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Bon Jovi mixes old, new, treats 'em right in D.M. 4 November 2005
Des Moines show review

Source: The Des Moines Register

Strip away the flashy trappings of an arena rock show, provide the rock god nothing but an acoustic guitar and a microphone, and still he should be able to captivate the audience.

Jon Bon Jovi accomplished that Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena, the first night of his band's "Have a Nice Day" world tour. He strummed and sang a solo version of "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" about midway through an 18-song set (before two encores).

That solo turn hit pay dirt after an inconsistent early set by the full band that was steeped in new songs. Of course, some meandering was to be expected on the opening night of such a gargantuan production.

Perhaps this will be the last time you'll have to read these words before the state wrestling tournament in February: Wednesday night's throng of more than 15,500 was the largest crowd so far to visit Des Moines' new arena, edging out last week's sold-out show by Sir Paul McCartney.

The sing-along to "Livin' on a Prayer" that capped Wednesday's main set basically was a time warp. But there also were departures from the nostalgic agenda: "The Radio Saved My Life Tonight" was a pleasant rarity from the band's box set.

The true highlight was the second, extra encore of Roy Head's 1965 classic, "Treat Her Right," which featured Jon hip-swiveling on stage like Elvis.


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