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Bon Jovi, A Reminder Of 1980s `Cheese Rock' 6 August 2003
Hartford concert article

Source: The Hartford Courant

The '80s are never going to die.

For the rest of eternity, we'll be watching VH1 specials like "I Love the '80s," listening to Dexy's Midnight Runners and going to concerts by Bon Jovi, who will at some point complete the transition into cyborg form.

Whoa, they're halfway there (to borrow a line).

True, the band's output in the '90s was just as prolific, but Bon Jovi will always remain perfectly representative of late '80s cheese rock, as embodied on their seminal 1986 album, "Slippery When Wet."

That's not to say Jon Bon Jovi and company don't put on a good show. They do, and Monday night at the Meadows Music Centre was no exception. They played old favorites, including "Raise Your Hands" and "Livin' on a Prayer," and newer hits like "Everyday" and "Misunderstood," mugged for the huge crowd and generally entertained the heck out of everyone, which is their job.

But it was all so rote, so robotic, so utterly lacking in spontaneity or surprises that the show was a little sad. Richie Sambora's guitar parts, Jon's vocal parts - they all sounded just like they do on the albums. Well, except for the high notes on "Runaway," for example, which Jon has trouble reaching these days.

There's surely something comfortable about knowing exactly what you're going to get, yet it's the unexpected that makes life exciting. And by unexpected, I don't mean Sambora singing lead on "I'll Be There For You" in concert, as he apparently has been this tour.

You'd think Bon Jovi would recognize that. The band does a lot of songs about seizing the day and living for the moment.


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