The Big Apple. The Greatest City in the Universe.
And at the Center of it All ... Madison Square Garden.
There's nothing like getting excited about your hometown show. Those are the ones you wait for ... the ones you work for. So my friend K and I decided to do the VIP packages for these first two nights (which is why I have taught 3 zillion classes over the past six months. LOL)
I always love shows in NYC because so many people travel here to see them. Some of you know that even two of my crazy Gs (aka "the crazy Germans") decided to fly over at the last minute. Friends from all over the U.S. are in town so every show here is like a family reunion. :-)
So, K and I met at the venue and headed up to the VIP dinner. There was Jovi on the sound system and the video screens and the room was decorated with pictures of the band (most we recognized) as well as some of Tico's artwork ...
and two of the infamous Jovi slot machines. Of course, I HAD to try those out.
Dinner itself was nice. And the never-ending supply of wine always makes BAJG a happy girl. Seems that due to union rules, the raffle they usually have for memorabilia had to be replaced by the staff just randomly giving stuff away. I haven't actually seen the merchandise that comes with the package yet -- but from what we heard it includes a bag, blanket, scarf, hat, leather journal, water bottle and tour program amongst other things. I did get one of my sets of the lithographs ... which are GORGEOUS! ... seriously, my mom is gonna try to steal the one of Tico. LOL
After dinner, we went down to the arena for the show. I was so happy they opened with Last Man Standing. I absolutely LOVE that song and it brings me back to that legendary MSG show during the HAND tour. I took advantage of Jon being at the back to get some pictures of Richie up at the front... :-)
I must say that Jon must have really hauled tush to get back to the stage so quickly because before I knew it, he was up there and they launched into Bad Name ...
Overall, I thought the set list was just fine. The more I listen to The More Things Change, the more I continue to laugh ... the lyrics are just so incredibly spot-on.
"...It’s the same damn song with a different melody
The market keeps on crashin’
Tattered jeans are back in fashion
‘Stead of records, now it’s MP3s
If you hang in long enough they say you’re comin’ back
Just take a look, we’re living proof and baby that’s a fact..."
Seriously! Between Last Man Standing and The More Things Change, we've got some great commentary on the music industry. LOL Anyhoo, I always love hearing In These Arms (encore) and Jon Bon Jovi's vocals on WWWB continue to astound me. Beautiful song ... beautiful lighting!
And certainly one of the absolute highlights of the night was this performance:
No Apologies just works SO WELL live and it seemed to energize Jon even more. As an aside: I must admit, the crowd in Montreal was much more alive (sorry fellow NYC-ites ... tis true.) But Jon was engaging as always, commenting about the Knicks' recent acquisition, the band's history in MSG and (my favorite moment) when he introduced Richie as "Joan's baby boy" ... that was sweet. I didn't see her, but you KNOW Mrs. Sambora was somewhere in the crowd ... singing and dancing, like always.
In terms of the band, I actually felt they played much better in Pittsburgh. There were some strange moments musically throughout that made me think Jon was a bit distracted (totally feasible given the venue and probably being pulled in different directions with family, friends, etc. there) There were transitions that just didn't flow quite right. I have a feeling tonight will be a bit tighter ensemble-wise. As those who read this blog know, I never pull any punches when it comes to writing about music ... #NoApologies. :-)
Overall, it was a great night. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in round 2!
But, while we wait for this evening to come 'round, here are some pictures ...
...probably my favorite action shot of the night...
I'm a JonGirl thru-and-thru, but ohhh Richie ...
...and I just love this one... :-)
Okay, well that's all for now. I should try to get some work done before, as Yogi Berra said "DejaVu all over again!"