Kansas City Star article
|Bon Jovi gives big, loyal crowd reason to celebrate Saturday night
The last song was the 25th of the night, and it closed a show that was about 15 minutes short of three hours. The last song wasn’t really the finale, however. The finale came a few songs earlier, when Jon Bon Jovi strapped on an acoustic guitar and led his band into “Livin’ On A Prayer,” a song high on the list of anthems that will set off hysteria and a joyful sing-along in a packed arena (up there with “Born to Run,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Friends in Low Places”).
The last song was the innocuous, feel-good anthem “I Love This Town,” and though it felt anticlimactic, it turned out to be an appropriate epilogue for the Bon Jovi concert at Sprint Center on Saturday night.
The show was Bon Jovi’s fourth at the Sprint Center in five years, but its first in more than three. Attendance looked close to 16,000, plus or minus 500 or so — a hefty crowd. That number may have been padded by a late Groupon deal and a few ticket giveaways on local radio stations. Nonetheless, at 6:30 p.m., the only tickets available at the arena box office were for seats in the upper-deck behind the stage, which ended up being more than half-filled. This town loves him, too.
The crowd that showed up was in a Saturday-night mood, full of vigor and glee, its mood unaffected by the absence of Richie Sambora, the band’s lead guitarist and JBJ’s No. 1 sidekick, who was knocked off the tour a few weeks ago for undisclosed “personal reasons.”
His absence was hardly inconspicuous; on paper, at least, it was like seeing Aerosmith without Joe Perry. Yet it had little affect on the mood in the arena, which was on fire before the show had started. Sambora was not mentioned during the show, but Bon Jovi did introduce his replacement, the esteemed studio and touring guitarist Phil X (Theofilos Xenidis), who also filled in for Sambora during the 2011 tour.
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