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Bon Jovi lights up Verizon Center 3 March 2008
Richmond Times Dispatch article

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch

WASHINGTON - Those who came of age in the '70s have Bruce Springsteen to worship. But the kids from the ’80s? Their loyalty to Bon Jovi is steadfast.

Proof of that allegiance came Thursday night at the Verizon Center from a sellout crowd whose members are still probably hoarse from scream-shouting along to 2½ hours of hits.

Any current Bon Jovi audience happily disregards the band’s shortcomings — the over-reliance on stomp ’n’ clap backbeats ("We Got It Goin’ On," "Have a Nice Day"), the parade of clichés in many songs — to enjoy the band for what it is: a slickly professional, impressively tight rock group.

You can say what you will about Jon Bon Jovi’s playboy charms — the sideways grins, the handsome-star attire of black vest open to the chest and snug black velvet pants, the Messianic poses — but there is no doubt that Jon Bon Jovi loves being Jon Bon Jovi. This is a guy who earns his million-dollar paycheck.

It’s almost impossible to believe that the charismatic frontman, turns 46 tomorrow, as his unflagging energy during the musical marathon was an exhausting exhibition in stamina. He’d certainly be the most popular aerobics instructor at any gym.

Though this three-month U.S. tour, which launched 12 days ago in Nebraska, is ostensibly in support of the experimental country album "Lost Highway," the band played only a handful of new cuts at Thursday’s show.

Instead, the core four of Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan — plus longtime bassist Hugh McDonald and secondary guitarist Bobby Bandiera — concentrated on rewarding fans with a convoy of smashes and choice album tracks from their 25-year career.


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