miércoles, 21 de julio de 2010

Rogers Centre, Toronto - July 20, 2010.


The Circle remained unbroken on Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre.

New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played the first of two back-to-back shows of their so-called Circle Tour in front of 42,000 fans at the stadium, despite frontman Jon Bon Jovi’s torn calf muscle injury sustained during a July 9 concert in his home state. He has played a handful of shows, mostly in Canada, since he was injured.

And while it was lead guitarist Richie Sambora who first appeared under the spotlight during the intro to the opening song, Blood On Blood, from the band’s huge late ‘80s album, New Jersey, it was the entrance of Bon Jovi that really got the crowd going.

“It’s a long way from the El Mocambo to Rogers Centre, I’ll tell you that,” said Bon Jovi, staring the at the huge audience.

“Don’t mind me, I’m just taking it all in,” he added later as the show wound down.

Give the 48-year-old performer credit as there was a lot of ground to cover - literally.


Joined by keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres and two other touring musicians, the group played on an enormous stage, dominated by a semi-circular video screen and catwalk, and two rectangular video screens on either side.

Not that Bon Jovi, who was spelled at one point by Sambora who took over on lead vocals during Lay Your Hands On Me, did much walking for much of the two-and-a-half hour show

The second song was We Weren’t Born To Follow, the first single from their 2010 album, The Circle. But it was the older hit, You Give Love A Bad Name, that struck a major chord with the fans, who happily sang along.

“This ain’t television baby, get up out of your seats!” screamed Bon Jovi as the song began. “Show me what you got!”

Among the standouts from the group’s 27-year back catalogue were the anthemic Bad Medicine, Have A Nice Day, Who Says You Can’t Go Home, Keep The Faith, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Livin’ On A Prayer (which included fan generated videos to the song), a cover of Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock N’ Roll (featuring opener Kid Rock) and the ballad Always.

“If you can’t have fun doing this, you’re a dead man,” said Bon Jovi before he broke into the Seger cover.

But there were far too many misses, such as during I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, We Got It Goin’ On, Something For The Pain and In These Arms.

When Sambora later joined Bon Jovi at the front of the catwalk for I’ll Be There For You and Bryan and Torres completed the lineup for Something For The Pain and Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night, it was all pretty snoozy.

If I were them, I’d edit out some of the ballads from the set list and leave the crowd wanting more.

Otherwise, Kid Rock’s hour-long opening set gave Bon Jovi a real run for their money. He kicked it off strongly with the trio of Rock N Roll Jesus, You Never Met A Motherf----- Quite Like Me, and All Summer Long.

“All the music you’re hearing on stage tonight is live,” said the the 39-year-old Detroit country-blues-hip-hop-southern-influenced rocker. “This ain’t no Britney Spears b------- and all that. This is not some American Idol b-------. This is some American badass s---.”

Helping out was his 10-piece Twisted Brown Trucker Band as Rock’s never-ending tour in support of his last studio album, 2007’s Rock N Roll Jesus, shows no sign of ending. (His next record, Born Free, produced by Rick Rubin, is expected soon).

Rock owned Bon Jovi’s massive stage, walking along the circular catwalk and hi-fiving fans like he was the headliner, and even took to the piano to belt out Sly and The Family Stone’s Everyday People.

But it was his own Cowboy, which saw him put on a cowboy hat and strut the catwalk again that really ignited the audience, along with the country-fuelled ballad, Picture, which saw his female backup singer Shannon Curfman take over Sheryl Crow’s part of the duet as Rock inserted the lyric, “Wish I had a Toronto woman to miss me.”

He also played the turntables while smoking a cigar and drinking a shot of liquor, strapped on an electric guitar, and took over on drums for a cover of Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever.

“Whoooooo! You know what that is right? It’s the redneck mating call,” he joked, before stripping off his shirt, amid fire bursts and fireworks during his final two songs, So Hott and Batwitdaba.

Bon Jovi set list

Blood on Blood
We Weren’t Born to Follow
You Give Love a Bad Name
Born to Be My Baby
Lost Highway
Runaway
It’s My Life
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
We Got It Goin’ On
Bad Medicine/ Old Time Rock n’ Roll featuring Kid Rock/Shout
Love’s The Only Rule
Lay Your Hands on Me
Bed of Roses
I’ll Be There For You
Something For The Pain
Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
In These Arms
Work for the Working Man
Have a Nice Day
Who Says You Can’t Go Home

Encore

Always
Wanted Dead or Alive
Livin’ on a Prayer

- - -

Bon Jovi
Rogers Centre
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
jam.canoe.ca

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