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Bon Jovi

Date: 7/9/10
Venue: Giants Stadium, New Jersey
Reviewed by: Kevin Alba

Who says you can’t go home? is actually an excellent question and one I was pondering somewhere between ‘When We Were Beautiful’ and ‘Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen from Mars’, but I decided to keep the faith and go get a beer instead. You may be asking, "What were you doing at Bon Jovi to begin with if you aren’t happy with what they are playing?"

Look, I went to this concert knowing this is not the same Bon Jovi from the 80s, but earlier this year when "The Circle" world tour kicked off, after 20 years of neglect, songs like ‘Shot Through The Heart’, ‘Roulette’, ‘Get Ready’, ‘Tokyo Road’ and ‘Only Lonely’ started to resurface in the setlist. When I heard these were getting attention again, and saw footage on You Tube, I figured I might have to go see more than one show because those first two albums, "Bon Jovi" and "7800 Degrees Fahrenheit", are among my favorites of all time. Sadly, only a couple weeks into the tour they began dropping these tunes and I believe on occasion ‘Only Lonely’ has resurfaced. It is unclear if the band was not happy playing these older harder rockin songs (from the You Tube footage Richie looked thrilled to and his guitar work was on fire) or the fact that their audience (the people who took the path to mediocrity at the "Crossroads" following "Keep The Faith") had no clue. The people we can thank for derailing Jovi’s initial hard rock sound to a less guitar driven direction. Whatever the case may be, the band should play these older songs every so often because there are people (like myself) who love them.

Something else possibly to look forward to was also deeper cuts from "Slippery When Wet", "New Jersey" and "Keep The Faith" such as ‘I’d Die For You’, ‘Let It Rock’, ‘Never Say Goodbye’, ‘Homebound Train’, ‘Wild Is The Wind’ and ‘Dry County’ which made their way into the set in other parts of the country.

With all that said...I had a glimmer of hope (but not holding my breath) that on the band’s final of four shows in New Jersey they may play one of those pre "Slippery" songs, especially since the video for ‘In and Out of Love’ was shot in Seaside Heights on the boardwalk. Did I get anything…of course not. I was just peein in the wind.

Well let’s get into the show...shall we. The band came out with a hard rockin energetic version of ‘Raise Your Hands’ which was great, Jon’s voice was on point and Richie was playing like it was 1986 all over again even using his whammy bar which I thought was an excellent sign of things to come? No. ‘We Weren’t Born to Follow’ followed and while not a huge fan, its expected as they are out promoting a new album. ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ is a given, tonight sounding a little harder than it has in recent years with Richie’s guitar turned up. ‘Born to Be My Baby’ is a solid tune and always a good up-beat rocker to hear. After four songs into the set list…the downward spiral began and sadly things did not pick up. ‘We Got It Goin’ On’, ‘Love’s The Only Rule’, ‘Open All Night’ and ‘Work For The Working Man’(corny title) are complacent snoozers. And why is the no-name backing second guitarist (who is really useless) playing the solo to ‘In These Arms’?

‘I’ll Be There for You’ is a good ballad but ‘Never Say Goodbye’, ‘Silent Night’ or ‘Living In Sin’ would have been nice for a change. This new "church service" version (with stain glass windows on the screen behind the drums) of ‘Lay Your Hands on Me’ with Sambora on vocals, was like letting the air out of a car tire; devoid of energy, gone is the opening build with those heavy riffs, nothing like the album version aside from the chorus, and again another reminder that since "Keep The Faith" Jon wants the band to show its age. Aside from the songs mentioned above, ‘Bad Medicine’, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ in the encore, nothing else from the 80’s was included tonight.

I was looking forward to a hard rocking concert with some of their middle aged contemporary stuff thrown in, but got the complete opposite. And three cover songs? Why? The jam with Kid Rock on ‘Old Time Rock n Roll’ was just fine and enough, but on top of it ‘Squeeze Box’ and ‘Glad All Over’? Boring! To sum it up…Bon Jovi’s audience is, and has been for years, mostly soccer moms, beer-belly dads, and their kids. Those of us who are fans of the first four albums have been left in the dust.

I have officially lost interest in seeing Bon Jovi live again and going forward will rely on the first five albums for when I want to hear some excellent hard rock music. The last album I can listen to from start to finish is "Keep the Faith", and I could probably make one solid mix CD of songs from "These Days" up through "The Circle". I was so unhappy leaving the show that the first thing I reached for once back in my car was Sodom’s "Agent Orange" for some classic pounding German thrash metal! LOL.


Bon Jovi Setlist
Raise Your Hands
We Weren’t Born To Follow
You Give Love A Bad Name
Born To Be My Baby
Superman Tonight
In These Arms
When We Were Beautiful
Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
We Got It Goin’ On
Bad Medicine/Old Time Rock n Roll w/ Kid Rock/Bad Medicine
Love’s The Only Rule
Lay Your Hands On Me
Open All Night
I’ll Be There For You
Squeeze Box (The Who cover)
Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
Have A Nice Day
Work For The Working Man
It’s My Life
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Keep The Faith
Wanted Dead or Alive
I Love This Town
Glad All Over (Dave Clark Five cover)
Livin’ On A Prayer

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