Music Therapy on a Lost Highway
Just when I think they can’t impress me any more than they already do…
Just when I think I can’t possibly have more appreciation for their music and performing than I already have…
They come to town and rock my face off.
This is not from last night, but it is from the current tour, and I just love it.
This was my 5th Bon Jovi concert (6th if you count the one in the theater), and I am telling no lies when I say, “it gets better EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME.” They always manage to throw in an old song that I’ve never seen performed live. This was my first concert since Richie went through his divorce, Denise Richards, and rehab, and I have to say he is on one heck of a comeback tour. He was phenomenal last night, and nearly had me in tears. It was so great to see his smile, again and to see him show a guitar who’s boss. You would think that I would be able to put the show into words better with each time that I see them, but it honestly gets harder and harder. So, let’s begin at the beginning. Maybe that will help…
This time my tickets were in the dreaded 400 level of the Verizon Center. Try as I might when they first went on sale, I couldn’t get anything better. Well actually I could have been on stage for a mere $1300 with the VIP experience, but I decided against that. Once we got there, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Sure the stage was still quite a bit of distance away, but it really wasn’t that bad. In fact it was educational. I learned that the WNBA gives out awards for Season Attendance Champion and that the Washington Mystics have one the award three times as evidenced by the banners hanging from the rafters. I also learned that there is some kind of energy drink called Havoc Energy whose slogan is “Disrupt the Ordinary.” I kind of like that as a general life slogan, too.
Nevertheless, at 7:31pm Daughtry took the stage. I was really excited that they were opening for Bon Jovi because when Chris covered “Wanted (Dead or Alive)” on American Idol, I thought to myself…WOW he should open for Bon Jovi one day. And “one day” was this Lost Highway Tour. They played a 45 minute set and showed 5,000 reasons why Chris should have won American Idol that season. Of course those 5,000 reasons are the same reasons I’m glad he didn’t win because I truly believe Chris wouldn’t have gotten to do what he’s done with his band if he’d won. He never would have been able to write the recording contract for the band as a whole instead of him as a solo artist supported by a band. They had a fabulous time on stage, and that’s actually something I like to see. If a performer is having fun on stage, that fun translates to the audience. I think they’ve got a long career ahead of them.
At 8:31pm the houselights came down again and stayed down until 10:52pm with nearly 2 1/2 solid hours of 20+ years of music in between. VERY THERAPEUTIC!! Here’s the set list from last night:
Washington, DC – Verizon Center – 2/28/08
YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME
RAISE YOUR HANDS
CAPTAIN CRASH AND THE BEAUTY QUEEN FROM MARS
I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD (w/ Jumpin’ Jack Flash)
IN THESE ARMS
WHOLE LOT OF LEAVIN’
BORN TO BE MY BABY
BLAZE OF GLORY (w/ Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door intro)
WE GOT IT GOIN’ ON
IT’S MY LIFE
BAD MEDICINE (w/ Shout)
STRANGER IN THIS TOWN (RICHIE VOX — RICHIE’S SOLO ALBUM)
(YOU WANT TO) MAKE A MEMORY
I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU
BED OF ROSES
WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T GO HOME
HAVE A NICE DAY
KEEP THE FAITH
LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER
WANTED (DEAD OR ALIVE)
I LOVE THIS TOWN
Jon was perfect in everything…the way he spoke to the audience, the way he engaged us, the way he joked around with Richie. He even apologized for only doing one show in DC this tour because other cities are getting 2 and 3 night engagements, but apparently there’s a Philly Soul AFL game on Saturday that he has to attend as part owner of the team. We forgave him when he said he’d be more than willing to return to DC 10 more times. He will be 46 on Sunday, but he doesn’t look a day over 35. And that smile…oh that smile. To this day, I cannot name another person who has a better smile than his. It’s just one of those smiles that makes you smile because you can’t help yourself. Whatever IT is…he’s still got IT. I think to a degree what I love about him is how much he enjoys his job and quite frankly that he views it as such.
Jon and Richie performed “I’ll Be There For You” in the middle of the audience. They’ve been doing this one microphone for the two of them on that song for the last couple of tours, and it’s become one of my favorite parts of the show. There were fantastic up close views of Dave and Tico on their keyboards and drums, respectively. I don’t think I’ve seen that much of them in any other concert. I ADORE watching Dave play the keyboards because he’s great and because it always makes me wonder what-if he had taken that scholarship to Juilliard instead of signing the recording contract with Bon Jovi. Would he now be one of our greatest classical pianists? He’s certainly good enough to have turned out that way, but for whatever reason he chose Bon Jovi instead. Tico amazes me on many levels but primarily because he’s in his 50s and still pounding those drums.
In the midst of all this, I have to say the technology on the stage took my breath away. There was a front video screen above the stage, one giant screen on each side of the stage (hung high for the people in the 400 level), a screen built into the stage that moved and that Jon could actually walk on, and four screens behind the stage that moved and turned. Those 4 screens behind the stage were the most impressive to me. They could come together to form one giant screen, and they could stretch and separate into strips vertically and horizontally. Way cool!
I had a blast to say the least, and I wish there was more I could say, but I honestly think I’m either sleep deprived or still speechless…or maybe a little of both.