Seattle show review
|Back in Seattle again: Bon Jovi packs 'em into KeyArena
Bon Jovi went in and out in a blaze of glory Monday night.
KeyArena was packed to the top row for the New Jersey rock group's triumphant Seattle return.
It was like the band's glory days of the late 1980s, when arena-rock ruled and "hair bands" rocked the former Seattle Center Coliseum week after week with loud, raucous, guitar-based rock.
Bon Jovi, led by blond singer-guitarist Jon Bon Jovi, is one of the great survivors of an era that virtually came to an end when the ascendant Seattle grunge scene went international in the early 1990s.
Bon Jovi never went away, but continued to pack arenas and stadiums overseas while grunge, alternative-rock, modern-rock, hip-hop and other genres ruled the decade.
At KeyArena, it was obvious a lot of longtime fans had been missing the bombastic, fun-loving days that made anthems of "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Last Man Standing," "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" and other songs.
Bon Jovi and his entourage, including guitar star Richie Sambora, took the stage at about 8:20 following a short, powerful opening set by Marysville rock band Martyr Reef, which won a local KLSY-FM "Have a Nice Gig" talent contest sanctioned by Bon Jovi.
The contest was part of a national campaign to find young talent to open Bon Jovi concerts across the country -- a payback of sorts from a band that got a similar break more than 20 years ago when a New York station played the song "Runaway," launching it nationally.
"Runaway" was part of a 2 1/2-hour set that kicked off with such songs as "You Give Love a Bad Name," which prompted a spontaneous, house-rocking singalong.
A giant video screen flanked by a larger LED screen surrounded by neon created a soaring, multicolored Vegas-strip ambience.
Bon Jovi, wearing faded jeans and a taffy-colored leather jacket, led the seven-piece touring band in a celebratory romp through the group's vast repertoire of greatest hits from two decades, as well as new songs from the current album "Have a Nice Day." The title song was among the evening's most colorful segments, with smiley-faced LED images accompanying the socially conscious song about America's political divide.
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