January 1, 2010

Five songs Bon Jovi could cut from their setlist...and we wouldn't complain.

So tonight, Bjorn (for those who don't know, my boyfriend) and I came across another Jovi blog that discussed five songs they could do without Jovi playing live. That got Bjorn and me thinking (because I disagreed with three of them, although he agreed with four), and we came up with our own list, as well as some thoughts on WHY they play some of those cookie-cutter tunes that have die-hard fans holding their ears.

First off, you have to give them some credit. As an enormously successful rock band with such a huge fan base, they - like it or not - have to play to the masses. The average fan probably doesn't know what Miss Fourth of July or Radio Saved My Life Tonight even sounds like, but they sure as hell can belt out every word to Bad Name and Prayer. And those are the classics that EVERY FAN - die-hard or average - will know. So, naturally, a band wants to hold the attention of its entire audience, and not isolate those who don't buy the box set or demos or B-sides....etc. However, that doesn't mean that every show should be full of the classics. I definitely want them to spice it up with some new stuff, some old stuff, some rare stuff, and a taste of everything in between; otherwise, the die-hard fans are then the ones isolated...and bored!

So, while a good taste of all their material spanning over the years should always be played, Bjorn and I agreed on five songs that we personally could do without hearing - and gave a few thoughts on why:

1. You Give Love A Bad Name
(Me) Seriously, it's old. Not that I don't like it, I'm just really tired of hearing it. The lyrics are almost monotonous at this point, and I don't get any of that 'oomph' when they launch into it anymore.

(Bjorn) There's something about that song that doesn't work live. It doesn't have the beef that the original recording does have - it sounds stripped when it's live. It's been the same version for 23 years...it's time for something new, I guess.

2. Who Says You Can't Go Home
(Me) I can explain this in one sentence: IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT!

(Bjorn) It's like a bastard child - it's not Bon Jovi! All of the Lost Highway album is a bastard child - all of it has to go. I don't even recognize it as a Bon Jovi album; it's never in my CD player.

3. I'll Be There For You (Jon version)
(Me) That sounds so mean, but I don't mean to bash Jon here. It's just that the song gets really overplayed and really overworked and really oversung...and when its played at practically every show you go to, you start to get sick of it, too. However, I thoroughly enjoy it when Richie performs it - mostly because he has a phenomenal voice that NAILS it. Besides, him taking center stage adds that new flavor and new kick to an otherwise very tired tune.

(Bjorn) I think Jon's voice is whining in that song. I like when Richie sings it, because he has the voice to do it.

4. Always
(Me) Now, I absolutely adore the version from Live From London, but those days are past. Jon can't hit those high notes anymore, which is the whole point of the song, so now it just sounds too melancholy and boring. Without that emotion and passion, the song is stripped.

(Bjorn) You expect this great performance that you see in the DVDs (like in the London one, for example), but it's just not going to happen anymore...so you'll always be disappointed.

5. Bad Medicine
(Me) Okay...as much as I like the "commercial breaks" and the goofing off, I'm really tired of this 10-minute performance. It drags on and on, and just takes up too much of the show. They've played it so many times (with the same standard inserted song) that it just needs to go now.

(Bjorn) It bugs me. I like the Osaka version with Richie in '98, because it has more guitar. I really enjoy playing the song, but I don't like listening to it live...which is weird to say. But it drags on, and it bugs me.


Misty said...

I have to say, I'm with you guys for the most part. I definitely LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear Richie sing IBTFY. That's just his song and he puts his heart and soul into it, so it's a Richie keeper for me, although, I've never heard Stranger In This Town live and would love to!

I can keep Bad Medicine, but cut the Shout - don't like that song much.

Always, I finally got to hear live in Atlanta, so that was a real treat for me, but yes, the high notes are the key to the song and I miss them :(

You Give Love A Bad Name makes me scream like a teenager everytime I hear it come on the radio and takes me back to some very happy times, but I agree with Bjorn - it doesn't have the same beef live anymore. Kind of sad.

WSYCGH is a bit annoying, but a favorite live song of mine only because Richie has pointed my sign out twice on that very song - during the 'It's Alrights', smiled and pointed and shook his head both times, so it has a special meaning to me.

I could for sure for sure do without Keep The Faith. Don't know why exactly other than it just bugs the crap out of me!

I want to hear Love For Sale live so bad it hurts and would kill to hear Bitter Wine and Let's Make It Baby, oh man, that would do wonders for my concert experience!

Love to hear Miss Fourth of July too and I've never got to hear Captain Crash live - love to. I have a list a mile long that I would love to hear live, lol!

Overall, good assessment guys!

Anonymous said...

1.) It's a bread and butter song.. I don't see it going anywhere.. Although I wouldn't miss it if it fell off a set list or two..

2.) I couldn't agree more with "IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT!" That song gets on my never.. Even in the New MSG DVD I skipped through the song..

3.)Definitely agree. I love Richie singing IBTFY.. Jon doesn't have the voice to do it justice.. These Days too for that matter.

4.) It was good seeing it on the MSG DVD setlist but it seemed Jon was into it. The London version was much better.

5.) I love Bad Medicine with Shout but agree it could be shorter.

I would love to have a show with more rare songs: Living in Sin, Stick to your guns, Richie solo stuff, Captain Crash, Lay your hands on me, Open all Night (Jon claims he likes the song), Bitter Wine, Why aren't you dead?, just to name a few.

Becky and Bjorn great review. I couldn't agree more..

Anonymous said...

Sorry... Typo..

Jon didn't seem to into ALways on the MSG DVD.

Becky said...

Thanks for the feedback, folks! I definitely would like to hear more rarities and some of the vault tracks, but I would never expect that at a regular tour show. An exclusive set for the fan club? YES. If they played a vanilla setlist for us, I'd be pissed. But when you go with the masses, you're gonna get vanilla. (Oh, and Misty, I LOVE Bitter Wine!)

I personally love Shout (and Jumpin Jack Flash) - they're usually short inserts and get the crowd hopping for a bit. They're super fun in my opinion; I definitely like dancing around to them.

Anonymous - I agree Jon doesn't have the voice for These Days either, anymore, which is just so sad. That is a beautiful song and Jon did it wonderfully 15 years ago. But they'd have to seriously alter it - like an acoustic version - to play it today without him straining.

Thanks again for the comments, we really enjoy them!!

Julie said...

I actually agree with all your choices, except WSYCGH.....Yes I may be in the minority! But I still love that song and need to do the hand motions whenever I hear it as well as sing alon. Whether it's driving, at home, work, whatever and wherever I am. LOL

Julie aka Jewels aka Jooolie, Jules, etc. ;)

Serene said...

Hi Becky and Bjorn!!!

Well....as much as I LOVE all those songs I have to agree with most of what you both said.

Bad Name is the first song that got me in to Jovi so I would hate to see it go...but if it were to go so we could get songs like Wild Is The Wind or Fire Inside played live I would be ok with that.

WSYCGH is fun live but I would not miss it at all.

Bad Med is waaayyy to long. Shorten it up and I would be ok with that one.

Always is wonderful....I just think I would like to hear other ballads from the guys this tour. It seems it is always Always or Bed of Roses as the ballad and I would love to here some thing else...there is so much to choice from!

IBTFY....Richie Rocks it! There is no doubt about that...but I would rather hear him sing Father Time or Stranger if he is gonna do a solo song.

There are countless songs I would LOVE to hear live but that would mean a 3 day show to hear them all!

Hugs to you guys!

Anonymous said...

well i agree with Bad name in one way they had or should kick it out as 2nd song its get sooo old correction it is OLD

Disaagree with IBTFY esp Jon ! I HATE it as Richie sang it sorry
( same goes for These Days)

again disagree with Always & yes Who says you cant go home , they should at least let in in their main set in the NJ/Ny/Philly or more all east coast shows

and i was at one show where they did NOT play BM it was STRANGE yes you read right !i loved the fun versoin they did at CT show 2003 they could do this the on or orther nigth agian or even let Richie sing it at a very few shows! Heard it on one of his Solo shows sounding good

and i have to write agian: I dont like it to much if Richie sings ANY Jovi song , im sorry really like his voice but the way i fall in love with these songs are JONS Voice and ONLY JON ! Though it was nice to hear David sing a lil part of ITA in 2003 ! But not more !Which i really like bc ITA is one of my FAVE FAVE Jovi songs

back to Richie: he should do some solo stuff


DeBee1015 said...

I agree with you on WSYCGH is if want to Raise my Hands for 5 minutes I want to do it to Raise Your Hands.

Jon needs to sit down and make a set list that can accommodate his current singing abilities, if he can't sing the song in its original state they have to rework it so he can sing it. Like Always on TLFSR I've heard Always live several times on tour including on the HAND tour and the watch the MSG DVD and hear it was embarrassing. The very end of the song is a jumbled mess. I know they talk about how they like Bob Dylan but for God's Sake don't sing like him.

I would love for them to do like a 45 minute mini set like in the Osaka 98 show and just go acoustic I think the fans would really enjoy it (and even the newer fans) because who in their right mind when they see the 1989 MTV VMA performance doesn't like it.

I don't want to hear bed of Roses live, I just don't like the song.

I'd love for them to do more stuff off These Days.

Becky said...

Thanks again ladies! I love hearing what everyone else has to say about this subject.

Jewels - my mom LOVES Who Says, and I'm not necessarily turned off by it, but live is just ANNOYING by now. hehe My mom would freak if she ever heard it live though. She turns up the radio every time it comes on our country stations.

Katja & Serene - I LOVE when Richie sings! And I am totally for him doing solo stuff too; I'd absolutely adore hearing Stranger (or Rosie!) live.

DeBee - I agree that they should rewrite a master setlist to accommodate his singing abilities at this point in their career. I haven't seen the MSG DVD yet, but I'm sorry to hear that Always was butchered. :(

Joanna said...

Hey Becky and Bjorn! I agree with you on most of these songs and would much rather hear some rare stuff then the songs I can go to ANY bar and listen to on a jukebox. And for WSYCGH, that's when I usually run out for a bathroom break because I know I got a good 10 minutes to get there and back to my seat. LOL!

I had a friend ask me earlier this week if they ever play Wild is the Wind in concert and I couldn't think if I ever heard that song live in almost 40 shows. He's an average "fan" but said he likes that song...I actually do too.

DeBee1015 said...

Here's the video from the MSG DVD, I still love the song, but it goes down hill @ about 4:10, BUT Richie's solo is probably the best on the DVD.


Becky said...

Jo, they played WITW at a Giants show during HAND, I believe. Let me see if I can find it - I love that song too!

Thanks for the video, DeBee - I'll check it out!

Linda said...

Becks if you think it's getting old what do you think us old folks think??? lol!!!

1) Bad Name I could do without, but it's a signature song they'll never cut it out I wouldn't think.

2) I like WSYCGH. Obviously I'm in the minority but I'm a fan of anthomy type songs and I like this one. I'm glad all the albums aren't like Lost Highway but I didn't mind it. I really give them credit for branching out.

3) IBTFY - Richie nailed this when he sung it. Still wish he would sing his own stuff more.

4) Always- Probably in the minority again but I love this one too.

5) Bad Medicine - Another signature can't see them ever cutting it out live.

I like hearing the rarities too, but I also love a lot of their signature Bon Jovi stuff. And love seeing 60,000 fans singing along. There's nothing in the world like a Bon Jovi concert!!!

Arquitectura Compatible said...

does anyone know why they snubbed the Bounce songs from the setlists of The Circle Tour? I understand Everyday wasn't a hit, but what about Misunderstood? Joey? All about lovin' you? (though I loooove Love me back to life and The distance, I know it's never gonna happen. ;() You guys should come to South America to see them at least once! they played Dry County the last time they came :D

Julie said...

Everyday and Misunderstood are to two of my faves. And both were hits. I have wondered why too. Maybe it's takes more effort to sing or something.....