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, Scottrade Center, St. Louis 2/19/17

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bon Jovi doesn't miss a beat at packed Scottrade Center show

Listening to Jon Bon Jovi speak from the Scottrade Center stage Sunday night, it seemed a near miracle the band was even here on its current “This House is Not For Sale” tour.

Midway through the two-hour concert, the singer spoke about the turbulent times the band has gone through the past few years. “We’ve gone through a lot, and we came out on the other side,” he said before new album cuts “God Bless This Mess” and “Scars on This Guitar.”

“This record is about rising from the ashes, coming back bigger and better.”

Though he wasn't specific and no names were mentioned, it was pretty obvious Jon Bon Jovi was, at least in part, talking about the departure of longtime star guitarist Richie Sambora, who isn’t on the new album or tour. Though Sambora’s contributions to the band helped make Bon Jovi what it is, the show must go on.

It turns out Bon Jovi is doing fine minus Sambora, judging by the chart-topping success of “This House is Not for Sale” and the packed audiences. Attendance in St. Louis was 17,500.

Bon Jovi’s not missing a beat; it's still Bon Jovi as you know it.

On a simple, open set that eschewed anything in the way of bells and whistles (no LED screens, no elaborate moving parts, etc.), with fans seated behind the stage so the band had fans at every angle, Bon Jovi delivered upon its brand of roaring arena rock, love it or hate it.

You know what you’re getting with Bon Jovi. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but it’s the uncomplicated feel of it all that’s so appealing, even to this day.

The band, with drummer Tico Torres, keyboardist David Bryan, guitarist Phil X and bassist Hugh McDonald, opened with a pair of new songs, always a risky decision for a veteran band in front of a packed crowd looking for the classics, though the risk paid off with the title track followed by “Knockout.”

There was little it seemed the band could do wrong by this enthusiastic crowd, who hadn’t seen Bon Jovi in concert since 2013. “It’s good to be back. It’s been a little while. I can’t think of a better way to spend an extended weekend,” Jon Bon Jovi said, referring to President’s Day weekend.

They were Living on a Prayer Sunday night at Scottrade Center as Bon Jovi brought its tour to St. Louis. See action from the stage and faces from the crowd.

“You Give Love a Bad Name” really got the juices flowing, as it would, and the band was generous with both the classics and “This House is Not for Sale” songs, clearly an album the band stands strongly behind. Jon Bon Jovi promised a lot of stories about the new record, not necessarily what anyone wants promised to them, though those breaks didn’t slow down the show’s speedy momentum.

At one point, he even promised he only had one more story to tell and the rest of the night would be hits, hits and hits, which included “Bad Medicine,” “Keep the Faith” and “Raise Your Hands,” as well as “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” “We Got It Goin’ On,” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “It’s My Life.” The band came off energetic and excited throughout the evening and gave the old and new songs the same vibrancy, and the singer remained frisky throughout.

Jon Bon Jovi shouted out St. Louis radio stations 102.5 KEZK and KSHE 95 for their support and actually seemed amazed the band’s music still does as well as it does as he introduced the latest single, “Roller Coaster,” a good fit amid the band’s repertoire.

“Are there any cowboys out there?” Jon Bon Jovi asked, which could only signal one thing, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” That, coupled with final song “Livin’ On a Prayer,” was pretty much all fans needed to go home feeling complete.

Opening for the mega rock band was a St. Louis band, the Former Me, who won the coveted slot with a video audition on Bon Jovi’s Facebook page with its song “Crawl.” Though the Former Me’s pop-punk sound is far from Bon Jovi’s, the band stayed true to form and was well-received. Jon Bon Jovi came to the band’s dressing room and offered a personal congratulations Sunday night, according to the band’s Facebook page.

The Former Me’s new EP “I Know This Gets Better” is scheduled for release in May.

Set List:

This House is Not For Sale
You Give Love A Bad Name
Lost Highway
Whole Lot of Leavin'
Roller Coaster
Work for the Working Man
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
We Got it Goin' On
Who Says You Can't Go Home
It's My Life
We Don't Run
God Bless This Mess
Scars on This Guitar
The Devil's in the Temple
Lay Your Hands on Me
Born to Be My Baby
Have a Nice Day
Bad Medicine
Keep the Faith

Raise  Your Hands
Because We can
Wanted Dead or Alive
Livin' on a Prayer



Review: Bon Jovi, Nashville, TN 2/18/17

Bon Jovi brings hits, sets attendance record 
at Bridgestone Arena

Thirty-three years after Bon Jovi released its self-titled debut album, the New Jersey rockers set the attendance record Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Exactly 18,514 fans filled the seats, which wrapped all the way around the stage, for the band’s two-and-a-half hour set.

With more than three decades of hits and showmanship under his belt, Jon Bon Jovi not only has the confidence to pack the marathon set with music from the band’s new album “This House is Not For Sale,” he also has the skills to carry the show sans the stage-to-scaffolding viewing screens that are commonplace at most arena shows. (Screens were suspended eye-level with the upper bowl of seats.)

At 54 years old, Jon Bon Jovi is a charismatic dynamo who knows how to work every movement for maximum impact. During “Lay Your Hands on Me” and “Livin’ on a Prayer” the singer was reminiscent of a choir director leading a chorus of 18,000 people as they screamed the lyrics to the group’s biggest hits. Other times he spoke in earnest, setting up songs from the new album. While introducing the album’s namesake “This House is Not for Sale,” Jon Bon Jovi explained how the album’s cover — a two-story house with thick tree roots sinking into the ground — was a metaphor for Bon Jovi.

“You know that story where every picture tells a story?” Jon Bon Jovi said. “Well, this one told ours. As soon as I saw it … all the writing came into focus. The title came to me, ‘This House is Not for Sale’ because it was a big stone house with deep roots, a lot of history and a house that was in disarray, but I embraced it. We spoke of our integrity.’”

The title track is one of six songs from the group’s new album incorporated into the 24-song set list. Other highlights included the band’s new single “Roller Coaster,” about which the singer quipped, “I dare say it’s a hit.” He said “Devil’s in the Temple” was written in Nashville and was inspired by his trip through hell with his long-time record company.

“For a while it didn’t matter how loyal you were, it was about the record business,” Jon Bon Jovi said, putting the emphasis on business.

Following that song, the singer promised a night of hits – and he delivered. Earlier in the show, he sprinkled in staples including “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” and “It’s My Life.” But the last nine songs – fans knew every word. “Born to Be My Baby,” “Have a Nice Day,” “Bad Medicine,” “Keep the Faith,” the band pummeled the eager crowd with every sing-along favorite for which it had been waiting.

The four-song encore kicked off with the late ’80s “Blood on Blood,” skipped forward a couple of decades to land on “Because We Can,” then whipped the audience into a fist-pumping, lighter-waving frenzy with “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Yes, there were lighters. There was also head-banging, mullets, heavy eye-liner and blue eye shadow. Someone might even have had a can of Aqua Net. But there was also a finely-honed, record-setting rock band that proved its music, just like its singer, is ageless.



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