Okay at best...
|15 January 2006 - Dallas, TX, USA Concert Review
First of all the show was SOLD OUT. This day and age with the economic situation and with the shelf-life of a band normally lasting 2 albums you can say that the boys from New Jersey still ghave their mojo since 1983's "Little Runaway" first hit the Seaside Heights shore's airwaves.
After 1989's "New Jersey Tour" where the band exploded onto stage via elevators and pyro and danced across the catwalk above the audience - it would be hard to top that show all around from start to finish. You had newcomers Skid Row wowing the crowd to hit after hit with Jovi. The "Bounce Tour," had great visual and stage effects with the huge satellites that moved on the stage to the fantastic setlist. After all - Bounce was a pretty good record. Not as good as the year's previous 8 million selling "Crush" which brought you such hits as "It's My Life," "Say It Isn't So," and some ballad that wouldn't stand the test of time compared to their previous ballads.
The "Have a Nice Day" stage set-up just wasn't feasible in so many ways. If you had to sit on either side of the stage - your view was blocked. Sure, you had a screen to watch, but who pays the big bucks to stair at Jon's ass on a screen? I guess BJ needs more money. Also, Jon and Co. are touring with two of their friends from Jersey's SouthSide Johnny - their keyboardist and their guitarist. I mean - does Jovi realy need another keys player? Do they really need another guitarist when Jon plays guitar on half the songs already? More about them later. The stage set up had the Southside keys player playing on this neon platform on one side, Tico was on his neon platoform in the middle, and David Bryan was on his neon platform on the other side. Sure, different neon colors would always be changing, but their were no steps to lead up to the musicians. This meant no one could interact with them. The back of the stage had this huge screen so you could see where all the cameramen were shooting the band at all times. However, if you were the Southside guys you didn't get filmed unless they got in a shot with Jon, Richie, or Hugh McDonald (and they didn't even film him that much either). What's the point of not filming these people? Behind the big screen was this huge interactive cyber curtain that would show images and other computer animated pictures that was really hard for us to see where we were sitting. But, from what I could tell, the images looked "cheap" and not well thought out. On either side of the stage you had this huge "bendy-type" poles that held moving lights. But, the cool thing was that these poles had computer generated art or neon lights moving up them at all times. I did think they were pretty innovative and had to give them props for this. Behind the stage we could see these two mini dressing rooms for any clothes changes (cuz you know how hot it can get) and two sound boards for the onstage mixes in the monitors and ear pieces. It was like a little city and was pretty neat to see. Each side of the stage had nice-sized ramps where you could walk out over the audience to say hi. On each side of the stage there was this huge area that you could climb up some stairs to get to for the fans on the floor. Every song the security would pick a row and then let them come up for one song. I thought this was cool.
TONS OF CHICKS!!! The demographic was teenagers, 20 somethings, 30 somethings, and 40 somethings. BJ always brings out the ladies - that's for sure. Probably cuz Jon, Richie, and Dave don't age.
I'm a big fan of how a national act takes to the stage. Well, the band just kind of walked up there as their roadies handed them their gear. There was no big entrance. No big bang. Not much of even a spark if you ask me. I was majorly bummed. But as the band launched into one of the crappiest songs off of the "Have A Nice Day" CD - a bad 80's style track called "Last Man Standing," we heard Jon singing, but we had no idea where he was. As it turns out - he surprised everyone by singing on this tiny stage at the other end of the arena with him and his acoustic guitar rocking out. The only reason who could do this with the echo and staying on time is by having ear monitors. As the band finished the song Jon made his way back to the main stage via security guards. That was cool, but they should have come out with "Have A Nice Day" or some better song. Throughout the show Jon went to other small stages in the audience to get closer tot he fans. It was cool.
The set-list was mediocre. Yes, they played their hits, but what ruined it was that even though every single Bon Jovi album is 50% hits and 50% total crap - they played the 50% crap off of "Have A Nice Day." Also, on some of their hits they played the new "This Left Feels Right" newer acoustic versions that suck. Sure, one of these may be cool, but I want the hit version if I'm paying the dough. They also wasted some stage time with some B sides and some other throw away called "Treat Me Right." Here is the setlist in no particular order:
1. Last Man Standing (sucky song, crappy opener, and even my worst song ever written is better)
2. Bad Medicine
3. You Give Love a Bad Name
4. Blood on Blood (this song is off of New Jersey and is a great story-telling song...I was hapy they played it and so was Dany and Steve).
5. It's My Life
6. Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen From Mars (off of the Crush album...okay track, I guess. He rips off Thin Lizzy so bad on this one "Boys Are Back in Town" that Phil Lynott who wrote it should be getting royalties. Not so much the music - but the way Jon sings it.)
7. Everyday (first single off of Bounce...was killer and glad they played it)
8. Wanted Dead or Alive (last song of the night)
9. Someday I'll Be Saturday Night (horrid song - a B Side. I'm sure only 3 people like it - Steve is one of them and that 14 year-old chick with nice tits that I talked about earlier. Maybe its me...doubt it.)
10. Treat me Right (the Southside Johnny guitarist started off. Someone should have unplugged him)
11. Bed of Roses (new version...I prefer the original. Jon slowdanced with chicks in the crowd and made them wet. We could see so many girls crying on the screens like something you would see from the Beatles. That was cool.)
12. I'll be there for you (new version...was acutally cool - but halfway thru they should have went back to the original)
13. Have a Nice Day (sounded so good - My buddy Steve and I both agreed it kicked so much ass and was easily the best track of the night)
14. Blaze of Glory (new acoustic version - once again, I would have preferred the rocking original)
15. Sleep When I'm Dead (never liked this song - I think it is on their These Days album)
16. Welcome to Wherever You Are (one of the few great tracks off of Have a Nice Day. I was glad they played it)
17. Runaway (they had a cool intro to this song)
18. Story of My Life (off of Have a Nice Day...SUCKS so bad you told yourself you had to go to the bathroom at this point in the show)
19. Born to be my baby
20. Who says you can't go home (This is such a bad song that it is worse than anything you can ever imagine from a signed band)
21. The Radio Saved My Life (horrid)
22. Complicated (decent song off of Have a Nice Day - kinda cool)
23. Raise Your Hands (KILLER)
Band Member Ratings:
Jon was on top of his game. No doubt. He interacted with the crowd, fed off their energy, barely stuck to the middle of the stage, talked to people who made signs for the bands, etc. He studied the crowd and gave them what they wanted. He looked so good and he doesn't age. He played lots of acoustic and strapped on his Tele one or two times - even played a few little leads. I give him a 9/10. He could have talked a wee bit more and shared some funny stories. But, I was impressed.
Came out looking drunk and depressed. We all know his marriage in shambles and Heather Locklear is evil. Not sure if you heard about it lately. Richie had like 10 different guitars and was always switching them after each song. Why? Its not like we can tell. Trust me - I can tell cuz I am a player and I could not tell one acoustic or electric from another. Also, he is now endorsed by some new company that makes dorky - cheap looking axes. Sorry. I had to mention that. Richie never went out on his side ramp and stuck to his section of the stage. I was so bummed. He never acknowledged the crowd unless they were right in front of him. Over all score 5/10. He gets a 5 for shredding the axe as a masterful as he is, but loses points on everything else.
His muscles were huge based on what we could see from the screens. He tore it up and was full of energy for most of the show. He didn't interact with the crowd or stand up though. It seemd like toward the end he was tired when he lit up a cigarette and dangled it in his mouth the last few songs. Overall score: 7/10.
Sang his ass off. We could see him on the screens turning red hitting this insane notes. Dave Bryan can sing quite well and is Jon's main back-up if Jon goes down sick. Also, Richie can't always be singing and Dave doubles Jon on many occasions - the same way the keyboard player from Aerosmith is Steven Tyler's harmony background vocalist on almost every note. Every Aerosmith song has Steven Tyler harmonizing with himself on almost every line. But, I am getting off track. David played well - but was isolated from the rest of the band where no one can get to him. So, I will give Dave Bryan a 10.
He played bass on many tracks of the BJ albums where Alec John Such couldn't hack it. He's been BJ's touring bassist for like 10 years now - but not a member. He is a great player, but he does the same moves over and over and it gets old to look at. He sticks to his side of the stage for 99% of the time. Not sure what they tell him what we can and can not do - so I give him a 7.
Jeff Kazee - Southside Johnny Keys Player:
He was isolated. I watched him playing and he is talented- no doubt. But, he looked out of place with his look and no one interacted with him. Have you seen the Fine Young Cannibal's video for "She Drives Me Crazy?" Well - that is what he looked like. 2 outta 10 based on his appearance. I guess I wouldn't want to interact with him either.
Southside Johnny Guitarist:
His name escapes me. He only had 3 guitars with him - which is more sensible. He stuck to the stage like his shoes were super glued. He looked out of place. I know he has a great reputation on the guitar circuit as a great player, but he was turned down in the mix and played some basic stuff. I mean, does BJ need 3 guitarists? I know this is just for this tour, but if you are gonna have this guy playing then he needs to be playing some of the other tracks on the albums. I notices on several songs he played similar things to Jon. Also, on wanted Dead or Alive - Richie should have kept his electric on the whole time and did the sounds while Jon and this other dude played their acoustics. He did interact with the chicks on the side part of the stage that came up form the crowd - which was more than Richie ever did though. I give him a 2/10.
So, overall, I gave the show a sad 6. But, my buddy Steve gave it a 7 something. Maybe I'm hard to please. I would have loved to have heard "Never Say Good-bye," but it is hard for bands like Jovi to make a set-list.
So - there ya go.