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Bon Jovi gives city mid-week treat 20 November 2005
Concert review from the Badger Herald

Source: Badger Herald

Bon Jovi has been riding their steel horse around the globe for more than 20 years. On Wednesday night they parked it at the Kohl Center and showed the audience exactly why they are still the gods of arena rock.

The nearly sold-out show was heavy on the classics. Bon Jovi seems to understand and appreciate that fans aren’t buying concert tickets to hear the songs from their latest album, Have a Nice Day, which, though solid, just can’t compare to their epic successes of the past.

The concert did start off with a new tune, the mostly forgettable “Last Man Standing.” Although these new songs aren’t incredible, they’re catchy enough to keep the audience interested and enthusiastic. It didn’t take long for the band to tear into the classic sing along “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Jon Bon Jovi’s voice is not the powerhouse it used to be, and he can’t belt out power jams like he did back in the day, but he still sounds good. And whatever Jon lacks in singing capabilities, he makes up for with a whole lot of fist pumping, dancing and running back and forth across the stage. This man is the definition of high energy and sells even the lesser-known songs with ease.

The first half of the show featured six songs from Have a Nice Day. The best of these was the album’s title track, a feel good, although formulaic, jam that sounds like an updated version of “It’s My Life.” Although the new stuff wasn’t the highlight of the show, Jon Bon Jovi could sing the ABCs and still be wildly entertaining.

The band interspersed their new songs with essentials like “Runaway,” “Sleep When I’m Dead” and “Born to Be My Baby,” which is absolutely one of Bon Jovi’s most perfect live songs. They really broke out the heavy hitters with a mid-show acoustic section that set thousands of lighters ablaze. Jon Bon Jovi and guitar virtuoso Richie Sambora shared the mic for a stunning rendition of the band’s classic ballad of love and loss, “Always.” This song is rarely done in concert, which made hearing it all the more special for everyone who awkwardly slow-danced to it at middle school dances.


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