24 April 2010

Bon Jovi: Nashville 2010

Wednesday night, I went with my brother and an old friend of mine (Jeremy and his wife and son) to my third Bon Jovi concert in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena (even though my ticket said Sommet Center - I guess it changed names in between buying my tickets and the show date). I saw the band in 1995 on the These Days tour at Starwood Amphitheater and on the Lost Highway tour at the Sommet Center. Here are a few thoughts and pictures from Section 309 (way up top).

- After having played several gigs as a band, I more appreciate the role and job of Jon Bon Jovi. Here is a front man who knows what his audience wants and delivers it more or less night after night for 30 years. That is impressive, I don't care what you think about their music. Keep a crowd "into it" for more than 2 hours is a VERY VERY VERY hard job and he pulls it off.
- The average age of these shows are now in their late 30s and early 40s (there were a few younger types, but not nearly as many as the older folks).
- "Love's The Only Rule" is the best song off of their new album "The Circle." Unfortunately, that's one everyone wanted to sit down on. I guess if I want to stand from now on, I need to sit in floor seats. I hate being asked to sit down during a song I like but, because I'm a nice guy, I sat down.
- That being said, it's amazing to me how much the concert-going experience has changed in the last 15 years. I don't know if it's our short-attention-span culture or the lack of real appreciation for a full song anymore, but it's definitely a more "you have to entertain me with EXACTLY what I want RIGHT NOW kind of experience. Holding an audience's attention is a task that very few can pull off these days.
- There were definitely two different crowds at this show, one really loves the band and the other came to drink and go to the bathroom all night.
- Richie Sambora's playing seemed to be on fire at the show. I watched them on several TV shows when the album first came out and he was flubbing up constantly it seemed. His solo on "Lay Your Hands On Me" was awesome.
-They opened with one of my favorite songs of theirs, 1988's "Blood On Blood." Awesome. I was very happy!
- "Livin' On a Prayer" is good every single time. The crowd almost always responds to it.
- Another one of my favorites "Wanted Dead Or Alive" was played with what seemed to be little enthusiasm but the guitar solo saved it. Sambora nailed it again.
- I was struck by how much of a two-man show this was (even though Tico Torres, the drummer, really holds it all together). There were four guys on the back line with Sambora and Bon Jovi being up front. It's very much a Jagger-Richards scenario these days.
- "I'll Be There For You" is a great piece of song-writing.
- "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" took on a more inspirational tone in its acoustic format Wednesday. It's really an uplifting song to me.
- It's amazing to me how "Bad Medicine" can still get a crowd to go bananas.
- I bought a t-shirt for $40. Somebody should really smack me. ;-)
- I complain about ticket prices and I know they are making a lot of dough on this tour but their production cost something like $2 million. It showed. Outstanding production and video work. I just hate that big fans like me and my friend have to sit up top with people who could seem to care less much of the time. That's life (and our income bracket), I guess. Not always fair.


Anonymous said...

You know I never thought of it that way. But I have to agree. I have been a fan for 27 years. I had decent seats at the last concert, but I was sitting next to people who liked Bon Jovi, but didn't own a single album. I love this band, and I think they put on one of the best live shows ever. I really wish I could afford better seats.

Anonymous said...

I love your comment about Tico holding it all together. So true! He is in the background, but I think he likes it that way.

I have sat 6th row floor, to decent seats on the side, to the rafters, to the absolute farthest seat from the stage, and it is always a great show for me. But I stand the whole time no matter what everyone around me is doing. It's their loss for sitting. I get my money's worth of "standing in place dancing" (and swaying for slow songs).

Glad you got to see them. They rock!