Friday, February 13, 2009

Legendary Performance #4: Hallelujah

Today's Legendary Performance isn't just one particular performance ... its the fact that Jon Bon Jovi has taken a legendary song and "made it his own" as he would say.

Now, there are plenty of versions to choose from - the well-known Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright or Alexandra Burke or even by Leonard Cohen himself. But, I truly believe that Jon's version - which I love because its so clean and uncomplicated, almost pure - can hold its own to any of those and more.

The first time I heard him do this live was the Puerto Rico show back in June 2007. I wouldn't say the performance (or the concert for that matter) qualified as "legendary" ... it was the one show I've ever seen, and perhaps the only one they have ever done, without Richie. But, I have to tell you ... when Jon started this song and we all started thinking about Richie and what he was going thru - there were more than a few of us with tears streaming down our faces.

Obviously, there are a ton of clips out there of this. But the one included below is from my dear, dear friend Rike from Germany - who I will get to see in exactly one week! Woo hoo! (yes, I'm just a bit excited.)

Now, I will admit .. as the tour progressed, his gestures and the "acting out" of the song got more and more grandiose. I know there are some that thought it was over the top a la "Right Side of Wrong" ... I choose to simply chalk it up to the fact that he needs to communicate the emotion all the way to the back of the stadium and maybe it works well on the big screens.

Nonetheless, Jon's amazing vocals on this cannot be denied.