miércoles, 19 de mayo de 2010

Bon Jovi fills the bill Arena-rock pros give devoted fans a solid, stunning serving of hits

By Jeff Miers news pop music critic 1/21/2006

Jon Bon Jovi sings to the 20,000 faithful who converged on HSBC Arena to hear a leader in arena rock. Another photo on Page C10.

Bon Jovi played before some 20,000 people inside HSBC Arena Friday, on the eve of a four-night, sold-out booking in Toronto. There were no real surprises. Just plenty of fist-pumping, arena-pop anthems, and a mother lode of face time with singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora, his musical partner and on-stage foil for the past 23 years.

In 2005, Bon Jovi topped the 100-million-albums-sold plateau. Based on Friday's show, this band is just getting started.

Opening with his personal manifesto, "Last Man Standing," Jon Bon Jovi - emerging, a la U2's Bono (and Kiss' Paul Stanley) on a satellite stage to the rear of the arena - coaxed Beatlemania-level squeals from the capacity crowd, and proceeded to work the fans like a consummate professional from that point forward.

The hits came fast and furious, reminding us that this is a seasoned act capable of summoning arena-rock rapture systematically. Bon Jovi the band knows how to work a crowd old-school, like it used to do it in the '80s, and play energetically, play well, be a well-oiled machine and give the people what they want.

What they wanted was clearly "You Give Love a Bad Name," which came second, and featured an earsplitting sing-along, all laid at the feet of the buff and beaming Jon. Keep in mind that, for the faithful, this band can do no wrong.

Songs may sound similar, even formulaic. Bon Jovi plays three types of songs: pop-metal, rock-candy ravers; earnest, folk-pop, pseudo-Springsteen roots-rockers; and blatantly melodramatic power-ballads - all of which Jon sings with both commitment and refinement, and striking a nerve with the fans.

Bobby Bandiera, of Southside Johnny and the Jukes, played auxiliary guitar and sang harmony, and his presence made this more of a New Jersey affair. In essence, Bon Jovi songs are Jersey pop, barroom sing-alongs with pristine, catchy choruses, a touch of hard-rock muscle courtesy of the band's uber-tight rhythm section (drummer Tico Torres is the definition of solid) and a hint of Aerosmith-esque grit by way of Sambora's bluesy solos.

Bon Jovi gave Buffalo a stunning show. This is not deep music, nor is it intended to be. It's escapism, pure and simple, and Bon Jovi is a band well-equipped to make you forget yourself for a little while.

e-mail: jmiers@buffnews.com
Bon Jovi!
Posted by: Robyn Young, Reporter Created: 1/20/2006 10:54:26 PM Updated: 1/20/2006 11:22:28 PM

The 1980's "hair-metal" band Bon Jovi performed in Buffalo's HSBC Arena Friday night. Fans of all ages, including children of the band's first fans, came to see the sold-out show.

Guitarist Richie Sambora recalled an early gig in Buffalo. "It was some ridiculous amount of snow, like 14 feet or something like that, and there was like 10 people in the club," Sambora said.

How times have changed.

The band released its latest album, "Have A Nice Day," in September, and has enjoyed success for 23 years. Now just at the beginning of this tour, they are headed for arenas in Europe, Japan, and Australia as well as the United States.

"If you want to have the staying power like we have for 20 years, you have to embrace the craft of song writing," Sambora said, "and you have to be a businessman, because it's tough to stay out there."

It was a huge night for Buffalo band Last Conservative, which opened for Bon Jovi.

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