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"Desert Air Doesn't Stop Band" 23 April 2001
Las Vegas Concert Review

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal


Jon Bon Jovi hasn't played Vegas for eight years (desert air dries his throat), so he preps the patients: "You think Saturday nights are meant to last? ... You ain't seen nothin' like me in a long time." Standing fans scream louder, and he works them up more by skipping backward and doing jumping jacks.

The sound system is great. You can hear most every note and lyric. The concert is a recitation of Bon Jovi hits and a few, new, less-catchy songs. Bon Jovi doesn't offer critical ears much of a chance to analyze the music.

For most of their two-decade career, the band has used professional songwriters to help write uncomplicated pop-rock hits. So there's a sameness to most songs: chorus A, chorus B, repeat, climax, dramatic finish.

The drummer creates an arena-rock sound by pounding out the same basic rhythm. Most of Saturday night goes thump, pop, thump, pop ... drum fill.

Jon Bon Jovi doesn't play much guitar, leaving guitarist Sambora to play both lead and rhythm. Double-duty demands that Sambora seldom gets to quick-finger solos. The lack of solos makes it more important for the band to give listeners catchy hooks to sing along to.

There are a lot of old familiar choruses for fans to test their memories on, from "You Give Love A Bad Name" to "Livin' On A Prayer," "I'll Be There For You," and "Lay Your Hands On Me." Their best is still the aching cowboy song "Wanted Dead Or Alive," and their shame is still "Bad Medicine" ("whoa-oh-oh, shake it up, just like bad medicine. ... So let's play doctor, baby, cure my disease.')


Read the review in its entirety (with photos) at Las Vegas Review Journal web site by following the link below...

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