|Bon Jovi's got it going on at Mohegan Sun
Mashantucket - Oh, it's so quaint, all those stories about the music industry being in trouble.
Because here's Bon Jovi - dismissed as a disposable hair band, lo, those 25-some years ago when they began - hitting No. 1 with their latest album and still working it as one of the top concerts acts out there.
And we mean working it.
Their sold-out concert Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena (with a second show Saturday) was a blast of rock 'n' roll exhilaration, fueled by musicians and music that have flourished and matured since it all began in 1983.
It's amazing to see the positively Pavlovian effect that Bon Jovi's muscular blue-collar anthems have on audiences. Raise your hands! Belt out those full-throttle choruses - why, yes, Jon and Richie, it IS my life, dammit!
Now, let's not be naive. A big part of the appeal is frontman Jon Bon Jovi's pin-up image. He's 48 now and still, like, totally dreamy (just ask the shrieking women in the Mohegan Sun crowd). Like Bruce Springsteen, he's got that ageless rock-star thing going on; is there something in the Jersey water?
He sure knows how to play that up. Poor boy forgot to button up his shirts - on two different shirts - much past his navel. He gave the occasional direct, soulful stare into the camera so that, when his image was projected on the giant video screens, it seemed as though he was making eye contact with everyone in the arena.
But all that and bouncing-and-behaving hair will only get you so far. He rasps and croons with a robust voice, and he works a room like few other frontman, firing up the crowd like the world's most inspirational coach.
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