EDITED: PICTURES ADDED
HOLY. FRIGGIN. CRAP.
I had the best time tonight! Anaheim Round #2 definitely, surely KICKED my ass. Despite the drunk idiots in front of me (again, DON'T GO TO A CONCERT DRUNK!!!!) standing on their fucking chairs and their boyfriends' shoulders and screaming like children when Jon was on the catwalk, and falling over themselves because they were drunk and in heels, I did my best to ignore them and promised myself I would not let them ruin MY concert experience. And for the most part, I was able to ignore them...and I had a DAMN good time.
For those of you who followed my PBP, I thank you. It is a really cool feeling to come home to 20 pages of mentions and comments on my tweets (I disabled mobile updates tonight because they KILLED my phone last night, LOL!) and I am so glad you all had fun! I will definitely do the same for Staples Center in LA -- I'm right by the effing catwalk!
The band was on FIRE tonight, and it showed! They opened pretty predictably, but I had the sweetest and most fun girl next to me so we were able to make the most out of a bland opening - dancing and singing and cheering (last night's neighbors were boring ;)), so that made up for it.
Jon was silly and quirky, telling us that he was going to put us through one hell of a night nand we'd be begging for mercy by the end of it (or something to that extent) then, "ladies...you know what I'm talking about!" LOL. Followed by his merciless ass-shaking during We Got It Goin' On (and yes, I got video. HOLY crap.)
I was surprised by Whole Lot of Leaving coming up as 4th song, then back to an identical set list until song #13 - Make A Memory on catwalk. I'm not crazy about that song, but it was nice to have a change! And I was able to get about 100 pictures of Jon (and later the whole band) on the catwalk, since I couldn't see shit on the main stage with those morons in front of me.
But when they returned to the stage...Jon announced a song off of These Days (which instantly excited me) and then freaking launched into HEY GOD. I could have DIED. I screamed and cheered so loud I thought my voice was going to give out! I was SO excited, never heard that song live, and it was FANTASTIC. And Jon was banging that damn tambourine with such a sultry, sexy rock star look that my heart was pounding. So what if it's 15+ years old, they sounded great and did it huge justice!
The rest of the show just kicked our asses - we did not get a BREAK. You couldn't put your arms down or even look away from the stage, or even stop smiling for that matter! It was just merciless plowing on through fist-pumping songs and chill-inducing solos - for example, Richie NAILS Homebound Train. Seriously. The energy was just rampant throughout the whole show - all of the guys were on fire, Jon was personable and in great spirits, and it definitely showed.
And Love's the Only Rule? Absolutely, completely beautiful live. Jon injects so much energy and passion into that song, it's surreal - I had permanent chills and tears stinging my eyes the whole time, my heart swelling to twice its normal size. I LOVE that song, absolutely adore it. And you can tell Jon does too, and that he wants the crowd to love it as much as he does, and I wish he could feel just some of what I feel when I hear it. Because I have never had such a connection to a song, such a heartfelt attachment that fills up my soul every single time I hear it - and live, it's just magnified tenfold. When Jon himself is pouring his heart and soul into it, and you're giving back some of your own heart and soul, it's pure magic.
Of course they ended with Wanted and Prayer - Jon asked us to rise for the playing of our national anthem, but the crowd was on FIRE tonight (and in sync for the chorus, LOL) so there was no need. I kept looking around during some of the classic anthem choruses (Wanted, Bad Medicine, BTBMB, etc.) and just marveled at how every damn person it seemed, from the pits to the highest rafter, was on their feet, their hands in the air, their voices ringing in unison, thoroughly enjoying the show. It was FANTASTIC, and I didn't want it to end.
SoCal definitely leaves a mark on those guys - Jon asked "Southern California to sing it like we mean it!" And we did. And he was smiling so big at all of us that I felt higher than Jersey in that moment. :)
There were few production issues - save for some lag in the video screens, and a very obvious speaker feedback during Richie's Homebound Train solo, but he played it off beautifully by making a funny/surprised face at the crowd, making us all laugh. Bobby Bandiera joined the dynamic duo for Bad Case of Loving You (insert in Bad Medicine) - and when they squat down to their knees and slink toward the crowd, you can just feel yourself melting into a puddle.
I remember laughing at several things Jon or Richie said, and of course now I can't remember them. But let me just tell you that interaction with the crowd was on HIGH today - Jon held hands and kissed women and walked through the pits and up onto the catwalk again (twice!) after the standard mid-show set, pointed out posters, and made kissy faces at girls standing on their chairs (though I wish he wouldn't encourage that! LOL). Richie flipped picks out to the crowd, tipped his Slash hat to ladies, pointed and smiled and winked at them all the time. David would catch the eye of whoever was actually looking at him when they were on the catwalk, and would sing to them, making faces and keeping eye contact...and I know this because *I* was one of the ones he did that to!!
I took advantage of the drunk posse in front of me slobbering over Jon to move into the gap they left and focus my attention on the King of Keys -- and I was rewarded with direct eye contact, a huge smile, silly faces, and a whole verse of Something For the Pain sung between us. GAH! It was fantastic! I was smiling like a freaking goofball, and naturally promptly forgot all about the PBP -- or you can bet I would have posted about it!! LOL
I also got a kiss blown from Jon when the girl in front of me fell off her chair - I started cracking up (sorry, couldn't help it) and took advantage of the clear view to Jon to wave at him and smile - and got a little pucker kissy face.
I know you're all thinking that could have been to anyone, but I for one hate when people make things up about the boys seeing them (especially when you're like 15th row...come on now), and I even won't admit to myself when I get attention unless I'm POSITIVE it was directed at me, and if the circumstances would make it make sense. And they did, because everyone in front of me was either sitting down, cramming into the aisle, or falling over their chairs. Hence, direct clear view to Mr. Bon Jovi. :) I was so in awe and on cloud 9 that I forgot all about the PBP.
I was so sweaty and sore/achy by the end that I wanted nothing more than to sit down in a chair, gulp down a gallon of cold water, and just dream about the last 2 1/2 hours. As I was trying to find my friends on the other side (and said goodbye to my new one from Japan!), luck struck me square in the face - some girl held out her program and asked if I wanted it. I literally asked her if she was serious twice...I was shocked. She said yes, and I accepted and thanked her like I had just gotten a bag of gold, LOL. Saved me $30, what a stroke of luck that is!
Overall, tonight was phenomenal. And I'm amazed I can say that because I was so angry at the people in front of me at times that I wanted to knock them all out. But like I said, I was determined not to let them ruin my night. They couldn't take that away from me, though they tried their damndest.
As Jon said..."And you, the fine, fine people of Southern California - you're wonderful, thank you! We love you!"
God, we love you too Bon Jovi.
Now all I have left to say is this...BRING ON LOS ANGELES, BABY!
Here's the full set list:
Blood On Blood
We Weren't Born to Follow
You Give Love A Bad Name
Whole Lot of Leaving
Born To Be My Baby
When We Were Beautiful
We Got It Goin' On
Bad Medicine/Bad Case of Loving You (w/ Bobby)
It's My Life
Homebound Train (Richie on VOX)
Make A Memory
I'll Be There For You (Richie & Jon duet)
Something For the Pain
Someday I'll be Saturday Night
Hey God (!!)
Work for the Working Man
Who Says You Can't Go Home
Love's The Only Rule
Thorn in My Side
Living On A Prayer
And some pictures: