A Concert Review
I had a lot of opening lines already planned for this Bon Jovi
review. One went something like "Itís been almost five years
since Bon Jovi played in Chicago. Want to know how I know that?
Because I graduated in 1985, blew off my ten year reunion to see
Jovi in í95, and since itís now the year 2000, well, that makes
it five years." Another was simply "Bon Jovi rocks.",
but I already used that one in í95. Yet another was, "It was
good to see they were able to put Jonís head back on after he got
it blown off on a submarine." But from a question posed to me
before the show and after I read a couple of other reviews after the
show, letís start it this way:
Since my photo pass got
messed up, here's a photo of Jon Bon Jovi from five years ago.
He basically looks the same but with shorter hair. DOTR
"Do you still want to see Bon Jovi?" I was asked that
question by the person I was getting tickets from, and I found the
question odd. I thought to myself "Hell yea I still want to see
Bon Jovi. A chance to see the boys from Jersey in a smaller venue
like the House of Blues Ė what kind of question is that?"
But, I politely said "Yes" and it was off to Bon Jovi I
go. The question stuck in my head, at least until I read a couple of
reviews by people who seemingly didnít want to go but had to
because it was their job and proceeded to wail on the band as Ď80s
has-beens. I wondered if they ever liked Bon Jovi, or rock bands in
general, and also wondered if they were asked the same question and
what their reply was. If they said they wanted to see Bon Jovi, from
what I read, Iím guessing they lied.
In any case I was excited, but sadly The Dude on the Left and I
got there a little later than planned so we couldnít get a cool
spot on the main floor. This is an important thing when seeing a
show at the House of Blues in Chicago as will be explained later.
But, we do get some good railing spots towards the back, grab a
couple of drinks, and wait through a nice set by Shelby Lynne in
anticipation of the main event. A screen comes down, the lights go
low, a quick little slide show takes place, and to familiar
high-pitched screams and Richie Sambora kicking up the talk box for
"Liviní On a Prayer", here came an hour and a half show
of sing-a-longs, new stuff, and just plain rock and roll.
With the show only being an hour and a half, the boys of Bon Jovi
had a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time. This show, as
well as a couple of other club dates theyíre doing, are sort of
warm-up shows, preparing for the release of their new CD,
"Crush," as well as a major tour coming in the summer.
With that it was intermingling time Ė hit song here, new song
there, hit song here, new song there, toss in a couple of covers,
send the crowd home wanting more but having to wait for their next
time in town, and this was the show. Hit songs, you know the names,
"You Give Love a Bad Name," "Lay Your Hands on
Me," "Iíll Sleep When Iím Dead," and the like.
New songs, you donít know the names (hell, Iím not totally sure
of the names), but you get the likes of "Itís My Life"
(the first single), "Thank You For Loving Me" (with a
great Richie solo at the end), "Next 100 Years" (with a
way excellent breakdown at the end), and "Just Older" (my
favorite new song so far) to maybe name a few. Covers, usually
intertwined into a "Bad Medicine" or "SleepÖ"
included "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," "Jumpiní Jack
Flash", and "Shout," as well as a fun duet of
"Me and Bobby McGee" with Shelby Lynne helping out.
Basically just a balls out rock and roll show preaching that being
in a band can still be so much damn fun, as evident by Jon running
all over the stage while grinning ear to ear, wiggling a hip to get
the screams, doing a quick crowd-surfing maneuver, and rock-posing
with Richie like a couple of high-schoolers still trying to pick up
Jon did some introducing for most of the new songs, although
these introductions were drowned out because, like I said before, we
werenít in a cool spot on the main floor, but back by the bar area
where the Chatty Cathyís proceeded to gab back and forth during
the stories and during the new songs. I so much wanted to turn
around and yell "Would you shut the fuck up!", but I guess
I have myself to blame for not getting there early enough. Oh well.
Anyway, as the show was rapping up, following a sing-a-long with
Jon sort of doing harmonies while the crowd was singing lead for
"Wanted Dead or Alive", and preaching an "Iím
getting too old for this" after "Shout," but heading
back on stage leading the band back into "Bad Medicine," I
sort of wondered if "Iíll Sleep When Iím Dead" is an
appropriate song for Bon Jovi to play anymore. Me, I used to have
that attitude, but Iíve learned lately that sleep is a priceless
treasure that shouldnít be wasted. Jon's comment hinted at that,
but he came back blazin' to send the people home. Maybe I just
need to be in a band?
In any case, although the show was a little short at an hour and
half, Bon Jovi rocks. Screw those other reviewers, let them go back
to waiting for grunge to make a come back. Not that I donít like
the new stuff, but give me a band that knows how to just play some
kick-ass rock and roll and Iíll be a happy man. Bon Jovi did that,
and Iím a happy man. At least today.
Letís wrap this up. Iím looking forward to the new CD,
looking forward to seeing Bon Jovi again, even at a larger venue,
and hoping that next time my photo pass doesnít get messed up so I
donít have to recycle an old picture. Itís TWO "JUST PLAIN
OL', KICK-ASS, ROCK ĎN ROLL" THUMBS UP for Bon Jovi!!
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!