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Bon Jovi is just the ticket at pep rally for NFL & NYC 8 September 2002
Times Square article from NY Daily News

Source: NY Daily News

They dropped the beats instead of the ball last night in Times Square.

Rather than the strings and horns of Guy Lombardo's "Auld Lang Syne," the usual theme when tens of thousands of New Yorkers pack the world's most-famous crossroads, last night's soundtrack was pulsing hip-hop and power chords on a rock guitar.

Musically, the performances by Eve, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias, Joey Fatone and Bon Jovi were as much spectacle as concert, and that fit the game plan of the event, which was designed to salute the post-Sept. 11 resilience of New Yorkers while promoting the 2002 National Football League season.

The results of this unique hybrid can be seen tonight in distilled form at 10 on CBS-TV. In Times Square last night, the affair was long, noisy and more than a little chaotic, with such odd moments as Deion Sanders racing up on stage and handing a football to Jon Bon Jovi, who launched into "It's My Life."

Hey, man, if you say so.

Bon Jovi's headlining set mixed a couple of his new 9/11-themed songs "Everyday," the driving "Bounce" with a crowd-pleasing run through greatest hits like "Livin' on a Prayer," "Bad Medicine" and "You Give Love a Bad Name."

Belting these songs into the forked canyon of Broadway and Seventh Ave. might not seem like the ideal acoustic showcase. But since so many of Bon Jovi's songs were born as anthems, relying far more on a couple of hooks and a rousing chorus than musical subtlety, they did just fine.

With Fatone and Keys making little more than cameo appearances, Iglesias had the second-longest set, and he used two simple, effective tricks to overcome the size-and-distance issue.

Also sticking to his big hits "Bailamos," "Don't Turn Off the Lights" he stepped several times onto a low platform so the cameras had him pretty much mingling with the crowd.

For the finale of "Hero," he called up a woman from the crowd and sang it to her, wrapping his arms around her neck as he did so. Talk about creating a personal-highlight reel.


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