Thursday, April 29, 2010

Opening Giants Stadium

It’s a big deal.

MSG was definitely their “in their backyard”, Central Park was historic, but there’s just something about Giants’ Stadium. Giants’ Stadium, for the boys of Bon Jovi, has always been about “coming home”.

From the beginning, Giants’ held a special place in the guys’ hearts, and is the source of many a story from the “days of yore”. Some of my friends’ best Jovi memories are of shows from Giants’. And I get to become part of that history when I am there with one of my dearest friends Willow up in the rafters to celebrate the opening of the stadium.

Around the Fandom, people are talking about Big Things (capital-B, capital-T) happening the first night at Giants’. All sorts of speculation about the kinds of things the guys are going to pull out of their collective back pocket (though I think Dave is the only one wearing jeans baggy enough to get a hand into).

I have to say, I’m swept up in the hoopla myself, and am looking forward to having my socks blown clean off. I’m looking forward to saying, “Damn, I’m never going to see anything better than that.” I’m talking myself out of my vanilla-set list-cynicism, and jumping whole-heartedly onto this band’s wagon.

There are lots of songs I’d love to see live at Giants’ next month. A few off the top of my head – reprisals of past Giants’ performances I’d love to see for myself:

I Am (July 29, 2006) ~ In my opinion the BEST song to follow “Superman Tonight” in the lineup. Jon and Richie are storytellers at heart, and I Am, though written long before Superman, follows perfectly:

Who’s gonna save you when the stars fall from your sky?
Who’s gonna pull you in when the tide gets too high?

When you think that no one is there to hold your hand, I am…

One Wild Night (July 27, 2001) ~ This would be the perfect Second Song in the set list for the first night at Giants’. The first song? Has to be a FULL version (live, not on the soundsystem) of This Is Our House. What could be more appropriate for the band’s First Song on the First Night in their new home?

Dry County (July 19, 2006) ~ I think this one speaks for itself. And it was done last tour, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility. I get all squinchy thinking about seeing Richie’s solos from this track live.

There are other songs I’d love to see as well.

Ride Cowboy, Ride: I totally want to know the danger of a kiss at midnight
99 In The Shade: This is a completely fun song, and I could see everyone having a great time with this. Tell the boys I’m on my way. I hit Jersey in 23 days!
Damned: Gulp, this would be absolutely deadly
This Ain’t A Love Song: How perfect would this be on the circle? JB and Rich sharing the mic?
Bells of Freedom : A great next-song for We Weren’t Born To Follow

Really, far too many “wants” to name. But I think that the ones I’ve listed aren’t outrageous requests. The songs’ ranges are not too taxing for Jon’s voice. They’re not obscure buried tracks that would only appeal to the die-hard fans. They’re long-shots, but not off the table, right?

While I was pondering this post, I came up with a few things that are on my wish list that I’m pretty sure I’m never going to see. Not being fatalistic, just realistic.  It doesn't stop me from coveting, though.

Drift Away

June 11, 1989 - Giants Stadium, NJ

This is far and away one of my top-three favorite covers the band has done.

This has been done many times throughout their touring career. Stuttgart 2008, Sheffield, 1986, Stockholm, 1993

It’s time to bring it back. As the last song in the last Encore.

Like Hallelujah, the song is timeless, though it is one we should be singing to them – and if they gave us a shot at the final chorus, I know we could do them proud.

Give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock’n’roll
And drift away...

I for one, get lost in their rock’n’roll on nearly a daily basis. There’s a song for every mood – either to put me in one or tease me out of one.

To see this live, with them doing the last bit a capella would be just beautiful. I can see them huddled on the stage, clustered together to sing. When it comes to the end of the song, they take their microphones, all of them, and venture out onto the circle, getting the crowd to sing along with them. They space themselves out so that among them, they’ve got command of the entire audience, directing us as we sing to them. Then the slowly come together again to the middle of the circle, as they sing a final chorus, and the lights go out.

The Return Of The Triple Neck

Sweet hell, this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen (heard).

Richie used to do these long, elaborate intros to Wanted “back in the day”.

In last year’s podcast with MusicRadar, someone asked why he doesn’t do those anymore.

His answer was something like “Do you KNOW how many notes I play a night?  I don't need to play any more, man,” which totally cracked me up.

Does he not get it? That we don’t care how many notes he plays; it isn’t enough?  Seeing him "jam" as it were on his own, playing from the heart without a script -- how beautiful would that be?

Midnight Rider as a lead in to Wanted

I know; the Triple-Neck and Midnight Rider can’t go together at the same show. I’m fully able to accept an either/or on this one.

As far as lead-ins go, it’s a really good one, in my opinion.

I’ve got to run to keep from hiding
And the road goes on forever
And I’ve got one more silver dollar
But I’m not gonna let them catch me, no;
Not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider…

Richie’s done it throughout his “solo tours” and damned if it doesn’t work for me. Check this video, from 1998 – Japan.

That works for you, doesn’t it? See if the Jovi version works for you – the two of them sharing the mic, harmonizing as only they can do…

Yep, this is one that I’d love to see.

Now, note that I’m not making any speculation about what I think we’ll get that first night at Giants’. If I think about it too much, I start slipping off the wagon and back into my cynicism again. I’m just so freaking excited for this show, I can hardly stand it.

~ Hath


TaraLeigh April 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

I'm with you, Hath...all the way. I want that something special, and I'm hoping against hope that Jon gives it to us.

This set of shows is going to be amazing, I just can't think anything else. I also think we should all @bonjovi on twitter with this post. Let Jon see this and know that we are going to be laying a huge boulder on his shoulders.

We want it to be special. Don't you fucking dare dial it in. I want that arrogance to work for me, and I want him to blow my fucking mind. They did it at Giants. Night 2 of the HAND tour, he ripped my heart out, then handed it back to me 2.5hrs later.

Do it to me again Bon Jovi. You're even tighter now, the harmonies between all 4 of the guys is so strong and true these days. Show me what you got.

I dare you.

Thanks for a great post, Hath.

Teale April 29, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

You two rock! I loved reading these! Great way to start my morning! Thanks :)

Catte Sambora April 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

My first and only (so far) Jovi Experience at Giants was closing night of HAND, 7/29/2006. It damned near killed me.

Opening: Cover of Elton's Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting. With Soul cheerleaders, no less. Didn't really care about the Soulmates, but DAMN... ELTON!

Early Set: BTBMB, Story of My Life, Sleep, back-to-back. Catte is sweaty, gasping mess.

Mid-Set: Wildflower. Ahhh. Followed by most gorgeous version of IBTFY I've ever heard Richie do (plus a little kiss from Daddy for Ava, awww) Immediately followed by Undivided. I was in tears. Could see the Manhattan skyline over top of Giants, from my seat. Twin Towers conspicuously absent.

Late Set: Bad Medicine, Shout, Raise Your Hands. BAM! BAM! BAM!

Encore 1: 5 SONGS!!! Capped by hot, sweaty, obviously exhaused Jon singing These Days

Encore 2: They couldn't help themselves. End of long tour, relief in sight, after-party ready to kick off, 90 freakin' degrees at almost-midnight.... 3 more songs, starting with WILD IS THE WIND. Catte is quivering mass of Goo, weeping openly. Followed by I'd Die for You and, of course, Wanted.

Took me days to recover. Good thing (??) it took us 2 1/2 hours to get out of parking lot and to our hotel ACROSS THE ROAD. (Stupid Jersey traffic)

I'll be there May 29, 3 years and 10 months to the day later, with a whole herd of my JoviGirls (all in the same section--look out!) My wishlist?


New Jersey in its entirety.

You teased us, Richie... time to deliver. ;)

I triple-dog-dare ya.

foxli April 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

Great post, Hath. If only Mr. JBJ would read it....

I've been begging on Twitter for weeks for the full New Jersey album at one of these shows. I'd be a mess if the actually do it but I wouldn't mind of course.

It's gonna be my first Giants expericence and I can hardly wait.

Heidi (SwissRichieGirl on Twitter)

Rike April 29, 2010 at 4:08 PM  

July-29th-2006 I was there. It was the last full BJ show at the old Giants stadium. It was my first trip oversea, it was my first FC-Trip and I met friends for a life there. Ok, it wasn't my first BJ show in the US, that was Foxboro two days before. But the last show at the Giants was absolutely memorable.
I'm counting the days til May 26th.See you there

Anonymous,  April 29, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

Hath, thanks so much for that post. I have been fighting with myself for days about whether or not I should sell my tickets for both Giants shows and just stay home. I was there for the last HAND concert on July 29, 2006. It was so fantastic and memorable. Jon singing These Days was a highlight of the show as was Richie singing I'll Be There For You. You have just made me make the decision about going. How could I stay home and miss the opening of Giants Stadium. Now I just got to work on finding a place to stay that first night and make a reservation! Thanks for the memory boost!


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