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Bon Jovi gives fans a rockin' good time 14 February 2011
Pittsburgh Post Gazette article

Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Maybe all that big hair obscured the charisma underneath, but when Bon Jovi first came around in the early '80s, no one figured him/them to be the No. 1 touring act in the world three decades later.

Clearly there's something to say for living on a prayer.

Friday night, Jon Bon Jovi and company kicked off the first of two nearly sold-out nights at Consol Energy Center to an adoring crowd with a two-plus hour set of beloved hits from the '80s and a sprinkling of new songs.

Unlike some classic rock bands, looks matter for Jon Bon Jovi, and the New Jersey rocker, who turns 49 next month, has fortunately held on to them, the best evidence being the ladies night out vibe in the Consol. The smile alone could be patented, and it aroused the expected screams and cheers.

The band arrived on a stylish black stage all wearing black and launched into the Springsteen-like anthem "Blood on Blood." The singer made it known early that this wasn't a sit-down affair. "Get up," he said, "this ain't television, baby!"

He didn't even need to say it because the rousing version of "You Give Love a Bad Name" would have gotten them up and singing anyway. They had plenty more songs in that up­tempo pop-rock formula, from the newer single "We Weren't Born to Follow" (with images of Kennedy, Obama, Lennon, Ali, etc.) to the vintage "Born to Be My Baby" to his own "My Way" -- "It's My Life."

Between songs he pushed the right buttons, complimenting the Consol but also mentioning his "soft spot" for Mellon Arena ("the only thing that's been around longer than this band is the Mellon Arena"). He even gave us a sympathetic pep talk on the Steelers, with a shout-out to the fine work of the Rooneys.

The band was the seamless and seasoned unit we've come to expect, powered by the muscular drumming of Tico Torres and guitar chops of Richie Sambora (who took the vocal reins on "Lay Your Hands on Me"). They ran the gamut from the countrified sound of "Lost Highway" to the grungier stomp of "We've Got It Goin On." The ever-shifting video screen package behind them was as state of the art and as cool as it gets.


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