Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article
|For Bon Jovi, it's not just about the music
Jon Bon Jovi can play the guitar. He also writes songs.
But the real object of his virtuosity is the way he plays the ladies. He plays the ladies like they came with frets.
Bon Jovi was at the Bradley Center Saturday night. The house was close to full, it was about 70% women and it was a love-in. At 43 Bon Jovi looks closer to 33, with pearly white teeth gleaming from a ready grin, a gorgeous mane of perfect blond hair and the sleek musculature of a welterweight heartbreaker. He's a fantasy that sings and sweats.
One of the disarming contradictions of Bon Jovi is that he is somehow both radiant rock star and a seemingly accessible, regular, New Jersey blue-collar Joe. It's glamour with a metal lunch bucket. And it's a balance he shrewdly exploits. Twice in Saturday's show, he showed up in the audience and sang from a little platform while scores of anxious arms reached out for a touch, or in one or two instances a smooch. When the mini set was over he waded back through a sea of adoration. Politicians would call it working the room, and Bon Jovi would probably be a natural if he ever turned in that direction.
Musically, he's a holdover from the '80s era of arena rock. "You Give Love a Bad Name" might just as easily have come from Pat Benatar. Staples like "Bad Medicine," and "Runaway" sound like they could have come from acts as generic as Starship or Survivor. Of course, those acts are playing county fairs while Bon Jovi is still filling arenas.
The thoughtful junior Springsteen side of Bon Jovi tends to get downplayed in concert, perhaps because those songs don't lend themselves to the mass fantasies evoked by dream fodder like "Bed of Roses" or "I'll Be There For You." "Livin' On a Prayer" did make the cut, but it was a huge hit with a big arena-friendly chorus that pretty much trumps any residual populism.
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Related URL: http://www.jsonline.com/onwisconsin/music/jan06/388473.asp