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Raw Bon Jovi 3 May 2001
Anaheim Concert Review


ONE Wild Night, promised Bon Jovi, opening their recent concert at Arrowhead Pond Arena, Anaheim, California, with their newly minted hit.

Most bands would have saved their most recent chart-topper for the last part of the show or even as an encore, to keep the crowd in suspense and anticipation for the whole show.

But it was a measure of Bon Joviís confidence and the rich storehouse of hits accumalated over the years that they could give it away right at the start.

Indeed their ongoing concert tour, covering several countries, is named after the song, as a statement of purpose.

The band got together in the early 80s, and now, nearly two decades on, they are still rocking away, and playing better than ever.

Lead singer Jon, was of course the centre of attraction, what with his shock of blond hair, photogenic looks, and slight but muscular figure.

But he proved to more than a poster boy, displaying vocals as good or better than the recorded versions.

Itís not unusual for singers to be rather disappointing in concert, without the assistance of studio trickery to assist them.

But you got to hand it to Bon Jovi.

While Jon led the way, the others assisted with excellent vocal harmonies, as they displayed on their next number, You Give Love A Bad Name, especially on the hooky choruses.

The band were certainly in fine form with guitarist Richie Sambora toughening up the sound with his crunchy rhythms and biting leads, keyboardist David Bryan thickening and sweetening the sound with pianos and synthesisers, drummer Tico Torres keeping a thunderous backbeat, and bassist Huey McDonald holding the bottom down with unflappable steadiness.

They kept up the party tempo with another hard rocking tune, Itís My Life, with Jon hopping and bopping about and milking the crowd who had no problem roaring out the choruses.

Indeed the song, another recent chart topper, helped explain Bon Joviís enduring popularity.

Composed by Jon with Sambora, the song featured a hard rock sound with Springsteen-like lyrics that the masses, from housewifes to Harley riders, could identify with.

And what a crowd. About 20,000 fans made up the capacity audience.

Teenagers, die-hard rockers, tough looking biker types, smartly dressed executive types even families who brought their young children, packed the arena, emphasising Bon Joviís across the board appeal.

Huge as the stadium was, Bon Jovi also had huge video screens to keep fans at the high terrace seats at the back, happy.


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