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on Jovi Rocks Arena With Same Verve Of '80s 28 November 2005
Mohegan Sun Arena review

Source: The Day

Mohegan -- This must be why God created arena rock: so Bon Jovi could play it.

The guys from Jersey gave a dynamic two-and-a-half-hour concert Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena. It was, in a word, exhilarating. The sold-out crowd was ardent (more about fans' manhandling of the lead singer later) and was swept up in fist-pumping, chorus-singing fervor.

It's no wonder why. Bon Jovi has what makes arena rock flare: anthemic songs and reach-the-back-row performance savvy. The lyrics lean toward the thunder of self-empowerment and the howl of the everyman version of carpe diem (“It's my life ... I just want to live while I'm alive”). In other words, it's perfect stuff for fans to sing along to, which they did, enthusiastically.

The Bon Jovi band members looked as though they were having as much of a blast onstage as the fans were off. We've all been to concerts by performers who are just singing their greatest hits because the fans expect it; they do a workmanlike job and are killing time until they can move on to their new songs. Not these guys.

Twenty-two years into their career, and the Bon Jovi musicians are still playing with the passion of zealous teenagers. I suppose it's possible they're weary of performing their older hits, but, if that's true, they sure fake it well. They roared into “Bad Medicine” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” as if those tunes had just topped the charts yesterday rather than in the 1980s.

Leading the charge was front man Jon Bon Jovi, who glows with charisma. He's got the Springsteenian stage craft, but he's also gifted with movie-star looks. (The light practically pinged off his perfect teeth, and his luxuriant hair looked as though it was somehow conditioning itself.) Bon Jovi pursed his lips like Jagger, shook his hips like Elvis, and worked the crowd like a revival preacher.


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