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Bon Jovi's massive touring machine lights up Rogers Arena 29 March 2011
Vancouver Sun article

Source: Vancouver Sun

A springtime Friday night in Vancouver: What could be better than hanging out with your favourite New Jersey boys, Bon Jovi, hammering out hit after hit at Rogers Arena?

Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan have been doing their thing for close to 30 years, and they're not showing signs of slowing down any time soon.

Their touring machine is huge, raking in $146 million in 2010 and making Bon Jovi the highest-grossing touring band worldwide last year according to Billboard magazine.

So this had better be one hell of a show, right?

But before assessing the band's performance, we should mention Bon Jovi's mentorship initiative on this tour. In every city, a group of students is invited to witness the ins and outs of setting up a Bon Jovi concert from the ground up: From the unloading stages to sound check to the final tweaks, right before the band is to take the stage.

In Vancouver, a group of UBC students was lucky enough to have been hand-picked for the program, learning some valuable lessons about the complex process Friday afternoon.

Considering Bon Jovi's extensive stage production, it must have been quite an experience: You don't earn close to $150 million doing things halfway.

Opener Ryan Star, of Rock Star: Supernova fame, kicked things off with a few heartfelt rock numbers of his own.

The New York City-based rocker and his Kings of Leon-style tunes fared well, even if many were still waiting in line to snag a $45 Bon Jovi T-shirt or a drink (or two).

Star didn't seem too lost on Bon Jovi's big elliptical stage, which opened up the whole arena's seating.

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