Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Circle Arc 8: Boston

Yeah okay, it's not officially The Circle Tour anymore.  But it's really the same tour.  Really.  It's the same set list, so it's the same tour :)  Brace yourselves; this is a long one.

Where do I start with this one? Let me get the complaint out of the way first.

NONE of the new songs from the Greatest Hits were played last night. I guess Boston wasn't a good radio market for them. Still, it was a massive disappointment to my 10-year old son, who absolutely adores "No Apologies" and has me play it every time he's in my car. We thought that one was a sure bet.

Okay, enough of that. Now onto the HIGHLIGHT of the show -- no "Work for the Working Man". They tried, God bless 'em, but Boston said, "Uh, no" and the speaker system blew. Like smoking blew. One of the couples we talked to on the train ride out of the city was on the side-stage, and could see smoke (not the effects, but an acrid-smelling smoke) coming from the general wires-and-boards area. Now, I have no idea if where they were sitting is where all the sound is coordinated from, but still, #FAIL! Epic #FAIL!

#FAIL to the point that Jon stopped the show and sat down on the stage with a WTF look on his face.

#FAIL to the point that they LEFT the stage and brought the house lights back up (at which point Hathlet innocently asks, "Is the show over already?")

It took them nearly 15 minutes to get the sound back up and running (I think that was the time box, we used the time to take care of the five words a mom doesn't want to hear in the middle of a show -- Mama, I hafta go pee -- so I can't be certain of the time). A general announcement came across the in-house PA that they were working on it and to just hold on a few minutes. When the sound check came over the speaker system, the place roared. Jon comes out with a "can you hear me now?" and the place erupted in laughter. I wonder who's in trouble over this one.

When I saw a similar thing happen at the 1st night of NMS in May, I thought "I'll never see something like this again -- this is something to remember!". Boy was I wrong. That night in Jersey, the guys at least kept singing, and the crew/stadiumites got the sound back in a minute or two. Not so last night. But I will say, it's something I'll always remember. Hathlet too.

OK, so Hathlet. He's 10. And short. In hindsight, floor seats, even though they were only 10 rows from the stage, were not the best option. We managed to move up to the next row on the aisle for a few songs at the beginning, so he could see, but when those folks came to claim their seats we went back to ours, and he spent a lot of time dodging around the arms/heads/signs (grrrr) of the people in front of us. He watched a good portion of the show on the monitors, but was able to watch the stage too. Especially when the guys came out onto the circle -- but more about that later.

The venue. TD Garden. First, will-call ticket pickup was an absolute BREEZE.  Easiest thing, and smooth as silk.  When we got to the will-call window, the line to get into the Garden was very short, only about 20 people or so.  By the time we got our tickets, had a slice, and hit the rest rooms, the line was through the length of the building, out the door, and up the block.  Damn.  It was all worth it though.  Especially when we realized where exactly our seats were.

If you haven't been there, it's small. The floor section anyway. Holy crap. We were SO close to the circle. And the pit seemed to be pretty small, so when the guys were on stage, I was able to see them perfectly. This guitar picture was taken on half-zoom with  my POS camera.  Not too shabby.  *shallow comment alert* When Jon raised his arms on stage, the V of his hipbones that make Jonny girls swoon on five continents were completely visible...growl lol *end of shallow comment* It also wasn't as loud as I remembered the other shows being, but that could just be me. It had great sound though (when it was working lol) and I have to say, a fantastic crowd. I need to do a few shout outs to some of the people (aside from the band) who made this a special night for my son.

#ShoutOut to @XDRegina, who brought her friend Kendra over to say hi. They had pit tickets, her mom was somewhere up in the arena lol Hathlet was thrilled to see some of my "Bon Jovi friends".

#shoutOut to Kelly, our next-seat neighbor who was enjoying her 41st show, and was just the nicest woman. She was wonderfully chatty, including Hathlet in the conversations.

#ShoutOut to the guys behind us in Section D who got a kick out of Hathlet's excitement, and knuckle bumped with him periodically throughout the show. Made him feel like "one of the guys".

#ShoutOut to the woman who stopped at our seats on the way out of the arena and told Hathlet it was her first show too, and they shook hands.

#ShoutOut to the two girls we walked with on the way to the train station who chatted with Hathlet about the show and gave me credit for "raising him right" by nurturing his love for Bon Jovi. Thanks girls!  They were also sitting near Coach Belichick and his guest during the show.  I can neither confirm nor deny if Coach smiled.

and finally #ShoutOut to the two guys behind us in line getting through the turnstiles at North Station -- Dude 1, hope your work day doesn't suck too badly, and Dude 2, Hathlet skipped school today too ;)

Okay, okay, onto the review.

I had expectations of a vanilla set list, and honestly, that was fine by me. This show wasn't about hoping for that rare gem, it was all about my concert-going partner. This was my son's first rock show experience, and I was more interested in his reactions, and trying to see things through his eyes. I even brought my camera in, but was too mesmerized by my son's obvious joy to take more than a handful of shots. I have to say, this was my favorite show ever. Not that I've been to a ton of shows, but the seats were great, the music was great, there was an adventure thrown in, and the company was beyond compare. Definitely one of my top nights ever.

The show opened with "Last Man Standing", with Jon on a satellite stage at the back of the floor. Hathlet stood up on his chair, and was able to see everything. The grin on his face was priceless. I was a bit bummed they didn't start with "Blood on Blood" since that's one of Hathlet's faves, but this was a great song to start with as well. When Jon ran back to the stage for "You Give Love a Bad Name", Hathlet tracked his progress (by watching the spotlights as he ran up the length of the arena) with a huge grin on his face.

For "Bad Name" and "Born to Be My Baby" we were up at the aisle seats, so he was able to watch both of those songs on the stage "live" rather than on the screens. High energy, great sound.  Lots of dancing and singing, both on stage and in our seats :)

I love "We Weren't Born to Follow" and "Lost Highway" live. LH is on permanent rotation on Hathlet's iPod, so he was jazzed for that song.

When "Love's the Only Rule" started, I sighed. This is one of my favorite Circle tracks. Hathlet joined in on the whoa-oa-oa-oh-oh's at the end when Jon was having us all sing, and he thought it was just great.  He loved the way that Jon gets the crowd into the show.  I think that was the point he finally understood the pull of the Live Jovi Machine.

Next came "Work for the Working Man". Part of it anyway. That's when the PA system blew out. I have to say, couldn't have happened to a nicer song.

"It's My Life" and "Runaway" had Hathlet singing and dancing and smiling a mile wide, and when they launched into "Just Older", he grabbed my arm with excitement. He loves that song too.

He got a kick out of Jon going up the robot platforms for "We Got It Goin' On" and thought they were pretty cool. The robots didn't do too much this show -- I don't know if it was because the venue wasn't that large or what -- but they seemed to mostly provide some background graphics, and that's about it.

"Bad Medicine" is another of Hathlet's favorites, though he didn't understand the whole 'jukebox' thing and had to ask what the Roy Orbison song was (lol). I guess there are still a few more music appreciation lessons to give him.

When Jon started the opening bars of "Lay Your Hands on Me" (to get the crowd to sing along, and make it like church lol) Hathlet says, "Isn't this Richie's song?" See? I am getting some of the lessons right. It was. We got the funky cool keys/guitar jam for the solo which was just awesome. I'm so glad I got to see it, and even gladder (is that word?) that Hathlet got to see it.

A gorgeous "Hallelujah" out on the circle, followed by dual-mics for "I'll Be There For You" -- I guess one of them must still be a little sick -- no mic sharing for them. Hathlet cuddled into my side for that one, and I swear, I got misty eyed. I may have a new top-5 Jovi song. Hmmm... what to bump....

I was a bit bummed we didn't get the acoustic experience, especially since they were so DAMNED close when they were on the circle... But again, I guess it was something that they decided Boston wouldn't like, so Richie left the circle after IBTFY (and after having some butt-pack problems and no guitar sound lol), and Jon launched into "Bed of Roses". No dance-with-a-lucky-audience-lady, but he did do the sit-on-the-edge-of-the-circle-JUUUUUUST-out-of-reach-and-croon thing, which was fun.

Jon headed back to the stage for "Who Says You Can't Go Home", which is one of my son's favorite songs. He was singing and dancing and we did the "it's alright"'s with the hand motions and everything, and he was grinning the whole time.

Then they launched into his all-time favorite Jovi song, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead". I'm glad they did this one -- Hathlet was commenting just the other day in the car that he hoped they'd play that one. The The filler, "Start Me Up" was met with a "what's that song?"

When Richie strapped on the electric double-neck for "Have a Nice Day" Hathlet was all excited. He loves cool guitars as much as I do. We didn't get Richie flipping us off (booo) but it was still an awesome tune. Then the maracas of "Keep the Faith", which Hathlet loved. He got a kick out of Jon's big poofy hair from all the shaking around.

I know this isn't from Dry County --
but it's the best Richie shot I got last night
 When the lights came back on for the encore, and the opening straings of "Dry County" that was all for me. Hathlet prefers the harder rocking songs. Though he did enjoy the solos. Damn they get me every time. Richie was on FIRE last night.

"Wanted Dead or Alive" or the crab-show-song as it's known in our house (thanks to Deadliest Catch) was a lot of fun. Hathlet loves this song too, and has a deep adoration for the double-necked Taylor like I do. One thing that he couldn't get over was the number of times Richie changed guitars throughout the night. He had questions about Richie's techs, and why the guitars have different sounds, and do they use different strings -- Takumi, care to drop me a line?  I can pass along Hathlet's email address :)

For me, "I Love This Town" is one of those take it or leave it songs, but the crowd seemed to love it.

And of course, the iconic "Livin' on a Prayer" finished the night. Hathlet sang along with everyone, and when the house went dark and the house lights finally came back on, he was a mess. Exhausted. And we still had an hour and a half or so left of our night -- we had to get home. Two trains later, he was passed out in the back seat of Darlin' (sorry Catte, Wills, Liz, and Tara -- I wanted to let him sleep, but have a blast tonight!)

All in all, an amazing night, mostly because of the company and not the show. Some cool moments mixed in, a lot of really GREAT fans around us, and a perfect mother-and-son bonding experience.  Virtually nobody sat at all during the show -- even during Richie's solo -- which was amazing.  I've always seen the mass exodus to the beer stands during Richie's song.  I was glad to see people stay to pay him respect. 

The one thing that was annoying as all hell about our seats was the constant stream of security people walking in front of us.  Yeah, we were in the first row of the section, and yes, there was a corridor there, but DAMN we spent more time looking at the security guys as they stalked back and forth than we did the actual band.  Note to self, only take Row 1 next time if it's ACTUALLY Row 1.  Oh, and win the lottery too.

I always thank the band for bringing certain women into my life over the course of my fandom, but now I have something else to thank them for -- an unforgettable night with my son.  He's still humming with excitement and keeps breaking out into song JOVI of course ;)

~ Hath


Jen,  March 2, 2011 at 3:32 PM  

Awww, what an amazing evening you had with the Hathlet! I'm so glad that so many people acknowledged him at the show and made him feel welcome. Sounds like you came away with some wonderful memories of both our guys and your guy...your recap made my heart feel all warm 'n fuzzy :)

Catte Sambora March 2, 2011 at 3:36 PM  

Sounds like a perfect night. :) Welcome to the Fandom, Hathlet!!!

doris,  March 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

Hath so happy u got to experience that with Athlete. welcome to the circle buddy

doris,  March 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM  

Sorry obviously can't type on my phone very well that wasn't supposed to be athlete it was Hathlet LOL

Anonymous,  March 2, 2011 at 8:19 PM  

Nice review Hath and welcome to Jovination Hathlet!


Anonymous,  March 2, 2011 at 10:03 PM  

Yes our evil plan has worked, we have converted another child into out crazy group known as Jovination. I wish I could do the same for my kids, but the guys will probably be in nursing homes by the time I have kids. I'm only 20!

Anonymous,  March 2, 2011 at 10:43 PM  

So sweet. Thanks for sharing your's and Hathlet's experience. What a great Mom you are introducing your son to not only to Bon Jovi live but to a rock concert experience. The first of many I am sure but he will always remember his first time. Ten is young! Did you see other children? JBJ talks about families (3rd generations) in the audience and I wonder how true that is.

Anonymous,  March 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM  

a 10 year old would be a 4th generation.
but my parents introduced me to great music when i was a kid too, and i don't regret a moment of it, even though i spent years and years alone in my tastes.

The Goddess Hathor March 3, 2011 at 5:07 AM  

Thanks everyone for the welcomes for Hathlet. He had a wonderful time, and was still talking about it last night at bed time :) There were other kids there around his age but not many (it was a school night). Many teens but mostly 40-and-over Hathlet's the 2nd generation for us to be a Jovi fan -- though I'm converting my mom too. Maybe, when they come back from their hiatus, the three of us will take in a show, and we'll spring for the really good seats... lol

~ Hath

blushnscarlet March 4, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

So as a random question, did Hathlet have ice cream before the show? Not a whole lot of 10(ish) year olds running around a Jovi show and I had the notion I saw you and he. Seeing as I have no idea what you look like, I can't be positive, but I thought I'd ask :o)

The Goddess Hathor March 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM  

Nope, no ice cream :) Just sodas which I immediately spilled all over the arena floor as soon as we sat down. :)

~ Hath

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