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New Jersey Concert Review 17 November 2000
"Bon Jovi's 'man band' rocks at Meadowlands"

Source: Asbury Park Press, November 17, 2000

AS JON Bon Jovi led the audience in a verse of his band's big, bold, early hit "Livin' On A Prayer," it became clear why his band has had such long-term appeal.

Jon Bon Jovi and band perform at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford. They know how to be glamorous and still be Jersey.

Bon Jovi's concert last night at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford was a primer on how to court thousands of glitz-loving fans without turning the whole thing into a Broadway show.

Jon Bon Jovi told his fans it had been seven years since his last Meadowlands show, and he was amazed at all that had changed in pop music.

Boy bands?

"This is a man band here," he said with a smile.

This is arena rock, and like Gilbert and Sullivan or "The Blair Witch Project," it is something you instantly love or hate.

Bon Jovi distills the genre to its essence -- video screens with romantic images of cowboys, firefighters and other heroes, as well as the occasional audience member. A blizzard of silver confetti pouring from the ceiling. Blazing guitar solos and heartfelt screams into the microphone.

The musicians are well-coiffed and wear perfectly tailored, stylish outfits fit for the runway, yet they connect with the fans -- shaking hands, making eye contact, smiling.

"So, how we doing tonight? OK?" Jon Bon Jovi asked the audience about half an hour into the show. "As you might've heard, we have a new album, 'Crush,' and I won't waste any time talking about it, but this is the one you've been hearing all over your radio."


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