April 9, 2008

Los Angeles - LH - Review

Lost Highway Tour
April 9, 2008

WHAT A FLUCKING NIGHT. That’s really all there is to say…I can’t think of the best adjective for it. Amazing? Fantastic? Incredible? How about amazingly fantastically incredible? That sounds good.

It started off with my decision that I was going to upgrade my ticket no matter what (unless I was closer than row 10, which I nearly bet money I wouldn’t be.) I have never upgraded a ticket before, but I heard of people in Anaheim doing it and I know several people at the Staples Center did so and walked away with front row. So after meeting up with Sandra, Michelle, and Debbie, we headed over and get our tickets. Mind you, I bought ticket only, and was absolutely positive, after rows 14 and 12 in Anaheim, that I’d be around there or further back. So imagine my surprise when I see 9TH ROW, Richie’s side (I think the FC wants to keep me away from the Hugh-side platform, lol.) I was happy with that and decided I’d still try for an upgrade, since it was my last show and I was determined that Jon see my birthday sign (“For my 19th birthday, may I have this dance?”), but if all else failed, I’d still have 9th row…a great seat.

Long story short, I ended up not getting an upgrade, but was perfectly fine…especially when we walked down to the floor and I discovered, to my happy surprise, that not only are the rows at Staples MUCH closer together than Anaheim, but that due to the stage set-up, 9th row Richie’s side was like 7th row center. EEK! Rosie (RichiesRosie) was three rows up from me, and we both screamed when we found our seats. I was so close that I started shaking…exactly like I did during HAND when I saw my 6th row center seat. My only complaint was that I was in the middle of the row, and being claustrophobic, that’s not fun. But I knew I had to suck it up.

Sandra was two rows up from me (just behind Rosie), and there was an empty seat next to her, so I joined her there until the person came to claim his/her seat. We got all the way halfway through Daughtry (by the way, major attention/smiles from the guitarist :love:) and I was absolutely in love with the seat/view…so I was very disappointed when the seat’s rightful owner came. LOL. I returned to 9th row and enjoyed the rest of Daughtry and then when Jovi started, I found it wasn’t so bad…except that everyone was bumping and crashing into each other in the middle of those rows. Argh. But the band was on FIRE! From the moment Jon rose from below the stage, bearing black guitar and swinging into HEY HEY!, I was jumping and dancing and totally having a blast. They sounded amazing, and Jon promised another long, sweaty night with “songs from every album over the years – some old, some new, some in-between.” I Love This Town was 3rd on the setlist!

I have to admit, compared to what was to come, the first few songs were tame. Once it came time for wristband group #3 to go on stage, however, things changed for the better for me. It seemed that everyone in group #3 was in our area, so Richie’s side was left quite cleared out when they all left. The ladies in my row told me to move down so we could spread out and get some room, and I had a sudden inspiration: both Sandra AND the woman next to her had gone up on stage, so I took a quick look around for security, then snuck up to Sandra’s seat faster than you can blink. Julie (who was next to Sandra) was very accommodating and let me stay there, and I am SO grateful she did. I had packed my sign, that trusty thing that had already been shunned by the last two shows, and I gathered my courage and held that thing up proud from my new aisle seat – about 15 feet and directly diagonal to that white mic.

In the middle of Lord-knows-what-song-because-my-mind-became-a-blank, Jon looked over at me, saw the sign, read it, and flashed me the biggest smile that just made my heart melt. I know his smiles normally make me melt, but LORD, when that smile is directed at you…when it is FOR YOU…it’s an entirely different thing altogether. My heart jumped and I smiled back, waving it in the air…and EEEEE the feeling was so wonderful! Jon saw MY sign and smiled at ME! :love: I’m getting all giddy just remembering it.

At that point, I truly didn’t even care if he danced with me or not – I think I always knew deep down he wouldn’t – and I was perfectly fine with that. He saw it, he acknowledged it, and he smiled at me from onstage…that was enough! So I kindly let the people behind me see again and tucked the sign away.

A few songs later, Sandra and her neighbor returned…and I surprised myself by squeezing into the row instead of going back to my seat. I am not one to do that – I’m all about being the good girl and staying where I should, but I just had this feeling in my gut and my heart that tonight was a big night, and darn it, as my last show, I wanted it to go out with a bang! So imagine how incredibly, insanely happy I was when that woman packed up her stuff…and left. :shock: Yes, she left! Sandra thought she just went to the bathroom, but I think she figured she got her onstage time and she was done. And sure enough, she never came back. MUCH to my delight! So I stayed in 7th row, which was like 4th, and had the BEST. NIGHT. EVER. I have never in my life been so close, and I can’t tell you how much I thoroughly LOVED that seat and that view. Thank you Julie and Sandra sooo very much for letting me stay there. You both rock!

Now, you’d think that smile of Jon’s would have met my personal attention quota for the night, right? I thought so too. But apparently Jon disagreed. :razz: I got TWO more amazing moments throughout the rest of the nearly 3 hours Bon Jovi kicked our a$$es. During Jon’s platform performance, the people in front of us sat down. And I mean…everybody. We basically were the front row of people standing with Richie then, which was super cool. Oh and by the way, Jon danced with a woman from the lower levels on the platform side. I was like - “Aww dang it! Well I’m happy for her though! But still…dang it!” LOL

Anyway, when Jon returned to the stage and they “kicked it up into high gear”, the people in front of us remained sitting. :shock: I was like…WTF mate? Are you serious? But now I thank them, because Jon Moment #2 came about. I had my camera high up in the air to capture the cool lighting effects and get a close-up of Jon, but the darn man wouldn’t stand still. :lol: He came wiggling and dancing over to our side, so I figured I’d snap one more picture and then enjoy him being so close in person. So I’m focusing the camera and trying to snap a shot when he’s relatively still, and suddenly I see him making a face in my screen. :shock: I look up in real life and he’s freaking POSING for me, for my camera, which was the front-most thing to him since everyone in front of me was sitting, and I nearly DIED. He leaned toward me, widened his eyes and made one of those teasing kissy-faces, and I was so distracted by it that I couldn’t take the darn picture…not with that gorgeous man puckering up at me!! He kissy-faced for a few seconds, then had to return to his stage-bopping, so I missed a great photo-op. But still. Jon puckered at me.

Jon Moment #3 is not as direct; I think Julie, Sandra, and I all shared it, LOL. But he made his way over again and leaned forward and flashed us this HUGE megawatt smile which just left me breathless. JAYSUS that man has a smile.

Okay, sorry, back to the music. The songs were GREAT, the band was in high spirits, Richie was on FIRE on that guitar, and he nailed IBTFY once again. Lord can that man bring you to tears. It was phenomenal…and I am so mad because I accidentally deleted my video of it. ARGH.

Chris joined them onstage for Blaze again, and this time he did it flawlessly. He and Jon sounded great together, and I got a few good shots of them hugging afterward!

All in all, the main concert was just fabulous. But it was the killer encore that did me in. After the customary, “Thank you, Los Angeles! We’ll see you again soon! Bye bye!” and everyone going, “AHEM, no you don’t…get back here!”, Jon came back out in a new, gorgeous blue top (which he didn’t bother to button all the way) and sung his heart out on Hallelujah again. Sandra hadn’t heard it yet, so I loved watching her reactions, but I was watching Jon more. It was the second time in less than a week that I’d seen/heard him do it, and I was deeply moved yet again. He does that song so much justice – and it does him justice in return. The passion is just unfolded, pure and raw, and I felt goose bumps when he held out the last Hallelujah for so long it seemed he would just melt into the song itself. Absolutely breathtaking.

And then of course he had to pump it up, and everyone rose for the Jovi Anthem. And we were so damn loud and into it that Jon said, "Are you sure I'm not in NEW JERSEY tonight?" with this big ol' smile (and the crowd roared). After getting used to a 2-song encore, I was prepared for it to end…and was ecstatic when, after the lights had dimmed and the staff had even taken away the guitars, Jon’s voice echoed out of the stage darkness… “Naw, naw, naw – WAIT a minute.” The lights surged back on and Jon narrowed his eyes playfully. “I ain’t done with them yet! I still got some twisting to do.” And then the guitars were replaced, and they broke into the cover of Glad All Over, before Jon shook his money-maker across the stage in a heart-attack inducing version of Treat Her Right.

As if that weren’t enough surprises – Jon makes his way over to the far end of Richie’s side of the stage, and promptly hops off – while still singing and swaying, mind you! – and makes his way along the aisle through the crowd alllllll the way to the end and out the back, ushered by security. And then the show was over and Richie, Dave, Lorenza, Tico, Hugh, and Bobby exited the stage the normal way. It was a bit odd not having a final bow, but Lordy that was some finale!!

While my night was rendered a bit…disastrous…afterward, with a huge scare about my purse (which I had left back at my real seat) being lost/stolen (I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but I’m getting it back and I want to thank Sandra, Debbie, and Rosie again for being there for me), I have to say, in all honesty, that last night was truly the BEST show I have ever been to. Just the combination of the band’s spirits, my fabulous seat, being with good friends and getting such wonderful moments with Jon made it so incredibly amazing – and about 10x better than Anaheim (which I thoroughly enjoyed!) I know I’ll remember this night forever.

So…thank you BACKSTAGE for the great seats and arrangements for three shows. Thanks for not sticking me in row 20!

And of course, thank you BON JOVI for absolutely ROCKING us. You really outdid yourselves at all of the shows here and we are so grateful! It’s been some ride, but I think the Highway was finally found…in California.

April 6, 2008

Anaheim x2 Review

Lost Highway Tour
April 4-5, 2008

I don’t know where to start. This past weekend was definitely one of the best times of my entire life – two nights of kick-arse BON JOVI rock and roll coupled with great friends, lots of laughter, and a day in Disneyland – what could be better? I know last time I went into incredible detail about everything because it was my first tour show and I was beyond ecstatic; this time I was of course excited and on Cloud 9, but I don’t feel the need to go into everything. ;)

I’ll start with Friday night – after over two years since seeing them last, I was jonesin’ for some Jovi BIG-TIME. Remembering the deafening screams of the crowd and the amazing, incredible experience I had in 6th row center, the energy and excitement before and during, the euphoria at seeing my favorite men IN PERSON just feet away from me, I was hosting a million butterflies as I arrived at the Honda Center again.

I ended up 14th row, Richie’s side – and was not complaining! It could have been better, sure, but it also could have been worse, and I was not upset in the slightest. I made instant friends with the people in my row – they were a lot of fun to have with me, and I was so happy they were as energetic as I was!! As Daughtry finished and excitement was bursting my seams, the house lights finally dimmed and I didn’t stop screaming for the next two hours.

The guys were in GREAT moods, and I had a perfect view of the stage. Though I was on the wrong side of the arena for the platform performances (and Richie surprised everyone by joining Jon on it for IBTFY!), it was worth it because I got some priceless DAVID moments. It was amazing – I stood in the aisle while everyone crammed into the further two sections to see Jon and Richie, and I was trying to get a clear picture of Dave, since you can never get a good shot of him bouncing at the keyboards. After I had snapped the shutter about 5,248 times, he looked up and I KNOW he saw me in the aisle – I think he was surprised that someone was paying attention to him and not the Dynamic Duo over on the other side of the floor! LMAO. I got a few smiles, chuckles, and winks from him, which totally made my night.

The setlist was pretty predictable, but I for one didn’t care in the slightest – I was just happy to see them live again, and I didn’t give a rat’s arse what they played. I just wanted me some Jovi.

I have never heard Jumpin’ Jack Flash live, so it was incredible during Sleep, and if others are sick of it, let me take your place at all of your future shows, because I loved it!

Chris Daughtry joined them for Blaze of Glory, where he promptly screwed up the first verse and elicited and laugh/smile out of Jon.

Jon was flirty, fun, and a major tease during Bad Medicine (the infamous “Sweat Shake” as I call it – where he throws his body from side to side to Tico’s drum beat), and Richie absolutely NAILED These Days. I almost died – it was absolutely the most amazing performance I’ve ever seen. I was choked up and teary, and seriously think I did some vocal damage screaming for him when he was done.

Jon slayed me during KTF with those damn maracas – and I know I’m going to reveal my inexperience with live shows here, but I’ve never seen him throw them up and catch them before! I actually stood there and thought, “How the heck did he do that?!”

Livin’ On A Prayer was fantastic again – one of my very favorites live – as the entire arena explodes into song and everyone on the floor waves their arms back and forth. Lots of energy and power!

The encore was a mere two songs – Saturday Night and Wanted – but ended with Jon’s promise that they’d see us again the next night. I headed back to my hotel physically exhausted, but mentally and emotionally wired and awake; I looked through my pictures with sheer DELIGHT (I’m in love with my new camera), and couldn’t fall asleep until after 4am, filled with excitement for the next night.


If Friday night was amazing, Saturday night was phenomenal. I was 12th row on the same side (and nearly the same seat number), and as soon as the guys emerged from the shadows and jumped into HEY HEY!, I was back on Cloud 9. I wore my Jovi Soul jersey in honor of that night’s game, and I knew they had won beforehand, so I knew Jon would be happy. And he was. He was incredibly flirtacious and in SUCH a mood – “For you Soul fans, we WON tonight, so I am in a good mood.” And Lord was he.

He welcomed back the second-night attenders – “Who was here last night?” Fans screamed and jumped up and down, making him laugh. “And for those who weren’t – where the hell were you?” He shook his head and smiled, “Oh, that’s right – it was sold-out.”

Bad Name was second as usual, but when the third song started, they got about two chords in before I screamed and made everyone around me wonder if I had just had a heart attack. They were playing GARAGELAND. I have never heard that live, and I was the only one in my entire area who knew what it was. It was amazing, and I LOVED hearing it live! They glided into Just Older from there, and then into Summertime and finally SLEEP, during which Jon really got our blood flowing.

Switching his Jersey accent into high gear, he teased us, “I will warn you - when you're done tonight you're gonna be a sweaty mess.” And then he proceeded to promise us that this was just the “foreplay” part of the show, but not to worry, as he’d be gentle with us. ;)

I nearly died.

We got another surprise – Blood Money – before Blaze (no Chris), Whole Lot of Leavin’, and my all-time favorite – IN THESE ARMS. I got teary-eyed again, and I think that was my favorite performance from both nights, simply because I adore the song through and through. They pumped it up with WGGIGO, It’s My Life, and Bad Medicine, during which Jon did the “Sweaty Shake” again and got everybody on their feet for Shout.

Richie did IBTFY more justice than anyone ever could, and I can’t decide if I liked These Days or that better – he was AMAZING on both. The energy, emotion, passion…Lord that man is incredible.

Jon was solo on the platform that night, and I didn’t get any attention from David :razz:, but if I stood on tip-toe I could see Jon. He did Memory and Strangers (which was very nice to hear live), before returning to the stage for WSYCGH and Won’t Back Down as the intro to HAND again. He killed us all with the maracas on KTF again, and he threw them up at the end and caught them again!

LOAP was phenomenal yet again, and at the end, Jon held the mic stand high in the air for us all to scream the WHOA-OH-OH and teased again, “Come on, now do it like you’re a Bon Jovi fan!” I think my eardrums exploded.

They said good night and went backstage, and I was surprised that people actually started leaving – I was like, HELLO, encore?! But it was their loss. Their incredible loss.

Because Jon came back out to screams and whistles, and slowly walked toward the mic stand, illuminated by a soft blue light and wearing a plain red shirt. The very first note sent shivers up my spine and my jaw dropped before I nearly burst with joy – it was freaking HALLELUJAH. I was dying to hear that live – just the recorded version slays me every time – and I grabbed my camera because I knew I’d get some incredibly photo ops.

How do I sum up that performance in words? I can’t. Nothing can describe the emotion, heart, and pure passion that Jon poured into it – it seemed to radiate from his very soul and fill the entire arena. It’s one of those performances that completely engrosses you and you forget everything and everyone around you; you’re not thinking about anything except the man with the mic and the incredible voice in front of you, his hands moving in slow, passionate desperation that perfectly matches the heavy lyrics. I didn’t even see any of the other band members for those 4 ½ minutes – it was all the lead singer and his captivating song.

The arena exploded with whistles, catcalls, and applause that pounded in my ribs when he was through, and it took a while to adjust to Wanted, which was another hair-raising experience as every single person in the audience rose for the Jovi Anthem.
They ended with I Love This Town and people cheering when they saw familiar landmarks on the screens, and I knew the end was near, so I screamed myself hoarse and clapped and danced until I was trembling with exhaustion. They finished up and took their bows, and they didn’t need introductions like the night before.

Jon thanked Anaheim for two incredible nights, but I say thank you! THANK YOU for such wonderful performances – the energy and personality that permeated the entire two and a half hours each night was enough to make me wish it would last forever. Thank you for playing your hearts out and kicking our a$$es – it was incredible.

Now, bring on Los Angeles, baby.