30 July 2010

Bon Jovi: Live in Louisville (Hullabalou Festival)

(Facebook Readers: Go here to read this and properly see all of the videos)

I went to see the band (again - second show in 4 months) in Louisville last Friday night at the first-ever Hullabalou Festival at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. After waffling on buying tickets for the longest time, I decided to go since it was only 80 minutes or so from my home (and I usually see them in Nashville - 3.5 hours away). One of my worries was that, since this was a festival, the band would play a strictly 'hits' show and I wouldn't get anything rare or anything I hadn't heard three times before live.

I've seen them three times before, all in Nashville (Sept. 1995, April 2008 and April 2010). The 1995 was epic (at least in my memories). I was disappointed by the 2008 show a little bit (lower bowl about half-way back in the arena) and, somewhat, by the 2010 show (where my upper-deck section sat down for about half of the show).

All that being said, last Friday night in Louisville was the best show I've seen since 1995 even though I heard nothing but hits and they opened with bleeding "Lost Highway" (not a terrible song, but one I could definitely live without hearing live - but especially not as an opener).

I made an effort about 10 days before the show to not listen to any Bon Jovi music and I made sure not to read any set lists.

Doing that brought me more surprises in that I didn't have the set list memorized and I enjoyed the actual MUSIC more after "fasting" for a week or so. Even though the set, on paper, looks "boring," to many hardcore Bon Jovi fans, it was great fun. The crowd ate it up and the band, from my point of view next to the sound tent, seemed to be having a lot of fun. Richie's playing was spot on and Jon sounded great, even though they both had sweat literally pouring off of them (it was very, very hot out there). Only Tico seemed to be suffering (he had a pained expression on his face quite a bit) but I can see why.

This show re-affirmed my love for the band and what they are capable of live. My wife, who does not like Bon Jovi in the least, even had a great time and sang along quite a bit (something she didn't do when I dragged her along in 2008). THAT is saying something about Jon's and the band's ability to put on a killer live show (even at 50 years old).

Below are some YouTube videos (from my camera). We had great seats - more or less in the middle (though we were behind a post on the Churchill Downs racetrack) and right next to the sound tent so we had the best sound of anyone.

Intro & Lost Highway (Partial)

Born To Be My Baby (Partial)

Someday I'll Be Saturday Night (Partial)

I'll Be There For You (Partial)

Wanted Dead Or Alive (with Dierks Bentley) (Partial)

Lost Highway
We Weren't Born to Follow
You Give Love a Bad Name
Born to Be My Baby
Superman Tonight
It's My Life
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
We Got It Going On
Someday I'll Be Saturday Night
Bad Medicine (with "Oh, Pretty Woman" & "Shout" medley)
Lay Your Hands On Me (Richie Sambora on Lead Vox)
(You Want To) Make a Memory
I'll Be There For You
Have a Nice Day
Who Says You Can't Go Home
Keep the Faith

Wanted Dead or Alive (w/Dierks Bentley)
Livin' on a Prayer

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