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Review: Bon Jovi Rocks South Korea

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


20 years on, Bon Jovi rocks Korean fans again



Age is truly an issue of mind over matter for U.S. rock band Bon Jovi.


Front man Jon Bon Jovi's hair might have gone from long and blonde to thick, short and silver over the 20 years since he last appeared in Korea, but his explosive energy and scintillating smile remained untouched, and all the members of the band seemed genuinely glad to see their fans here for the first time in two decades.

The "Bugs Super Sound Live ― Bon Jovi Live in Seoul" concert at the Jamsil Sports Complex Tuesday was a part of the band's 2015 promotional tour for their latest album "Burning Bridges," released on Aug. 21. Though the band was coming off an intense gig in Singapore four days before, they had no trouble turning the concert venue into a rock festival of sorts, complete with beer kegs, a euphoric crowd and raging music by one of the world's best-selling rock bands.

The 23-song set Bon Jovi handed out was a patchwork of now and then.



The band opened with "That's What the Water Made Me," off their 12th studio album "What About Now," and followed with hits including "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Born to Be My Baby," "Raise Your Hands" and "Runaway." Next up was a piece from their newest album, "We Don't Run," which came before a restrained version of "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night," featuring Jon Bon Jovi in a snug, black shirt and leather pants, center stage with just his guitar.

Though the lead vocalist, now 53, broke on some of his higher notes, he squeezed out as much as he could and worked the stage with ease and force, to which the audience responded with heightened enthusiasm.

The concert peaked with the band's smash hit "It's My Life," before closing with "Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars," "Keep the Faith" and "Bad Medicine."

"His voice wasn't in the best of condition, but that doesn't matter to fans," said Joo Seung-woo, 34. "It was the best concert I've been to in years."

Some 14,000 fans of all ages were in attendance. During "Wanted Dead or Alive," Jon Bon Jovi stopped singing to let the audience take over. Then, during "Keep the Faith," he jumped into the stands to take a banner from a fan that had the song's title scribbled on it, and waved it at the crowd. Fans roared even louder and the band repeatedly thanked them for coming out.

As the show appeared to draw to a close, Bon Jovi had three encores ready, but when the audience wouldn't let the band go, it returned for four more. The final number, "Always," was a pleasant surprise, being a song the band doesn't often perform live.

The band didn't say much throughout the 150-minute long rock rumble, but the intensity with which it took to its performances and the smile that never left Jon Bon Jovi's face were enough to move fans.

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in New Jersey in 1983. Its members consist of namesake Jon Bon Jovi, pianist and keyboard player David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. Phil X filled in for guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the band in 2013. The band has released 12 studio albums, two compilations and two live albums, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and performed more than 2,700 concerts in more than 50 countries.


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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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