|Bon Jovi Unplugs For His Fans At the Borgata
ATLANTIC CITY - It took 20 years for Bon Jovi to come to town. Friday marked the second appearance by the New Jersey icons in less than a year, and the intimate crowd of approximately 1,700 at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa witnessed a piece of history they won't soon forget.
Obviously charmed by their Boardwalk Hall appearance earlier this year with a little further enticement from Borgata's thick checkbook, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and his bandmates returned to town for their only shows scheduled to support the group's greatest hits package, "This Left Feels Right," an acoustic reworking of their big hits.
Friday's performance, as well as tonight's sold-out show, was recorded for a follow-up DVD and VHS release that appears to be tentatively titled "Bon Jovi From the Boardwalk," even if it was recorded on the bay. And like the CD, the DVD - as evidenced by Friday's show - will feature the same acoustical reworkings.
With tickets for both shows selling out in less than 10 minutes, Bon Jovi's Borgata shows were among the toughest tickets to get this year, maybe even harder than Bruce Springsteen's appearance earlier this year at Boardwalk Hall and David Bowie's upcoming show at the Borgata. Tickets for this weekend's Bon Jovi shows, originally priced between $100 and $350, were selling on the Internet site ebay for more than $5,000 a pair.
Superfans such as Suzi Ferro, 35, and her traveling partner, Maria Morris, 39, both from San Diego, said they spent $5,000 for their pair of tickets. Add that in with first-class airfare, a night at the Borgata, a limo ride and spending money, and the duo estimated they would spend $12,000 to be in Atlantic City for 23 hours.
"It was worth every penny," Morris said with a laugh. "This is something special you can only experience once. It's the ultimate dream come true."
Other Bon Jovi fans in attendance seemed to agree, and with good reason. Although Bon Jovi is a much stronger and more entertaining band when it's rocking loudly, Friday's show brought back fond memories of the big MTV "Unplugged" sessions in the 1990s.
Bon Jovi fits that mold very well. With half of the Events Center set up to look like a lounge, complete with round tables and waitress service, the band showed its talent by not just offering their songs acoustically, but with major reconstructing.
With a set that approached 20 songs and exceeded 90 minutes, Bon Jovi's reworkings of the hits mostly worked, especially their "Stray Cat Strut"-like version of "You Give Love a Bad Name," as well as ballad versions of "It's My Life," "Born To Be My Baby," "Keep The Faith," "Everyday" and "I'll Be There For You," which all took on more profound lyrical meaning in their new form.
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