Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Circle Arc 1: Philly (the real review post)

OK I've had my three hours sleep (thank you India for paging me for my 7am meeting; I would have slept straight through) and have gotten through most of my meetings for the day, which means I now have a little time to basically relive the show through my photos and the videos that have been found.

Now let's get this over with at the get-go. I know there's a lot of grumbling about the set list, and I have to say, you're entitled to your opinion. It was identical to Denver with two changes -- we got one extra song (I Love This Town, which I could do without, and Richie did Lay Your Hands instead of Homebound Train). Everything else, even the song order, was Denver. If you were at Denver and at the show last night, I can see how you would be awfully disappointed in the most recent set list. Hell, if you've been following along with what's been played so far compared with what is out there to be played, I'd be a bit disappointed, too.

But, since this is the first show I went to this tour, I was just happy to see what I did.

Were there some faves missing? NSG? Love for Sale? Diamond Ring?


Would Catte and I have been clinging to each other for support during any or all of those three?

Yep again.

Would the crescent-moons of each other's fingernails embedded in our forearms been totally worth it?


Am I hoping that tonight's show will be different? Four for four! Damn, you're on a roll!

Am I hopeful that this will be the case? Nope. I mean, I assume we'll get Homebound Train (woo woo!) instead of Lay Your Hands On Me, and Thorn instead of Runaway for the encore opener, but other than maybe shifting a couple things around, I'm not holding out for anything spectacular. My guess is, to make up for the PR nightmare that is the "Soul Concert" today, he'll put some of the goodies into that setlist. We'll see.

Enough about that. Let's spend a few minutes on last night.

Oh my GOD. Working with the BJCT Blog, I've seen videos of all the songs they performed last night from different venues. Those recordings, though beautiful to look at, simply don't capture the thrill of seeing it live. Not by a long shot. Even though the banter was all the same script Jon's been running all tour, I couldn't help but react. There's a reason Jon and the guys have been around so long -- they sure do know how to work the crowd.

So, my seats were section 5, row 2, basically dead center in front of Jon's mic stand. Very cool seats. Great view of everyone, even Tico, who is usually hidden by his kit and Richie. (I posted some pictures on my half-assed post from last night, and there will be more on the BJCT site soon -- I'm resizing them now so I don't blow out the PB lol).

We arrived shortly after seven, and went to collect our tickets from the FC pick-up line. Saw lots of people dressed inappropriately (not just cougarish or groupie-slutty, but people wearing clothes to young/tight for them. C'mon people.) We got nosh at the Chickie & Pete's stand and made ourselves comfortable on the floor, listening to Dashboard Confessional while we ate. From what we could hear (a couple of cover songs and one original track), they sounded good, but the crowd was definitely NOT into them. At all.

Now with the 18000 or so people there, milling about, guess who we saw almost straight away? Yep, BigAppleJoviGirl. We took some photos, caught up for a couple minutes, then went off on our own hunts. Us for swag, Jen for not-sure-what.

Ok. People. One fan to another. At the swag lines, figure out what you want when you're waiting in line. This is NOT a life altering decision. It's a frickin' t-shirt. There were these two girls in the line/crowd we were in who couldn't make up their minds at all. "No, let me see #3 in a small. No, #4 in a medium. Does #2 come in extra small? I don't know, what do you think about this one?" and on and on for a good 10 minutes. The guy a few people behind them in line offered to buy them their damned t-shirts if they would hurry the hell up already! As a good doobie, I had my selections made, cash in hand. My transaction took all of 30 seconds. Be polite people.

And while we're on the subject of politeness and concert etiquette. Signs. Having hoisted a few myself, I know the importance of wanting to connect with the band. I have no problem with that. But come on, people. Be considerate about it. There was a guy in the section in front of us who had a hard on for Captain Crash. The sign was up for nearly every freaking song. Even Richie's solo. News flash, Einstein, they saw the sign right away. You were right up in their faces with it. If they were gong to acknowledge it, you would have gotten a nod or a smile or something. But either way, it's bad etiquette to hold up your sign for nearly the whole show. There ARE people behind you, ya know. It's like the swag stands -- do your business and be done.

OK, enough of that.

After surreptitiously putting together my Canon EOS 50D and stuffing it in my swag bag, and figuring out the guard rotation so I wouldn't get caught with a "professional-grade camera" (whatever), the lights went down. The crowd's intensity level soared as the opening montage of shots from The Circle's album cover played. When the band finally took the stage, I'm sure that folks back in Boston could hear the roar. Exhilarating. I can understand why Jon's addicted to that sound. Having the adoration of thousands of people staring you in the face just HAS to feel good.

They opened with Blood on Blood, which is one of my favorite tunes from New Jersey. I love this one live. From there, they hit WWBTF, which should have "Bells of Freedom" after it -- I'm just saying. Jonny, are you reading? -- but Bad Name is a good choice too. You don't get too much more high-energy with the classics than that song.

We got a few of my other faves in Whole Lot of Leavin', Superman, and I'll Be There For You. As for IBTFY, as a die-hard Richie girl, who's seen/heard Richie do that song solo most of last tour, I have to say, the performance they do on the circle stage is better. Do I like Richie's voice for the song? Absolutely. He's got the right pitch (IMO) for the bluesy spin he puts on it. Do he and Jon have a magic, though, that when their voices mesh together on this song puts tears in my eyes, and makes my heart pound hard in my chest? Yep. Waterproof mascara is one of my best friends.

There was of course, Hallelujah, which could have only been better if Jon had forgotten the words again and had to blush like a little kid and admit he couldn't remember the lyrics. His voice on that song -- I can't imagine it being any cleaner. Very powerful performance.

I was totally in love with the acoustic pair of Something for the Pain / Saturday Night, and not just because I got to have a moment with David. I love the way the acoustic versions give the band a chance to catch their breath and show off their harmonies without all the "big noise" of the heavy drums. Plus, David does make the accordion sexy.

There were a few duds (what I call duds anyway). Who Says. *sigh* I'm truly all set with this song, but they didn't do the "it's alright" repeat ad nauseum last night, so I guess I can let it slide. Though it is one of the most played songs on tour so far (see the statistics page on the BJCT blog), and their Grammy winner, I don't love it.

Also Work for the Working Man. I'm sorry, but though I like the message, seeing Jon try to be overly dramatic with the lyrics -- I just don't buy it. I really don't believe that he's impacted much if at all by the recent economic troubles. I absolutely believe that he wants to help people, and wants to see other people helping people. I just don't buy the sincerity he puts into "I lost my pension/They took my ID". Nope, sorry, can't do it. And the 40's era graphics have got to go. I feel like I'm being subjected to anti-American propaganda which is totally not the intent.

"Oh no! It's 1984 all over again!" Thank you for not doing the time warp thing as the intro to Runaway.

The one-two punch of Wanted/Prayer at the end of the night was lovely. I'm always up for hearing those songs; they are among my favorites. I just know they mean the end of the evening, so I'm not thrilled with them in principal.

All in all, a fantastic night out with the girls, that didn't get over until 4am. Kiwi, it was great to hear your voice last night, I can't wait to meet you in person! I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the show (though I will be wearing flat shoes and putting MUCH less product in my hair. A hair tie will do if it gets unruly. Mousse + sweat = ICK) and I absolutely canNOT wait for tonight.

If we get the same setlist? Well, there's nothing I can do about that. We can hope though. For two sold-out shows at this venue (in an economy where really good seats are STILL available for next week's shows) you'd think Jon'd show a little appreciation by bringing out the big guns. Maybe Someday. Someday just might be tonight. (sorry couldn't resist)

Set List

1. Blood on Blood
2. We Weren't Born to Follow
3. You Give Love a Bad Name
4. Whole Lot of Leavin'
5. Born to be my Baby
6. Lost Highway
7. When We Were Beautiful
8. Superman Tonight
9. We Got It Going On
10. Bad Medicine w/ Roadhouse Blues [The Doors cover]
11. It's My Life
12. Lay Your Hands on Me [Richie Sambora on lead vocals]
13. Hallelujah [Leonard Cohen cover]
14. I'll Be There For You
15. Something for the Pain [acoustic]
16. Someday I'll Be Saturday Night [acoustic]
17. Keep the Faith
18. Work for the Working Man
19. Who Says You Can't Go Home
20. Love's the Only Rule
21. Runaway
22. I Love This Town
23. Wanted Dead or Alive
24. Livin' on a Prayer

Now, on to the shallow bits. For my male readers, any younger readers, and those who don't like the gushing about their looks/sex appeal, etc., stop reading now.

I totally missed some of Richie's solo because I was distracted by the man's flexing biceps and tri's. Holy hell, Batman. And the sex faces were just over the top last night. In an oh-so-good way. David had his earrings in which are uber-sexy in my opinion, and his infectious grin, and wonderfully goofy facial expressions make him such fun to watch. Tico has some great facial expressions of his own. Damn, watching him bang away on his kit, twirling his sticks... fantabulous. Jon was, of course, gorgeous as per usual, and a bundle of energy. A tight little bundle of energy. Growl...

If I may boys, and since it's my blog, I don't really have to ask your opinion, but thought it was a nice gesture, I do have a few suggestions for tonight.

Jon. When you strip off your shirt after the set on the circle stage, do it where we can see you. The pictures of you in Boston during the LH tour changing your shirt for the Celtics jersey, then flapping that red silk shirt after KTF are some of the most beautiful pictures I've been fortunate to take. You work hard to keep your body rock-solid for touring. Be proud. Show it off. Trust me, it will not go unappreciated.

Tico. When you're on the circle stage, smile! Your whole face lights up when you smile, and you have the sexiest laugh lines. I know the beat box isn't as much fun as your kit, but for us, would you show us your perlies? Please?

David. Three words. Button....Down....Shirt. I'll be there with my sign again (I'll be close enough for you to find me again) and I'd like to see a little bit of skin if you don't mind. You're another one who has a rockin' bod, and should be showing that bad boy off. Uh, please. Oh, and the earrings are sexy as hell.

Richie. I have to ask what's up with your pants. Don't get me wrong; what we ladies have dubbed the "Moose Guard Codpiece" (the leather crotch-section of his show pants) gives us all sorts of bad, bad thoughts. Coupled with the rosary beads you wear, you are just about devastating. But I have to know. Are they really comfortable? It seems like strategically placed leather, while offering protection from groping hands as you come up the walkway to the circle stage, would not be a good choice for someone who sweats as much as you do under those lights. Can I tell you that you are amazingly sexy when you're dripping with sweat? NO? Tough shit. You write your truth and I'll write mine. OK, onto a couple of minor requests. First, the Slash-meets-Mad-Hatter hat. PLEEEEEASE!!! Second, if you do Homebound Train tonight, please manage to insert the f-bomb into it like you did last night. For some reason, that strikes me as amazingly hot. Also, wear the red T tonight. Red is such a great color on you. And tight please. We saw David's nipples pressing through his t-shirt last night; we want to see yours, too.

I warned you this was the shallow part.

So, we've got a lasagna in the oven, we're wrapping up our various work projects, and we will soon be napping -- or trying to anyway. I'm having an absolute blast with Willow, FM, and Catte. Oh yeah, and those Jovi boys. I'm having fun with them too.

~ Hath


WomanOfTheCity March 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

I JUST LOVE your review. Sassy,paints a true picture and most importantly (at least for me) no ass-kissing-kool-aid-drinkin opinion *muah*

Couldn't agree with you more about Who Says - that one needs to be retire. I know I know DREAM ON. Pigs would fly before that happens .. but C'MON Boyz the Goddess has spoken and you must obey lol

oooops got caught by bossman...

thanks for great review and rock on night 2 - may the list be more innovative.

Big Apple Jen March 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

Great recap! Yeah, the guy and his kid with the Capt Crash sign ... took everything in my power not to throttle them. Fingers crossed for different setlist tonight ... won't be surprised if its just 1 or 2 songs ... but seriously, that is all it would take. ;-)

As for where I disappeared to ... I went to talk to Heather (former Soul staffer who now works for the foundation.) She gave me, as expected, the party line about the Soul show today. That's okay, I certainly don't blame her (I did, however, give Jon the stink eye a time or two) ... and people should really stop sending Heather nasty messages on facebook. It was great to hear about where all the staff landed in terms of jobs -- at the end of the day, we all need to remember we lost a fun past-time but those people lost their jobs -- 16 teams of players, coaches and staffs.

ANYHOO, great night all-around. See ya later tonight. ;-)

Unknown March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

Great review! I was there last night too and agree, some songs they need to retire and I could do without. I thought the same thing about Work for the Working Man, no way he can relate to the lyrics. With that said I had an awesome time! Bring on Giants Stadium!!

Anonymous,  March 24, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

You really have a gift with words Hath. Great review & don't feel alone, there is an a-hole at every show that forgets there are people behind them!

Loved your shallow comments too! =)~

As far as Working Man, as much as that made my husband happy (he loves that song & plays it over & over while in the car), it bothered me! My tickets were obscenely discounted since they were purchased an hour before show time from someone desperate to sell them but as far as I know, the ticket prices were much higher than last years shows. Considering we've had some entertainers perform for FREE here in the Detroit area, it was insulting that Bon Jovi tickets were more expensive. I also could have done without the theatrics of Jon touching the ground when he sang his last line "these are my streets...." Please. His streets are paved with gold.

Aside from that, I was so happy to be there, that during WWBTF while I was dancing & singing & waving my arms up in the air, I suddenly bursted out crying out of sheer joy of being there! Never expected to be there that night!

I've enjoyed reliving my concert thru your reviews. Thanks! Hope you get the songs you're really hoping for. I just prayed for Diamond Ring & I got it! I was a happy camper! ;-)

Have fun ~ give Willow a hug for me!

~ Sterling

Super_Kiwi March 24, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

LOL I loved your review Hath so you tell it like it is, and I love that. ;)

I'm glad you had a wonderful show and you've got wonderful pics and videos to prove it!

I'm with you, the setlist is still amazing being the first time you've seen it--I'm confident you'll get a few changes tonight since its a double header.

I loved talking to you ladies too, that was absolutely hilarious and I can't wait to meet you in person either. eeeeep! Enjoy tonight and looking forward to the low-down on that!

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