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Bon Jovi Show At Gund Gives Audience Just What It Wants 2 April 2003
Beacon Journal article...


Jon Bon Jovi is a professional rock star.

He's got dashing good looks, he keeps in shape, and when he takes the stage he's in full crowd-pleasing mode from the opening chords of the first song until the last notes of the encore are drowned out by the screams of his fans.

On Monday night at Gund Arena, Bon Jovi, guitarist and songwriting partner Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres and longtime bassist Hugh McDonald commanded the stage for more than two hours, expertly recreating many of their hits to the delight of a worshipful crowd.

Drawing mainly from their latest, Bounce and Slippery When Wet, the band put on an arena-sized rock 'n' roll show. The large but simple set consisting of three huge mock satellite dishes (a play on Bounce's CD cover) angled down so they could act as video screens. They provided many choice looks at the boyish 41-year-old Bon Jovi and the nearly as popular Sambora as they confidently roamed the stage striking all the standard rock poses at the appropriate moments. Bon Jovi pumped his fist in the air, Sambora scrunched up his face during guitar solos, and anytime the two stars came within a few feet of each other or did the classic singer/guitarist mutual lean the crowd went wild.

Bon Jovi's music is tailor-made for arenas, and most of the group's hits follow Bon Jovi's,Sambora's and a few professional songwriting partners' extremely successful formula. Easy-to-hum vocal melodies sung in Bon Jovi's strong, lightly husky voice, with big catchy hooks for choruses that thousands of people can all sing and/or chant in unison. Throughout the concert, Bon Jovi proved the wisdom of this approach (if selling 93 million records in nearly 20 years isn't proof enough) by encouraging the crowd to sing along. Through well-played versions of Bad Medicine, You Give Love A Bad Name, It's My Life, Livin' On A Prayer and Wild In The Streets, the packed arena gleefully obliged, and during the band's rock-musician-as-outlaw-cowboy parable Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi let the crowd sing the entire first verse and chorus, followed by an amiable ``You guys are going to put me out of business!''


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