Bon Jovi

I can't believe that, with all the opportunities I had to procrastinate from school these past few weeks, I failed to blog about the Bon Jovi concert from a few weeks back. Considering all the random inane shit I post, I can't believe I never got around to writing about the concert. Oh well, better late than never!

In short: It was epic.

First, some background as to how this all happened. Back at the end of Fall Quarter, a bunch of us were in Vegas (because we're awesome like that). And while we were walking around, Alex and I saw a video billboard advertising Bon Jovi at the MGM. Alex mentioned how he'd seen Bon Jovi once before, in his senior year of high school, and how it was epic. We talked about looking into it when we got home, and then proceeded to go crazy in Vegas for a few days (again, because we're awesome like that).

Fast-forward a couple of days - I'm sitting at home, bored, wishing I could do something awesome like Vegas again (side note: I love going home. And I needed the rest. But I was still on a Vegas high). Then I remembered Bon Jovi. A quick search on Ticketmaster gave two options:

1) Las Vegas on a Saturday
2) Los Angeles the Thursday before

Naturally, we set our sights on a huge weekend trip to Vegas, but that didn't pan out because tickets sold out. So we got Matt in on the awesome, bought 3 tickets to see them in the Staples Center, and proceeded to have 9 weeks of school.

Now, for the actual concert, with pictures & video (from other people, because we weren't that close):

We got to the Staples Center about half an hour early, found $5 parking only a couple blocks away (SCORE!), and made our way in. Seats were way up in the nosebleeds, but there was still a good view of the stage. Matt saw Jay Leno outside. Dashboard Confessional opened - very odd pairing of bands, but they weren't bad. Just wasn't what we were in the mood for.

At about 8:30, the real concert began. And it went for almost 3 hours. Three glorious hours. Say what you will about Bon Jovi, but these guys know how to rock. The entire audience was up and into it the whole time. And not obnoxious fangirl screaming like you see in regards to the Jonas Brothers or some shit. Actually up, enjoying the music and the atmosphere, singing along, etc.

They had these CRAZY video screens going the whole time. They were all wires, and moved around, combining in different ways. Sometimes they were one giant videoboard. Other times, they were 8 smaller ones. Or they'd just be flying all around doing crazy shit. It was really impressive. You can see the TVs (while separated) really well in this picture:

We had the pleasure of having a lady in the front of our row (wearing a shirt that just said "ROCKSTAR") who was INTENSE. She got up, pounding her fists in the air, high-fiving everybody around her, dancing, singing, leaning over the rail to high-five the people BELOW us, and all kinds of shit. Glorious entertainment.

Compared to her, I kind of felt like an imposter - I knew some of the big hit songs, but I wasn't (nor am I) some kind of Bon Jovi superfan. I enjoy that kind of music in general, and I'll be honest - I was really there to see him play 3 songs:

1) "You Give Love a Bad Name"
2) "Wanted Dead or Alive"
3) "Livin' on a Prayer"

They could've played those and walked out, and I probably would've been content. But instead, they played a ton of newer stuff (and some old stuff I didn't recognize), along with a few fan favorites - "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Bad Medicine", "It's My Life" - and even snuck in a nice surprise coming out to sing "Hallelujah". And then they ended with something from the new album ("Love's The Only Rule", if I remember right).

They all walked off stage, but we knew it couldn't be over. There were still 2 songs from that list they hadn't played! Plus, the lights were still off. I will never understand the people who actually left. Because after a few minutes of applause, we see their shadows come back out, and BAM!

Really didn't expect them to play "Runaway", and apparently it's not one they regularly play. He said afterwards that "some of the crew really wanted to hear that one". It's one of my favorites though, so I was pleasantly surprised. Then was another one from the new album ("Thorn In My Side", which I really liked), followed by the missing hits: "Wanted Dead or Alive", and then "Livin' on a Prayer" to finish it off:

For all the awesomeness of the concert though, what with learning some new songs that I really like ("Born To Be My Baby") and rocking out to some long-time favorites, the most powerful moment to me wasn't during a song. It was something Jon said near the end (before launching into "Wanted Dead or Alive"). I don't remember the exact wording, but it was something pretty close to:

"Don't think that there's ever a day that I take this for granted. I know it's not 1984 any more. It's 2010, and to still be filling places like this... We wouldn't be here, if you weren't out there. So thank you."

For somebody who's been "living the dream" for almost 20 years now, it's amazing how humble and aware he is. They gave us a show more than worth what we paid (best $60 I've ever spent), bringing an entire stadium of people to their feet, and you could tell they loved it every bit as much as we did.

In short: It. Was. Epic.


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