Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bon Jovi Rocks The Big Apple

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved going to concerts. The transporting experience of live music, of being literally and lyrically taken away from the outside world, is something I've been fortunate to enjoy many, many times. Ray Charles, Billy Joel, The Police, my beloved Ricky Martin...the 50+ concerts I've attended over the years have featured some of the greatest performers of our time. Last night's Bon Jovi concert at Madison Square Garden was no exception.

Having gone to my very first Bon Jovi show in October during the initial leg of their "Lost Highway" tour, I had every expectation of being dazzled all over again. The veteran rockers did not disappoint, delivering a high-octane three-hour concert that proved why they're still selling out arenas 25 years after first arriving on the scene.

From classics like "Bad Medicine" and "Livin' On A Prayer" to such recent charttoppers as "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and "(You Want To) Make a Memory," the band took all of us in the audience on an exhilarating journey through their entire catalog of hits. The on-stage camaraderie between Jon, Ritchie Sambora and the rest of the band was palpable--the kind of connection that can only come from more than two decades of performing together.

Between songs, Jon did some reminiscing. He mentioned writing "Wanted: Dead or Alive" way back when with Ritchie on the washing machine at Ritchie's house. He laughed about coming to MSG as a kid and sitting in the nosebleed section, and said this week marks the 25th anniversary of Bon Jovi's first performance here.

"For 25 years, we've been saying we're not going anywhere," he told the crowd. "We're just getting started."

Thunderous applause and screams indicated all of us in the audience couldn't agree more.

By the time Bon Jovi took their final bow, my voice was happily hoarse. As everyone filed out, the sounds of Sinatra singing "New York, New York" filled the emptying arena. All of us sang right along with Old Blue Eyes. I smiled, thinking immediately of my mother. "New York, New York" was one of her favorites. She adored this city with every part of her, a love I will be forever grateful to have inherited. After all, this is a city where even the biggest of dreams can come true.

Just ask Bon Jovi.

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