Minneapolis concert review from Star Tribune
Her arms thrust into the air and her legs bouncing to the beat, Dawn Vandewalker sang along to every Bon Jovi song Tuesday night -- from the classic "Livin' on a Prayer" to tunes from the new CD "Bounce."
You don't need a critic's analysis of why this New Jersey rock band has survived so successfully for nearly two decades. Just view the concert through a fan's eyes and you'll see why Bon Jovi still rules.
As guitarist Richie Sambora sang "I'll Be There for You" at the sold-out Xcel Energy Center, Vandewalker, 29, of Eagan felt transported back to high school. That would be South St. Paul High, Class of '92.
"I was at summer camp," she recalled. "This song came on, and I wanted to dance with this guy. I wouldn't ask him. When the song was almost over, he asked me to dance."
For the record, the relationship didn't go anywhere. But Vandewalker's relationship with Bon Jovi has been ongoing since seventh grade.
Tuesday was the first time she got to see her favorite rock band in concert. It was better than she expected. A guitarist herself, she marveled at Sambora's work.
"They're such incredible musicians," said Vandewalker, a bank loan officer who is pursuing a master's degree in holistic nutrition. "They have catchy songs about real life."
"Jon Bon Jovi is so hot," chimed in Vandewalker's friend about the lead singer.
"He's got a beautiful smile," Vandewalker continued.
"These songs don't degrade women. I like that," she observed, adding that too many rock songs are simply about women's bodies.
She admires Bon Jovi because the group has changed with the times "but stayed consistent with who they are. It's not like Madonna; she changes, and you lose who she is."
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