Sunday, September 27, 2009

Will He Remember That Later ...?

This is a great interview (as they usually are with Masa) ... but ...

I must say ...

After hearing Jon Bon Jovi speak about companies closing, people losing their jobs and whole towns being decimated by changes in the economy ... will that be forgotten when they are setting ticket prices?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MEMPHIS Lives in ...

Be prepared ... this could be long ... the coffee just kicked in!

Good Thursday morning y'all and greetings from the humid, sticky, is-it-finally-gonna-rain-already Big Apple.

I actually think Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Maybe its because you know you're more than halfway there -- whoa oh ... living on a ... (go ahead, you can sing the rest...I'll wait) -- to the weekend. Maybe it's because this is the day I generally start making my picks for the upcoming NFL weekend. Or maybe because (at least today) it's payday and I can make a deposit in my better-eat-oatmeal-cuz-a-Jovi-tour-is-comin' account.

Then again, maybe I'm feeling so optimistic this morning because I finally got to see "Memphis" last night. You all know that I've been going on for some time about this show, having heard a number of the songs either online or at Joe's Pub several months back.

Well, as you know ... I'm always brutally honest in my reviews, whether they are good or bad (remember my much-maligned Summerfest review? LOL) Also, I'm usually willing to admit when I'm wrong.

Well, I said "Memphis" was gonna be a big hit ... and you know what?

I was wrong ...

It is gonna be a MONSTER hit.


I had ordered my ticket a few weeks ago but never had the time to pick it up before yesterday. Knowing that the lobby at the Shubert is super-tiny (and hoping it would be packed a bit later on), I stopped by the box office on my way to meet my friend.

I have a special feeling for the Shubert because its where I saw my first Broadway show ever during my very first visit to New York. I was on a high school trip with chorale and while all the other kids were walking around shopping and such, I grabbed a couple of friends and we went and saw "A Chorus Line." And that's when my love affair with this city began. A year later, I returned to play in Carnegie for the first time. The next year I started at Juilliard. Twenty years later ... I'm still here. Haha.

ANYWAY, back to the show. As usual, I'm not going to tell you everything ... because I want you to go see it yourself. Side note: And look, they even made it a bit cheaper for Bon Jovi fans (they must have known a tour is comin' LOL) ...

After a quick drink, my friend and I headed over to the theatre. Plenty of people were milling about as the doors were opening but it was pretty easy to spot one curly-haired keyboard player/songwriter. We got a couple of pictures, chatted for a second and went in to find our seats.

As is often the case, I ended up talking to the person sitting next to me (a byproduct of having done non-profit fundraising for so many years.) It was a young girl who had just moved to the city to study visual arts at NYU and was giddy about the fact that she was able to see so many shows for relatively little money with her student ID. I gotta say ... I hope there are a lot more young people like that out there!

Okay, the show. Dang! I don't even know where to start. There are some absolutely amazing voices (and I'm not just talking the leads), fantastic dance numbers and moments that will make you cry.

Many of you know the basic storyline - Huey Calhoun (a bit of a misfit music-lover) makes waves by playing "race" music on white radio and falling in love with a colored girl. I must say that though it is clearly a tumultuous time -- and the seriousness of that is well-reflected in the writing of the show -- its done in such a way that its not judgmental or preachy (a la the second act of "Into the Woods"). In the end, what really stands out is the music and how music can ultimately bring people together. (Of course, we already know that ... we're Jovifans.)

In terms of the casting, I really can't imagine anyone other than Chad Kimball playing Huey. He's remarkable and plays the character in a way you love him and are inspired by his determination and frustrated by him all at the same time. And for you Jovinuts, I know we've all heard David Bryan sing "Memphis Lives in Me" on the box set. And David, you sound truly great - BUT ... holy %$#& batman, Chad sings the heck out of it and it comes at such a critical point in the show. You will just be blown away.

And, what can I say about Montego Glover? She IS Felicia Farrell. She's got the voice, the looks, the presence. She's the kind of performer/person that makes you stop what you're doing when she walks in a room. When I heard her sing "Love Will Stand When All Else Falls" at Joe's Pub, I was in awe. That was nothing compared to hearing it on stage last night. Absolutely fantastic.

So ... can you tell that I liked the show? Just a wee bit ...

I wasn't the only one. Everyone around me loved it. You could tell by the crowd reaction at the end. Standing ovations are commonplace these days, but this one was well-deserved. And the fact that the audience was singing along and clapping with the cast as they reprised "Steal Your Rock-n-Roll" put a huge smile on my face. I have loved that song from the moment I heard it and can't wait to see if they choose to do it onstage at the Tony's (though "Make Me Stronger" would also be a great production number for the award show.)

Yes, it was previews. And that means there are always kinks to be worked out...but I saw very few. (It's not like when I played in the pit for "Titanic" and they couldn't get the ship to sink ... now THAT was a major snafu!)

In closing, I must tell you... If you love music, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS SHOW. If you don't love music, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS SHOW because there's something wrong with you!! LOL

Okay, I gotta go for now ... you know ... "work for the working man" ... but I'll probably be back later with a few more thoughts.

P.S. The couple before me in line when I was picking up my ticket was hemming and hawing about whether they should buy tickets. (By the way they had a deal that was basically buy one-get one for great mezzanine seats ... hmmm.. must find that offer ...) I finally told them that I had heard much of the music and could guarantee they would have a great time. I gave them my card and told them to let me know how they liked it. I hope to hear from them.

P.S.2. Sorry, Jonny, you got booted to the post-script section today. But ... congratulations to Jon Bon Jovi on receiving the Golden Heart Award at the Project HOME event last night. We've known for years that he has a good heart. And, we all know that he doesn't need or desire plaques or trophies. But, he should just accept this one and be proud of all he's done so far. Us fans certainly are. :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A New Day

Greetings Jovinuts ... hope this finds you well and enjoying the first days of Fall (at least here in the U.S.) I love this season because it always feels like a fresh start - must be a holdover from all those years in school.

Well, in Joviland we are in the midst of a new beginning as well ... new record, new tour and a new fan club site. (Let me tell you ... if you are not a member, you really should join ... this is gonna be great!)

I'm actually quite excited about it all. When I think of where many of us started all those years ago with the Secret Society and then thru the Mrs. B years and then "Version 2" when Matt Bongiovi took over and now this new incarnation ... as they say on that ciggy commercial "you've come a long way baby."

I had to work quite late tonight so I only just started perusing the new site a short time ago. There are still some bugs I'm sure they're working out (hmmm...I couldn't get the videos to work properly) BUT ... I did enjoy getting a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-released video for "We Weren't Born to Follow."

We all like the "behind the scenes" kind of photos, messages and videos ... and the site has plenty of those.

Of course, being a New Yorker, I absolutely love that they used the backdrop of the city as their location - though not surprising considering many, MANY of their videos have been in The Big Apple.

(Sidebar: Yes, there were a lot more pictures. And, yes, there are some sites/blogs that are posting them all. But, I choose to respect the fact that I - and many others - work hard for the money we spend on a membership to the fan club. In this day and age, I understand how things fly around the internet - if you'd like to see more of the pictures I'm sure you will find them.)

On a different note, I hope you have all had the opportunity to contribute to the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation as part of its new global initiative. When I first started in non-profit development, I learned that the number one reason people don't give is simply because they weren't asked. Well, consider yourself asked!

As always, I have a lot more to say ... but no time to do so right now. Must get some sleep for tomorrow I will be seeing the opening night of previews for "Memphis." I have been counting the months 'til this show was due to open - having heard so many of the songs already.

Check in on Thursday for a review! :-)

P.S. Updated to say ... got the videos to work. Woo hoo! And ... dang! The guys look great - rested and HAPPY!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Helluva Night

Happy Tuesday Jovinuts ... sorry I've been a bit "missing in action." Fall is here (more or less) in The Big Apple which somehow means my schedule has gotten completely and utterly CRAZY.

In any case, here I am ... right where you found me ... trying to break these chains that surround me ... (okay, does anybody see where I'm going here???)

Yep! I'm still reeling from Friday night's Southside Johnny show at BB King's ... (and before y'all ask ... no, HRH wasn't there, though he would have enjoyed it tremendously!)

So, its becoming a tiny bit more common for artists to perform an album in its entirety -- and on Friday we were treated to SSJ's iconic record "Hearts of Stone."

As usual, I had my favorite spot - front row between Jeff Kazee and John Conte. I love it there because John really grooves and Jeff is just ... well ... incredible. I seriously had to giggle when the band came out ... do Jon Bon Jovi and John Conte shop at the same store?

The picture of John Conte, courtesy of my friend B who was visiting NYC. We had a great time. Oh, and B ... I haven't taken the necklace off since Saturday. THANK YOU!!!

I'm just sayin' ...

Anyway, back to the show ... here's the setlist.

Keep Me in Your Heart for a While (gorgeous with just Bobby and Southside -- in remembrance of 9/11)
Better Way Home
Baby's Gone for Good
I Played the Fool
Hearts of Stone
Take it Inside (I really think this should have been used for an AFL commercial! LOL)
Talk to Me
Next to You
Trapped Again
Light Don't Shine
Till the Good is Gone
Waiting on a Sunny Day
Lean on Me
Can't Find My Way Home / Nothing but a Heartache
Needles and Pins
Walk Away Renee
Coming Back (as Tara would say ... gahhhhh!!!)
This Time It's for Real
Summertime / The Fever
I Don't Want to Go Home
It's Been a Long Time

Working Too Hard / The Holiday Inn Express Blues (that's one of those "you had to be there" moments)
Tango Till They're Sore

Take the A Train and In the Mood (SIMULTANEOUSLY - totally hysterical)
We're Having a Party

It was special enough to get a whole album, but then I swear it was like Southside somehow knew all my favorite songs and played them (well, except for Soul's on Fire from "Better Days.")

And, given that Friday was the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, one of my faves sort of hit me hard.

Its been a long time since we laughed together
Its been a long time since we cried
Raise a glass to the comrades we've lost
My friend its been a long, long time.

If you don't know the song (though I have posted this video before) ... take a listen.

Anyway, since I teased y'all with Trapped Again, here's one of everybody's favorite clips ... again ... because it never gets old. :-)

Next show will be in mid-October ... and I'm hoping another of my Jovigirls can join me for her first EVER Southside show. :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years ...

Its been eight years since that day. The day that none of us will ever forget. The day that made us hurt so much but also taught us a great deal. It reminded us of the price that we pay for freedom. It reminded us of the sacrifice some make every day for the safety of others. It reminded us that we are all in "this" together.

For me, the start of the football season and the anniversary of the attacks will always be connected ... I have a feeling I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Please read last year's post if you haven't already.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dang ... Happy Monday to Us!!

Thanks to Chris Daughtry for posting this ... wow. Love this song. Love it acoustic. Me, one happy camper.

P.S. How many times have I told y'all ... I'm such a sucker for anything in 6/8 -- and especially 12/8. Hehe.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Me vs Mom ... LOL

Well, its finally Saturday here! Woo hoo and that means I can get online!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know of my trials and tribulations with the fact that at my office, all access to most of the internet has been turned off as of last week. I really don't have a problem with it, EXCEPT for the fact that's its ONLY the New York office and not any of the other dozen offices around the country.

Oh! I forgot that line mothers always use "life isn't fair!" LOL

Speaking of my mom, I give her a lot of credit for stalking the FYE in Ohio and buying up all their copies of the new single. Umm...that was a whole 6 copies. The clerk didn't seem to understand why anyone would want to buy the single ... Mom simply looked at him and said "but its Bon Jovi." She, however, was not pleased that Tico wasn't included on the cover. Haha.

To a certain extent, I'm a lot like my mom ... but there are a few places where our opinions differ greatly. One place, for instance, on the song "Seat Next to You." She absolutely loves that song. Me? I skip it every time it comes on. (sorry, its just a bit too whiny for me.) And, I really like "Any Other Day" and my mom is sort of lukewarm on that one. HUH?!?!

So, in honor of moms everywhere ... here's the new poll. My mom's song vs one of my songs.


Look! And I even made it a fair fight by choosing performances from the same show. I coulda chose that one from the O2 with Richie Sambora's remarkable solo ... hehe.

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend ... I'm going to spend most of it watching the US Open ... another place where my mom and I differ ... I'm all about Roger Federer and she's all about Rafael Nadal. THIS should be fun! :-)

P.S. You need to scroll down to vote (left side of the page) ... cuz that MLB video is staying up as long as the Yankees are in the post season ... so that will be until the World Series! HEHE!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

That's Why I Love This ... Month

Hello Jovinuts ... Happy Wednesday to y'all (or at least a portion of you.)

So, as you can see, I put the new MLB Post-Season promo video on the left side of the blog. I like it. This is the latest of several baseball promos the band has done -- and no! ... I'm not gonna get into the whole man vs band thing. Its not that I don't love and respect all the guys (for my mom would kick my a$$ if I ever were to say something negative about Tico ... LOL), I just have a different opinion on the subject. Bon Jovi IS a brand now and Jon is the face of that brand - its the music, the consistency, the philanthropy, the business sense, the attitude. And I'm just fine with that.

Ok. I must say ... as someone who admittedly wasn't crazy about the new single when I first heard it, damn it is growing on me. Actually, the same way that "I Love This Town" grew on me ... hmmm ... maybe its the baseball thing ...

...and aren't we all glad that yahoo in Boston didn't get anywhere with his seven gazillion dollar lawsuit about the song ... ROFLMAO

In any case, I love September (and October) because you've got two of my favorite sports simultaneously. As we head into the post-season, there is so much excitement around New York ... well, at least for Yankees fans. hahaha

And, then we've got the start of the NFL season going. So, there's an energy about that ... well, at least for Giants fans. hahaha

Oh, and throw on the U.S. Open and you've got pandemonium. Side note: I do sometimes wonder how I became a classical musician considering my obsession with sports and rock-n-roll ... hmmmm.

Well, that's all for now folks. Gotta get going to work and earn my keep ... more like, gotta go to work to pay for upcoming tour tickets!

P.S. Did anyone else notice the color part of the documentary clip? I don't remember there being any color at all in the Tribeca Film Festival version ...