Alive
Someday I'll Be Saturday Night
Have a Nice Day
Livin' on a Prayer