Friday, May 28, 2010

Circle Arc 6: New Meadowlands Stadium

Sorry in advance; this is another long one.

Whoa boy.

We thought we were getting one of those sexy-as-all-hell rain shows. It was pouring when we got on the train in Seacaucus.

We could see the lightning as we crossed the river (bay? pond? Whatever it is). Big flashy lightning. The kind that delays shows.

I texted Mr. Hath that it was raining, and things would probably be delayed. He texted back "ha ha". Not a fan, my dear Mr. Hath.

So, we trudged from the train to security through the rain, and every third person had an umbrella. And every third person had said umbrella confiscated at the gate. Security had quite a collection, and I'm pretty sure stayed dry during the deluge.

They weren't letting anyone into their seats because of the lightning, and poor Gavin had to wait to do his set. I think he had to cut it a little short, too, because he was done right around 8:30.

By 9:00, we were hearing "This Is Our House" and Willow and I apparently were t he only ones in our section who knew that this was the Jovi song that is the intro to the show. I still maintain that they should do this one live as the opener while they're at Giants (Sorry, "New Meadowlands").

Tonight we had tickets in section 117, which was on David's side, roughly at the end-zone line, 10 rows from the field. NOT bad seats at all. Actually, in some ways, they were better than last night's section 1 seats because we were even with the stage, and didn't have to crane our necks (I know, you're saying poor baby. I can hear it. I’m just sayin'). Of course, the guys were teeny-teeny-tiny from where we were sitting, but the screens were perfectly visible from where we were sitting, and you could easily watch selections from the screen.

Also tonight, I was able to bring in my good camera, and since the rain dried up just about 15 minutes before Jovi took the stage, I was able to take about 4GB of photos (~900 or so give or take). I need to go through them when my eyes aren't crossing and pull out the best ones (like Jon in that body glove shirt).

The show was delayed, as I said, so while we waited, Willow and I made our way up to the swag stands, got something to eat/drink, and wandered around for a while, handing out tons of business cards for the BJCT. Does 50 count as tons? Anyway, most people were a little leery of us approaching them, card in hand. I suppose, in hindsight, it could look like we were pandering, but once we explained what we were doing, we got nods and smiles. A couple cards wound up with people who had all-access passes and some of the food vendors and guest services folks got them too. Wonder if any of the cards actually made it backstage -- albeit in someone's ass pocket. Hmmm...

We also made a friend at one of the food stands who scored us two gigantic black trash bags that we ripped holes in to wear as ponchos. We were GORGEOUS, let me tell you :) And no, you can't see the picture.

But I digress. It's after 3am I have to be on a Boston-bound-bus in something ridiculous like 4 hours, so I better start typing faster.

Let me start off the review portion of the program by saying, I was prepared to be disappointed in the set list for tonight. Especially since it started with the same exact six -- yes SIX -- songs as last night. I was really getting my dander up. I mean come ON. They HAVE to know that at least half of the people from the first night were at the second.

I will also warn you that there are going to be a few "shallow bits" mixed in tonight, as all sorts of things tickled the femme bone tonight. They won't be lengthy, I promise, but just so you're warned....

In case you didn't know the first-six songs, the lineup was: Blood on Blood, We Weren't Born to Follow, You Give Love a Bad Name, Whole Lotta Leavin', Born to Be My Baby, Lost Highway. My opinions on these didn't change in 24 hours, so you can read yesterday's review for that.

The boys "kicked it into second gear" with We Got It Goin' On. After the obligatory "Are you still with me or what?" Jon obviously decided, yeah, we were with him. We got an audible in Have a Nice Day. Still from last show, but it was at position 20 on yesterday's countdown, this show, bumping Runaway from the number 8 spot (sorry, my Casey Kasem is showing. Let me take care of that.) I guess Jon thought that 1984 was too dangerous to revisit tonight, so we didn't get Runaway at all tonight. *ahem* CHICKEN! lol

(Sorry, I get silly when I'm sleepy... Or sillier, I guess you could say, if you know me well. I'll get on with it.)

The standard, mid-set pairing of When We Were Beautiful/Superman Tonight went over just about as well as it usually does, with many people electing to sit down or get another beer. I will give props to our section, though. They stayed on their feet for just about the entire show. No getting beer during Richie's solo. No spending half the time on the phone shouting "What? I can't hear you, I'm at a concert".

Only a few others in our section knew that they had to wave Captain Crash in, but we managed to wave him through the whole song. This is another fun song that makes me smile. I remember an anecdote Jon relayed in some interview or another, talking about the writing process. He says he starts with a title, and when "Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen From Mars" popped into his head, and he blurted it out to Richie, Richie thought for a moment, said "OK, man" and BOOM, had the opening riff. I love that story. It's that, picturing Richie standing there tapping his lips with a finger, rolling his eyes to the ceiling, hip cocked, then having the "a-HA" moment, sitting down, and plucking out that riff, that makes me smile every time I hear that song.

The jukebox portion of Bad Medicine tonight was Bad Case of Loving You, which always teases me, because the intro sounds just like "Born to be Wild" which is one of my favorite classics, and sounded so great when they did it in Kansas City (no I wasn't there, but I saw the YouTube), and I think this should go on permanent rotation. Crap, that was one huge run-on sentence. Sorry, just can't go back and edit that.

Next, Jon wanted to put a roof on the New Meadowlands so they could blow it off with "It's My Life". I think he wants a roof because he knows it's going to be MFC (that's mighty freaking cold) at the Superbowl in 2014. IML was another crowd pleaser, though I feel it should get a lighter rotation, and even the young boy in the row behind us sang along.

We got Love's the Only Rule again, which is a pretty song, don't get me wrong, but if you want a Halle Halle song, how 'bout "Learn to Love"? Please?

I was surprised to get Lay Your Hands on Me again as Richie's solo. Willow and I were all prepared for Homebound Train, having our woo-woos at the ready. Alas, 'twas not to be. Richie had clearly boned up on the lyrics, because there were fewer mistakes :) and boy did he have the crowd jazzed. I'm so glad that people stuck around to hear his solo. Richie is an amazing talent (and I don't say that just because I've been in lust with the guy for the better part of 20 years) and deserves the respect of the fans for his playing.

The arena went dark again, while Jon made his way to the circle. I felt that the continuity of the show was a bit stilted. This was the second time there was a transition that seemed to take longer than it needed to. It felt like long minutes before Jon was lit up with spotlights and surprised the crap out of us with a killer ballad pair in Make a Memory and Bed of Roses. I think the selection was his way of saying "F-you, hay fever". Whatever it was, it was beautiful.

I have now been fortunate to have heard "Never Say Goodbye" TWICE in my life. (Note to JB/Rich: This doesn't mean that I've taken Stranger off my list, it just means I won't bitch too much on Twitter at you). At Mohegan, from our seats, we watched their butts play the song. Tonight, we got the full-frontal version. Damn. Just damn. The four of them, on the circle, singing my all time favorite song, any artist, any genre. I couldn't stop the tears. I just couldn't. Even when the teleprompter guy messed up (which makes me laugh -- that they need the teleprompter. They're so proud of "not having to rehearse" but have to rely on someone else feeding them the words. I have to wonder what was on that screen. I kinda hope it was the Gettysburg Address or some Barney song of something. That would be freaking hysterical.) The song though -- it was beautiful. Simply beautiful. Though I will say, David needs to stand a little closer to the rest of them. He seemed to be off on his own (read as, wouldn't get into damned frame when I was trying to photograph them lol)

Jon made another nice speech about David's award winning (and Tony-nominated) Memphis. He went on for a few minutes, actually, which was quite nice, and finished by saying (something along the lines of) "and to keep him grounded, I make him come out here wearing his accordion". Don't worry David, you DO make that thing sexy as hell.

Something for the Pain/Someday I'll Be Saturday Night was the acoustic pairing again, and Richie with that damned Taylor (I think it's a Taylor) double-neck made my knees weak tonight, as my heart was already mushy from NSG. If a guitar can be sexy, this one is off-the-Hath-charts. I have a close-up of Richie's hand strumming it as my wallpaper at work -- that's how much in love with this guitar I am. Or maybe it's his hand I'm in love with. I'll examine that later.

After heading back to the main stage (and this time David didn't have to run, which is a good thing, because it was probably slippery), we got another great treat: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. This has shown up once before during this tour (in Charlotte) but that's it, so this was a great surprise. I totally dig this song. It's a feel good, foot-stompin, gotta-sing-along great time. Everyone was singing and dancing, and damned if we didn't have fun with it.

Then there was Work for the Working Man and Who Says You Can't Go Home.

An energetic Keep the Faith, complete with maracas and fireworks ended the main set. We started getting excited to see what we'd get for the "bonus feature" in the encore.

Holy crap did we get a winner.

Always, which hasn't been on the set list since Montreal. Jon did an amazing job with the vocals, especially since his hay fever/allergies were totally kicking his butt. I mean, his eyes were all puffy, his cheekbones looked like someone had taken a frying pan to them (bruised not crushed) and he kept shaking his head like he missed notes or something, but it sounded good to my non-musically-trained ear. The whole crowd sang the song to Jon and the boys, and it was another moment that had me crying in the stands. I am a sentimental fool, and this song is just (to me) one of the best love songs I've ever heard.

Afterwards, just before Wanted, he pulls Richie aside and says "Why do we keep writing songs that are up here?". He raised his arm to show the octave. "We need to write songs that are more down here," he says, putting his arm at waist height. A funny moment between the two of them.

Wanted and Prayer ended the evening, with Jon doing a slightly different, more vocally challenging intro to Prayer, as if proving to himself that his voice was "just fine". It was very, very good.

So, all in all, though I was prepared to write a scathing review (actually, I was prepared to just cut-and-paste yesterday's review) they shut me down right quick with the shake up in the beginning of the lineup, and finished me off with Memory/Roses, Never Say Goodbye, and Always. Way to go, guys. Anyone who knows me will tell you, it's hard to shut me up :)

All in all, a great, high-energy show, with a few twists and turns thrown in along the way. 27 songs, by the way (if you're keeping track at home).

I really REALLY wish I was able to go to Saturday's show.

Ah well.

~ Hath


Anonymous,  May 28, 2010 at 8:50 AM  

I was at the show last night as well and thought it was great!! I was happy to hear NSG for the 1st time even though Jon forgot some of the words! Always was a highlight too. We were in section 135 and I was happy that everyone stood up for most of the show. I didn't sit down once!! Thanks for your review I love reading them!

Peg May 28, 2010 at 6:39 PM  

Thanks for the awesome reviews Hath!! Can always count you to capture every moment & share it with us. So glad the guys treated you right & gave you some surprises last night. Maybe they read your post yesterday, lol. And kudos to you for passing the BJCT Cards around.

And I'm really glad folks stuck around to hear Richie play. You are dead on!! The man's solos are amazing.

Glad you had a great time.

Anonymous,  May 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM  

Due to life circumstances I will never be able to attend a Bon Jovi concert. Thanks to you (and other blogs) I can have a pretty good glimpse at a concert experience. It is cool that BJ fans travel so far to attend concerts and are able to connect with one another and even become friends. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Bayaderra May 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

David's position on the circle was just perfect--closer to me! ;) And he DID haul ass back to stage...I got a smudged pic to prove that!
Jon's alergies were much worse last night, he kept rubbing his sinus pressure points and spitting--again documented with pics! ;)
I am in a process of uploading and sorting my 800+ pics, will send links to the best of them by Sunday I hope...

TaraLeigh May 29, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

Oh Hath, what an awesome review. Mine won't be nearly as comprehensive. LoL

I'm so glad you got to see NSG! I know it wascthe highlight of my night as well! The show was amazing I didn't even notice the setlist similarities because I was having such a great time. Here's to round 3...I wish you were going with us.

Super_Kiwi May 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM  

First of all it was awesome to meet you, I had a blast. And I loved your review. I agree with most of the comments, I loved it---actually really LOVED it, the small changes were nice but I was expecting more after his interviews LOL---BUT I have to say Never Say Good Bye was just the best moment, I cried as well--I adore that song and I don't even care he stuffed up the words LOL


Wish you were here tonight, we'll think of you. xxx


Catte Sambora June 1, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

Sweetie, you WERE tired when you wrote this... they played "Sleep" at Philly 2. You were standing right beside me, LOL! They also played it at Dallas 2 but you weren't there. :(

I can understand how it would slip your mind though... that Philly 2 show was SMOKIN'. I think "Only Lonely" in the encore just erased the memory of everything that came before it. :)

The Goddess Hathor June 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

Crap. That'll teach me to use the "search" function on the BJCT. For Philly 2 whoever put up the set list (probably me) abbreviated the name, so when I searched for it, it wasn't there.

Plus, I shouldn't blog at 4am. No way.

~ Hath

Anonymous,  July 20, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

I just found your blog. It is much easier to get the set list here than waiting for to load up. Anyway, I have photos from in the Circle and video of NSG from this night. If you are interested I can send them along.

The Goddess Hathor July 20, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

Hi Lyn! Thanks for the comment, and absolutely, anything you'd like to share, drop me an email !!

~ Hath

Anonymous,  July 21, 2010 at 8:50 PM  

I emailed you the sendspace link to the video. Hope you got it.

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