|Bon Jovi is a watered-down Bruce at Wachovia
Jon Bon Jovi gave Philadelphia the McSport called arena football, which emphasizes bombs-away offense over the smash-mouth intensity and strategies of the NFL game.
Friday at the Wachovia Center (in the first of two sold-out shows there), the leather-clad owner of the Philadelphia Soul and his veteran band gave the female-heavy crowd 21/2 hours of arena Springsteen.
The band distilled the Boss' small-town wanderlust into cliche-riddled pop-metal like "Livin' on a Prayer," and played like a harder-rocking E Street Band, shaking the rafters with power chords instead of a roots-informed shimmy.
Bon Jovi's McBruce act is well-oiled. The Sayreville, N.J., native reminisced about being "just another kid growing up in Jersey" in the long rap that introduced "The Radio Saved My Life Tonight." He was a man of the people, performing Hallmark card ballads like "I'll Be There for You" acoustically in the audience. On his way back to the stage, Bon Jovi parted those people like Moses parting a post-acid-washed Red Sea.
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