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Rocker draws from Ohio for inspiration 14 May 2011
Columbus Dispatch article

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Who ever said Bon Jovi was only about New Jersey?

Shortly into a two-hour-plus show last night in Nationwide Arena, the band's 49-year-old frontman paused to explain what spawned his 2009 tune Work for the Working Man - whose sobering verses speak of lost employment, wiped-out pensions and waning hope.

Inspiration, he said, came from a 60 Minutes episode detailing the plight of Wilmington, Ohio, residents (a couple named John and Angela Pica in particular) after DHL Express moved its shipping operations and left thousands jobless. Extended applause followed after the song.

It was a moment of solemnity during an otherwise upbeat affair that served as a veritable time machine, taking a capacity crowd back through nearly three decades of familiar, fist-pumping fare.

Right from the start, Jon Bon Jovi wasted no time in cueing up jukebox favorites, from You Give Love a Bad Name and I'll Be There for You to the synth-tinged Runaway that first propelled the working-class heroes to a life of fame.

Clad in leather pants and vest, the still-boyish singer had no trouble eliciting shrieks and call-and-response vocals from the rhinestone-clad female crowd - which could easily have doubled as a casting call for The Real Housewives of Columbus.

Suave without seeming too much like a Chippendales retiree, their midlife idol transcended his age - strutting like a rooster, ascending an impressive set of stairs made of rotating video screens whose stilts resembled something from the Terminator movies and making time to acknowledge folks in the cheap seats (including packed rows behind the stage with limited views).


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