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Restrained Bon Jovi still entertains 22 August 2005
Journal Sentinel article

Source: Journal Sentinel

No one ever invited Courtney Love to perform at their corporate picnic.

When Miller Brewing Co. decided to stage its own big gig in celebration of 150 years of America reaching for a cold one, it was no surprise the beer giant invited three of pop music's most reliable - and reliably mainstream - acts. Performing for roughly 5,000 Miller employees and another 30,000 or so ticket-winning members of the public, Bon Jovi and friends played it safe Saturday at Miller Park.

Jon Bon Jovi likened his band's headlining gig to "pre-season," and with good reason. The band won't be going on the road formally until later this year, following the release of its next studio album, "Have A Nice Day," in September.

Saturday's one-off at Miller Park did have the feel of New Jersey's rock ace warming up in the bullpen, with the front man toning his stage energy down a notch from previous Milwaukee appearances.

Of course, even a restrained performance was hitting one out of the park as far as the adoring crowd was concerned. Flashing his blindingly white teeth and pointing at the camera right on cue during "You Give Love a Bad Name," Bon Jovi was a consummate rock 'n' roll showman.

The singer hasn't forgotten his working class roots - or the people who helped him to the top of the rock pile, either. Early in the set, between "Radio Saved My Life Tonight" and "It's My Life," with its bittersweet "I ain't gonna live forever" chorus, Bon Jovi gave a pointed shout-out to the late and lamented WLZR (102.9-FM).


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