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Times Square Concert Helps Kick Off New Football Season 6 September 2002

Source: Asbury Park Press

Bon Jovi helped usher in the NFL season with a free concert yesterday in Times Square, attended by thousands less than a week before the anniversary of Sept. 11.

The Monmouth County-based rock band, led by Middletown's Jon Bon Jovi, entertained a well- behaved crowd that stretched along Broadway from 42nd to 58th streets. People watched from Midtown office buildings, scattering confetti from open windows. Police reported no major problems.

The hip-hop artist Eve, joined by R&B singer Alicia Keys, kicked off the event, dubbed "the world's largest tailgate party" by the NFL. In truth, the concert bore no resemblance to a tailgating party, as there were no cars and no picnicking.

Pop singer Enrique Iglesias and the cast of Broadway's "Rent," featuring Joey Fatone of 'NSYNC, rounded out the bill.

The televised concert was held in conjunction with the first NFL game of the season, the New York Giants against the San Francisco 49ers at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. Members of Bon Jovi took a helicopter ride to the stadium in order to perform there at half-time.

The concert, held six days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was about more than football. NFL players shared the stage with players from the Fire Department of New York's football team, and several tributes were offered to the city's police and fire departments.

"We want the whole world to know that New York is ready for some action," Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd, as he urged fans to cheer, seconds before air time.

Bon Jovi made several statements on the air about the resiliency of New York and the spirit of cooperation that Americans found in the days following Sept. 11.

"We can't let that feeling go," Bon Jovi said. "And we want to let the world know that New York is going to be fine."

The band performed many of its hits, as well as material from "Bounce," Bon Jovi's eighth studio album, set for release Oct. 8 on the Island/Def Jam label. Some of Bon Jovi's new songs were inspired by Sept. 11, especially the anthem "Undivided."

Bon Jovi prefaced the performance of the band's current single, "Everyday," by telling his audience that Sept. 11 made him appreciate the importance, fragility and brevity of life. The song's chorus repeats the mantra, "I'm gonna live my life everyday."


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