Good morning y'all. Hope you enjoyed my Twittering from the theatre last night (I gotta say my # of followers seemed to triple last night ...LOL) And thanks to those who joined me in the online chat - it was a late night indeed!
First and foremost, the evening was fantastic. We did have to wait a bit before entering the theatre, but after the Vegas experience, nothing can really rattle me now. Hahaha. As you all know, the whole band was in attendance ... hell, the whole world of Bon Jovi basically was there - Lorenza, Bobby, Jeff, PK, Everett, Rew, etc. Though did anybody see Obie? I didn't see him at all!?
We were just about up to the table to get our tickets when the band arrived on the red carpet ... okay, its more like a red hallway rug than the long expanse people usually picture. Their appearance there was quite abbreviated - posed for a few pictures and walked right into the building.
Once inside the theatre, fan club members were basically all together - which was nice - gave us a chance to greet friends we haven't seen since the tour.
I don't want to give EVERYTHING away, but here are some thoughts ...
First off, I commend Jon Bon Jovi for allowing this film to be made. There is a spotlight on him so much of the time that it was quite something to allow a film crew to be around during those "off" times. As much as you might try to forget they are there, I am sure that's truly not possible.
Okay ... to the film itself ...
THE MUSIC: Probably because I'm a musician, the first thing that always resonates with me is sound. And the fact that the concert footage is done in such a way that you actually feel like you're IN the venue is amazing. Its more than just surround-sound, its seriously like you are there.
When the film opens, they are in preparation to go on stage and there's this nice build up and we're all sitting there in the theatre on the edge of our seats so hungry for a show and they do the intro and we're all about to sing and it cuts to title page ... the whole audience is like noooooooooooo. (To say there was a lot of fan club member participation/commentary during the film would be an understatement.)
THE GUYS: The first appearance in the film by each of the guys was cheered. (I do wonder what they were all thinking sitting there behind us ... either that we are all crazy ... or that we just really love them.) I think each member's personality was truly communicated and the role each plays in the band as an organization is defined well in the film.
David's honesty and directness really stood out to me -- at one point when talking about Jon running the band he basically says "it is what it is" ... does he like it, no. Is he unhappy enough to leave, no.
And Richie's view of his relationship with Jon was endearing but realistic at the same time. He makes a comment that part of his role is to just try to keep Jon happy because everything is better when Jon is happy ... and the audience really responded to that. Its like everyone sitting there knew that making Jon happy isn't the easiest thing to do. ;-)
There are several funny moments including Richie talking about being in some girl's bed (YEARS ago) and looking up and there was a picture of Tico on the wall. Jon is talking about how musicians try to act all cool and "artistic" saying how they just want to play smaller venues and all that -- Jon simply looks at the camera and says "fuck that!" he wants to play the stadiums! (Yes, Jon curses a lot, but we all knew that anyway...LOL)
There's a great scene of Richie in the dressing room with his mom and Ava. There's a section where Jon is talking on the phone to someone about buying into an NFL team - it was almost as if he was trying to convince the guy that he was legit. (Truly, they just need to see the enterprise he runs - which is what it is - and they will get it.)
There are times where you can see Jon is just spent, frustrated, lonely and anxious. He talks about just wanting to see his babies and the loneliness that happens after a show. In other words, it really isn't always beautiful.
THE PAST: They do talk about the past somewhat, but not nearly as much as the pre-show articles made it sound. I think they addressed it but clearly show they have move passed that time. Tico is very honest about his past alcohol problems (as is Richie about his more recent challenges.) Jon comes out and says that Tico was a "mean drunk" (and is very quick to say that he, himself, is a happy drunk ... LOL) Tico really seems at peace with who and where he is. I can truly see him being a rock for these guys.
Okay, unfortunately, I have to go to work soon so I'm going to sign off. I'm sure I will share more later - like when the film covers Jon's performance of Hallelujah or Jon talking about trying to get the Central Park show to happen (a particularly funny moment when he says they asked him to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game.")
P.S. I did see my friend B from Germany in the film - front row in Dublin. It was awesome to see her. And a friend last night said she saw me in the MSG footage. I missed it. Was sort of hoping to see my Destination ArenaBowl sign (by the way, there was very very little about the Soul AT ALL!)
ADDED: (I keep coming back to add more ... there is footage at the end of Jon in the studio ... frankly looking quite exhausted ... recording a new song ..."When We Were Beautiful" ...)
P.S.2. This review was brought to you by whatever coffee company Stas works for -- girl, I'm drinking the French Roast now ... THANK YOU!!!!
P.S.3. And this is the most important ...
THANK YOU to my friend T in Germany. This was the best birthday present I have ever received. I am so sad you weren't able to join me. A huge hug from across the ocean to you.