Sunday, August 29, 2010

This or That #6

Okay, I was a little surprised that Never Say Goodbye won in such a landslide manner. I thought you guys liked Miss Fourth of July?!

Well, this upcoming week is all about Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes so I had to find a way to incorporate that into the new poll. Tomorrow is the first of the "end of summer" shows at Martell's Tiki Bar in Pt. Pleasant. I gotta say though ... its not feeling like summer is ending as its still 90+ frickin' degrees! Friday, however, when they played at Bar A it was GORGEOUS. And if you (or Bon Jovi Management in particular) happened to miss my tweet about SSJ talking in general about concert ticket prices you can see the clip of his interview here. *jumping off soapbox now...splat*

Anyhoo, here we go -- a poll about jukebox music. LOL

THIS: My two guys -- Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny together (with, of course, the rest of their respective gangs) :-)

THAT: Kid Rock and BJ

Now for me, it's absolutely a no-brainer. You can't beat gimpy Jonny "dancing" (remember this was just a couple of days after his injury), plus the Jukes horns, plus a JK solo and a great fun song. Add on that it was a one-time thing and you've got A WINNER any way you slice it!


P.S. Disclaimer: SSJ's comments about ticket prices were not specifically aimed at BJ. Also, no offense intended towards Kid Rock about the "musically indecisive" comment (though I do feel that way.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Did You Ever Wonder...?

If you're looking for the latest video poll, click HERE!

I posted this on facebook, but since most of you haven't seen it, I thought I'd share this here as well. friend Linda and I attended Broadway Impact's event on Monday night which featured the cast of MEMPHIS. It was a wonderful evening at Joe's Pub (in support of marriage equality) that allowed the artists to "let their hair down" and just have a good time.

All the performances were great, but Rhett George and James Monroe Inglehart totally stole the show with their improv number. They asked the audience for one word, one place and two musical styles...and then just took it from there. This was the result...

Did you ever wonder what actors do when they're changing or just hanging out backstage between scenes? Well, now you know!

I must tell you I nearly fell off my chair laughing so hard during the second one. When James starts that reggae section with the "so damn late" I lost it. All I can say is, David Bryan and Joe DiPietro watch out! You've got some serious competition...from your own cast! LOL

P.S. and bonus! Linda won the signed program from Spring Awakening! Very cool!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This or That #5

Hello Jovifans. Sorry for the delay in getting the next poll up...just haven't been in the mood. :-(

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I lost a classmate and friend last week after his extremely courageous battle with lymphoma. As a result, I've been in a bit of a funk--even my failsafe super-optimistic Jon Bon Jovi wasn't helping. So, excuse the melancholy choices for this next round of voting.

THIS: Up first is "Miss Fourth of July" from the (absolutely worth the ride on the Greyound bus) Mohegan Sun show night 2.

THAT: Also from Mohegan Sun (and quite appropriate for me right now), the always-requested "Never Say Goodbye"

Okay ... I will be back in a few days with hopefully more stories from the road. (There are four Jukes shows in the next 10 days. Now Southside Johnny ... THAT man can definitely get me out of MY blues and into THE blues. LOL)

P.S. Yo yo yo (that's for @SamboraRocks) to vote ... see the upper left side of the blog (under the Johnny and Jonny picture.) :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

This or That #4

Well, given that it IS Monday, I thought it was only proper to have the next poll include THIS video ... :-)

Jon Bon Jovi and Bob Geldof, one more time with feeling (many years later. LOL)

Ahhh, but what to put it up against was the question ... they were no other really big guest artist appearances, right? But there certainly was a REALLY super-rare SONG appearance (actually a whole bunch of them in London ... argh. Umm, Jon, how about your American fans? Ok ... we're not having this discussion again. Rolls eyes.)

So, how about THAT? (and thank goodness B was there to capture a great video of it!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Music Alert: Billy Norris

Don't forget to vote on the new "This or That" poll ... see videos here.

I seriously have no idea how many tiny NYC bars I've been in over the last 20 years to hear various musicians. Its one of the things I love the most about New York City -- whether its catching some well-known artist do a little gig while on a tour break or hearing some unknown singer totally captivate a room, there's no shortage of good music to be found.

Most of the time I end up going somewhere because of a recommendation or connection to some other musician I know and respect. That is how I ended up returning to my old stomping grounds to catch a set by guitarist/songwriter Billy Norris. I decided to check him out because Jeff Kazee is producing his new album ... and Mr. Kazee has never steered me wrong when it comes to music. side note: you Jovinuts may recognize him as the lead guitarist for Gavin DeGraw who opened for Bon Jovi at the rainy 2nd Giants show in May. Anyhoo, so off I went to Bar Nine.

After having been in the studio for most of the week (I think JK had said 37 songs in two days ... lordy!) I can imagine Billy and friends (Tony Tino on bass and Rodney Howard on drums) were all happy to just be out and playing for real, living, breathing people. LOL

Performing for just under two hours I think, the set was a mix of covers and original material. Though the covers were good (including a nice version of Sam Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love"), it was certainly the original material that really stood out (as it should!)

For me, the songs that caught my attention were "Hold On" (which is apparently the title track of the forthcoming album) and my personal favorite "I'm Alright." Both had that kind of chorus that really grab you (yes, the proverbial hook) but also showed off Billy's considerable guitar skills. Multi-talented, evidently Norris attended my other alma mater (the Manhattan School of Music) studying bass in the jazz department.

The set was a blend of musical styles (but not in that Kid Rock musical whiplash sort of way) with the highlight being a real rocker ... a tune called "Stones." I applaud the trio for trying to make it fun -- even including an audience participation clapping moment, which was a challenge given the small group of people in attendance (more a function of the early 7pm start time than anything else. Its NYC, nothing really gets started before 9ish haha.)

In any case, it was a great diversion for a Wednesday night and I look forward to hearing his debut album. FYI - You can follow him on Twitter at @billy_norris. Definitely check him out.

P.S. Oh, and the next time you're in NYC and don't know what you want to eat, head to Ninth Avenue. Its one of my favorite areas of Manhattan -- lived in that neighborhood for YEARS -- and you can find just about anything, from moussaka in the tiny courtyard out back at Uncle Nick's to killer mac-n-cheese at Vynl to a good ole greasy burger at Island Burger. Still bummed that my favorite Peruvian place closed though. :-(

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This or That #3

...and on we go...

This is the last set from Honolulu ... I promise ... maybe. LOL

So, not only did we get some rare old songs in Hawaii, we got some rare new ones too. Not sure if Jon Bon Jovi thought that Brokenpromiseland and Thorn in My Side didn't work well live, but they are favorite tracks of many of us, especially Thorn -- with the rocking J&R guitar duet at the end. And J's new(ish) guitar is a beauty.

Up first is THIS ...

Okay, so it was a bit rough around the edges ... s'alright with me. I love watching them work through songs, especially the communication between Tico, Hugh, Bobby and David -- its like watching a good string quartet ... just plugged in and pumped up. LOL

...and then there's the song we all want to hear more!

P.S. Still vacillating about South American trip ... its gonna be that OR the Europe leg. Right now I'm leaning towards the latter ... gotta see my crazy German girls! ;-) Also, J mentioned that Belichick might be hitting some of those June shows *stalker alert LOL*

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This or That #2

Okay, continuing on our little retrospective of The Centipede Tour thus far, here are the next two videos up for consideration. And even though Jon Bon Jovi did NOT continue to keep these in the set list after Seattle I think, I was darn happy to have heard them in Honolulu.

Never EVER in a million years did I think I'd hear THIS one again!

or how about THAT one?

ayyyy .... I don't even know which one to vote for!! LOL

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This or That #1

Greetings Jovinuts! Hope this finds you well and (for all who were in Chicago) recovered from the weekend.

Well ... we have some time now before the next set of shows. (Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi Fan Club tickets for Lima and Costa Rica go on on sale tomorrow though!!)

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the great moments over the first major leg of the tour. With the advance of technology there are so many videos floating around that allow us to "experience" shows we weren't able to attend ... or re-live those that we DID go to. Therefore, over the next six weeks or so I'm going to be posting video polls that allow YOU to choose your favorite moments of the last year.

I will admit -- right now I have no real plan. I'm just choosing videos that showcase either rare songs or a great performance of the more standard songs. I have a feeling as we go along it will take on a more structured approach. And if there is a video you particularly like, please send a link to me at and I will try to work it into the voting. :-)

Up first are two videos from Hawaii...ahhhh, I could use a mai tai right now LOL

THIS: Roulette (I just about fell over when they started this!)


THAT: Only Lonely (also fell over on this one, but we got it again ... and dare I say a better version ... in Philadelphia)

You can vote on the left side of the page ... and stay tuned for many more videos to come!

P.S. Each poll will stay open for approximately 3 days.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Kind of Town, Chicago Is

*this post was actually started yesterday*

Well, here I sit in the lobby (finally empty and quiet) at The Four Seasons in Chicago waiting for my flight back to New York. What a wonderful whirlwind couple of days ... and a perfect way to end this leg of The Circle tour.

The City
As you all know, I am a New Yorker through-and-through but I was actually born and grew up right outside of Chicago. Its a GREAT city and the shows here are always special. That coupled with the thought of going "home" was too good to pass up, leading me to shows #177 and #178 on my continuing journey.

I arrived on Friday afternoon just a few hours before the show. After checking in and a bite of lunch at the hotel, I met up with FictionMistress and her friend Mary for a quick trip down Michigan Avenue for a little shopping. I had a great time just re-acquainting myself with some of the places I remember coming to as a child. Many great memories of lunch under the Christmas Tree at Marshall Field (now Macy's ARGH) or going to Water Tower Place. Having dinner at Bergoff's and seeing countless shows. Walks through the Art Institute or sleeping on the steps of The Field Museum to see the King Tut exhibit. It all came flooding back to me. I got a little emotional, I will admit. *looks up to heaven and waves to my dad*

It seemed fitting to close out this leg of the tour with FictionMistress, considering we began the whole thing many months ago together in Hawaii. And her friend Mary was just a hoot-and-a-half and experiencing her first JoviShow (and all the chaos, craziness and calamity that goes with it.) Mary is a very talented journalist and we begged her to "document" her introduction into Jovidom ... you can read about it here.

Friday's Show
After walking for miles (a theme of the weekend LOL), we got to the fan club tent to find that ticket karma had finally come my way (perhaps to make up for Toronto?? hehe) and my 8th row ticket had magically become a 3rd row ticket in pit 1. Vedddy nice indeed. :-) I like pit 1 because Jon tends to come over that way a lot. And he did. And I got a nice big "muaaah" kiss and wave during (of all songs) "Who Says You Can't Go Home" ... does that mean I have to like this song now? I also had a nice little "conversation" with David about the 4 Tony Awards while J&R were out on the circle. No, there weren't many surprises in the set list (though Diamond Ring was nice), but the crowd energy and just the feel of the show was incredible. Its a good thing you felt energized because you needed it for the schlep after the show to find a cab. Ouch. But, we eventually made it back to the hotel.

Theatre of the Absurd
Jon Bon Jovi is not a polar bear in an exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. Never in the nearly 180 times I have seen the band play have I seen a sight like the lobby and restaurant/bar at The Four Seasons this past weekend. Knocking on the glass. Waving through the window. Flashing their cameras (and other things) at him. This is how you see children at the zoo act when they are trying to get the animals attention. Heck! There were even women breaking through the velvet ropes into the private party (instantly surrounded and escorted out by security.) Mary, FM and I stayed down there for a few minutes, but quickly went back up to our room when no wine was to be found. :-(

Saturday's Show
After a lazy day and a beautiful lunch at an outdoor cafe and a stop for post-concert sustenance (bottles of wine and cupcakes from Sprinkles!) FM and I made our way back to the stadium. We got a bit closer this time, but still it was a heck of a walk ... slightly complicated by the numerous blisters from the night before. LOL

Ticket karma for this show had already struck a couple of weeks ago when my friend T had an extra 2nd row pit 4 ticket. :-) It was like the stadium leg of this tour came full circle (pun intended) because it was basically the same seat I had for Giants (yeah yeah yeah, New Meadowlands ... whatever!) night 1 in May.

Adding to the excitement of the day was knowing I was going to see my childhood best friend for the first time in 23 years. We were absolutely inseparable as kids, but then my family was transferred to Wisconsin and over the years we had lost touch. So, in a funny way, this weekend was about both endings and new beginnings all at the same time. So, after finding each other, hugging for an eternity and making plans for brunch the next day, we went in to enjoy the show.

And ... holy cow what a show!

I would say this one ranks in the top 10 for me all-time. Everything about this night was nearly perfect. The weather was perfect. My seat was perfect (and I was so "HAPPY NOW" to be with my friend V for this concert - we laughed and danced and sang and put on quite the show for Hugh and Richie.) But, sending it over the top was finally ... FINALLY ... getting to hear Damned for the first time in years and years. Though it is not me that you hear in this video, there was no shortage of screaming on my part (as can be evidenced by my complete lack of voice today.)

And I can't find the words to describe "Turn the Page." It was emotional. It was heartfelt. It was magical. It was truly unforgettable.

Here I am on the road again.
There I am up on the stage.
Here I go playin' star again.
There I go turn the page.

I love the video Deb shot of this - its up close and personal ... just like the performance was.

*also check out FM's video for the "front view" LOL*

Needless to say, it was a night I will never forget. From seeing Heather to witnessing one of "those" shows to staying up til the wee hours drinking champagne and eating cupcakes -- by the way, the 40 minute wait in line at Sprinkles was well worth it for the red velvet cupcakes! ...

I'd like to thank all the readers who came up and introduced themselves to me -- I truly enjoyed meeting each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued support!! It means so much to me. I have loved hearing about your experiences and look forward to many, MANY more memories to make in the future.

Until next time ...