When I was about 7 years old I became HUGE fan of Bon Jovi. I would go over to my best friend Myla’s house and watch MTV (a luxury we didn’t have at the Simmons household). Whenever the female lead in the video came on, we’d throw pillows at the TV because we were so in love with Jon Bon. Our next door neighbor was a bit of a regular on the hairband concert scene so to this day there are still neighborhood rumors that she had a party with Bon Jovi at her house (there were definitely tour buses that would show up parked outside her door every so often). Each summer when my mom and sisters drove down to my grandparent’s apartment in California, I’d faithfully listen to my New Jersey cassette, all the way from Bellevue to San Jose.
Needless to say my love for Bon Jovi has persisted through the years, so whenever they come to town I’m normally first in line to buy tickets. This year, for their Circle tour, I missed the ticket sales opening…and when I went to buy tickets it was sold out. The Jovi Gods were smiling on me though, and they added a second show. Except this time when I went to buy tickets they seemed so damn expensive I decided to pass. Luckily Bill, vying for the title of “Best Fiance EVER”, surprised me with a pair of tickets for Christmas. He even let me bring Jenny instead of him, pretty much making him a LOCK for Best Fiance EVER.
So last night Sister Simmons and I suited up for a night of the Jovi. I dusted off my leather pants (no, seriously, they actually had dust on them), closed my eyes, sucked in my stomach and prayed they’d still fit. Surprisingly they slid on with ease (but later in the night…not so much…they got all warm and sweaty. Not sure how those rock stars do it. They must have roadies dedicated to getting them out of their pants at night. ha. HA. HA.) With a few extra swipes of lipstick and mascara, to look my Jersey best, it was off to meet Jenny for the concert.
We got down there early and secured free parking (a good sign of things to come) and headed to the bar. With a little trepidation (I mean, I was wearing leather pants and a shirt with very little fabric up top) we went to Ten Mercer and dove into two V&T’s (for regular Seattle Sessions readers, let me just tell you this guy got them right. They were DIVINE). In classic fashion, I drank mine a wee bit fast and started talking a wee bit loud, making Jenny a wee bit embarrassed (recounting the Walter Kelly story to her…it was some good comedy, what can I say?). Before long I looked at my watch and realized it was 8pm, and the opener, Dashboard Confessional (a strange, weird, unusual choice for Bon Jovi), had gone on at 7:30. We dashed to Key Arena, and found our seats (quite decent, lower bowl, near the back of the arena).
The stage set up was pretty sweet. It was set about 1/3 of the way into the arena, so even though we were at the back of the arena, it didn’t feel like my dearest Jon Bon was too far away. At 9pm, the lights went down and the crowd started screaming (Bon Jovi fans can scream. There were moments that they had the camera closeup on Jon’s face and he just looked…amazed….like it was still 1989 or something. We are a rabid group.) and out came the band. In a “I couldn’t have dreamed it any better” moment, they opened with one of my FAVORITE songs, off my beloved New Jersey album, “Blood on Blood.” I can’t imagine they play this too often in concert…it’s a pretty random song (addendum: I just checked setlist.fm and it’s really not that rare of a choice. AND I apparently missed out on them covering “Hallelujah,” which they did at the Friday show. GRR.). I was just rocking out, dancing, singing along while most everyone else in the section is looking around going “Do you know this song?”.
The concert progressed with complete awesomeness…it was a good blend of older and newer, with people obviously most stoked about the older. Still, newer songs like “Have a Nice Day” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” got the crowd going. Plus the songs off the new album were pretty catchy, and I’m not exactly a huge “new Jovi” fan. The guy next to me was as into it as I was (Which is saying a lot. Imagine those girls at the bar who drunkenly rock out to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Yeah. That was me. The whole night.). The band took one very short break between their encore, but other than that were swiftly efficient, which, now that I am old, I appreciate in a show. I was a little bummed the encore had only 3 songs, but it ended with “Livin’ on a Prayer” which was done fantastically- tons of energy, psychotic crowd, cool video background of people all over the world singing the song.
As we left the arena and I got back to my car, I pulled my phone out of the glove box. It was beeping with a text message. I flipped it open to the astounding message from Myla (my partner in pillow-punching Jon’s video girlfriends): “Uhh…about to go backstage at Bon Jovi. Are you at the concert?” Never. Leaving. Phone. In Car. AGAIN.
Sessionista’s Highlights: Leather pants (me, not Jon sadly), “Blood on Blood,” “I’ll be There for You,” “Someday I’ll be Saturday Night”(with a blues twist) and fab V&Ts @ Ten Mercer.
Sessionista’s Lowlights: PLEASE, as if there would be a lowlight at a Bon Jovi concert. Well, except not playing “Blaze of Glory”…Jon, you can’t do that to me. And the dude who was farting near us. AND EVEN THAT COULDN’ T KILL MY BUZZ.
Your Jersey Girl (For One Night Only),