The Latest in 34 Years of Bon Jovi
|February 18, 2017||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Excursions|
34 years. I’ve had this thing with Bon Jovi for 34 years. Outside of family, that’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had with any man. I have to credit my brother for the initial discovery, but thank goodness he shared that record (or maybe it was a cassette) with me. I’ve been smitten ever since. How could you not love this adorable face? And all that mesh.
Last week, my boys paid a long-awaited visit to a loyal legion of multi-generational fans in Atlanta in conjunction with their This House is Not For Sale album (go buy this now! It’s awesome.) It had been 3-ish years since they were last here and we’ve definitely missed them. The tour opened a couple of nights before in Greenville, and we were stop number two!
At 51, I am finally at a point in my life that I’m able to afford a few extras. This meant a pair of VIP tickets to the show as a Christmas/Birthday/Valentine treat for me and a lucky guest, aka my husband.
We headed downtown to the arena early that afternoon to join the pre-show VIP party.
The two of us and 150 new friends enjoyed a nice meal and open bar that featured a cool signature drink. The folks at our table declared the “Bed of Roses” delicious while we listened (no peeking!) to Jon and the guys do their sound check.
We took some pictures and got up close to a few of Jon’s signature jackets. I remember these!
Show time! We made our way to our seats and settled in for what we knew was going to be an amazing show. This night marks my 15th Bon Jovi concert. I’ve gone to shows with my brother, I’ve gone with my mom, my daughter, husband, friends, and even once by myself (hello, Biloxi!) and I’ve never, ever been disappointed.
Lights go down, crowd goes wild, music begins. I immediately recognize the intro to the album’s title track “This House is Not For Sale” and finally see the boys. The scream of a 17-year-old girl rises up in my throat and I can’t stop jumping. Deep breaths, Tracy. Focus. Smile. (No, YOU’RE crying.) Laugh. Sing!
You better believe I’m singing! Every.single.word. Well, of course, the new stuff, too! Yes, I’m that lady. Sorry, not sorry, guy in front of me. I’ll be singing in your ear all night.
Next up, “Knockout.” More new music and I love it! THINFS is stuffed with that rich, full Bon Jovi sound and soul-felt lyrics that sounds so familiar, but feels more grounded and confident. The stage is smaller, more intimate. Gone are the giant video screens in the front (sides and back of the stage had a couple.) Visuals and special effects are limited, but what’s there is super effective. Nothing too fancy or flashy. Everything we love about Bon Jovi is back.
Now we hear “Bad Name,” “Lost Highway” and a couple of other “oldies.” Jon shares some thoughts with us on the path taken by the band, introduces faces that are new to some, and gives a nod to all. Brothers.
Embedded in a string of Bon Jovi hits is the latest release from THINFS, “Rollercoaster.” One of my very favorites, I’m about to burst. It’s so cool how you can really feel the ride in the arrangement.
Lots more music from THINFS (thank you!) and more from Jon about where the band is now. It’s a good place. After playing awesomeness like “Lay Your Hands on Me,” “Bad Medicine,” “Have a Nice Day,” and they rounded out the set by pounding through “Keep the Faith.” They leave the stage for a quick break before the encore and I start to feel bummed because I know it’s almost over. The audience claps and cheers ceaselessly until the band comes back for more. We get “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Crowd favorite “Living on a Prayer” ends it all on a bright, excited, gracious note and, just like that, they’re gone.
As my husband and I head out, I’m giddy and exhausted, still in one of those “I can’t believe I was actually here” kind of places. I do know that I’m going home a super happy, knees achin’, sore throat, ears ringin’, Jovi girl who’s ready for 34 more years!