Article from St. Petersburg Times
TAMPA -- Even those not in favor of Bon Jovi's tame, mainstream rock would have found it tough to cite anything lousy about the New Jersey band's sold-out 21/2 hour performance Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum. What Bon Jovi lacks in depth, it makes up for in showmanship.
Especially magnetic lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, who is by now such a recognizable celebrity singer-actor, you hardly expect him to walk onstage and appear to be roughly half the size you thought he'd be. Yes, Bon Jovi is, shall we say, diminutive?
But the man's stage presence is huge.
Just ask the 16,458 fans who cheered as the band emerged with a flourish, kicking into the title song from Bounce, its eighth studio album filled with more of the band's winning formula of catchy sing-along choruses, easy-to-follow rhymes and simple subject matter, namely girls who make love rough. (Although the band does tackle, in its fashion, current global tensions on several tracks.)
Dressed in skintight pants and sleeveless shirt, Bon Jovi got the crowd into maniacal mode by shouting the opening lyrics to the monster hit You Give Love A Bad Name. The band played with three satellite dishes behind them, which soon revealed themselves to be video screens.
Bon Jovi, the singer, did everything right, punching the mike in the air, shaking his much coveted derriere -- just ask the swooning female fans -- singing superbly, and appearing as warm and genuine as the guy next door. He even managed to mention the Bucs' Super Bowl win.
"Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys," Bon Jovi said.
Fans went berserk for Livin' On A Prayer, Wanted Dead Or Alive, and the early hit Runaway, pummeled along by keyboardist David Bryan's frantic chord clanging.
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Related URL: http://www.sptimes.com/2003/03/16/Artsandentertainment/Giving_rock_a_good_na.shtml