Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mohegan Sun Round 4

Yes, I said round 4. It really has been, 4 shows that I have been at this tour at Mohegan Sun. I will start by saying Mohegan is a special place for a Bon Jovi show. This one was no less special, but in some very different ways. One of our boys was not there. Richie. He is going through a rough time right now, in rehab for some drinking issues. We all hope that Richie is finally getting the help he needs, and will be stable and healthy when he does come back to us.

In the meanwhile Phil X is stepping in for Richie. I have to say Jon picked a winner with Phil. Awesomely talented guy who is picking the music up really well and adding his own bit of style to it. I will say that of course, we want Richie there. But he needs to take some time for him, and Phil is an awesome stand in.

So now on to the show. Paige flew up again to see this show at Mohegan. After our last gem, she decided she HAD to be here. Hubby graciously gave up his ticket so she could attend. :) It was as if it was meant to be. Fan club tickets had went on sale for Mohegan, and I missed it. Well, after a weekend in Montreal, the hubby says, sure, lets go. Get tickets. So I check, and they had released more. I ended up getting 3rd row David's side, on the circle. Just to the right of Jon. Perfect. We were on the rail all night long, it was an awesome view. The only complaint was there was not enough light on Phil. Hey, I am a photographer. Taking pictures is what I do and my camera would have loved Phil. He had that cool rock star hair, and great guitar poses. But it wasn't to be. Now I also love David and Tico, but But David was too far back, and Tico, well he is behind those drums somewhere....

We had a good time meeting up with a few friends before the show to chat and compare notes. One set of friends had been at the show the night before and really enjoyed it. That made me look forward to this show. Now let me say, Richie is not there. It is obvious. Phil is not Richie. There is a HUGE void. You can see it, feel it, even taste it. It is thick as molasses. BUT, I went in with the mindset that I was going to have fun. I love this band and want to be there to support them, and in doing that, I support Richie, too. And I love Jon. No doubt about it, I do. Anyone who knows me knows I am a Jon girl. But one reason is because of what a talented front man, musician, performer, that he is. He has forged on with the shows, putting out 200% to give the fans a show they will love. He is working his, ummm, tush off. No way else to put it. His voice is in amazing form. He is dancing and jumping up a storm. Oh yes, other complaint. Jon needs to hold those poses for a while so I can snap pictures. He moves around too much! ;) Remember, photographer first, concert goer second.

The show opened, the big screen came down. We were SO excited, grabbing on the rail and screaming (hey, that is what we do!). I won't go every single song. I will try to hit the highlights. They opened with Last Man Standing. I looked in the back of the arena, but no Jon. He started it right on stage, in front, ready to drive his ship boldly onward. And he did just that. He held notes for what seemed like ages, jumped around like he was that 20 something long haired rocker boy he was 28 years go. He prowled around the stage, end to end, interacting with the fans, drawing them all in. He did what he does best, seduce an audience. Bobby joined him on a few solos, and the typical Pretty Woman. Bobby had some new hairdo going last night, even Jon commented on it. lol Phil stepped forward at the appropriate times and ran his fingers up and down the neck of his guitar like the pro that he is, belting out some really amazing solos. He even got the rock star hair going a few times, much to my poor camera's dismay. I could not stop the motion enough to get the wonderful hair effect with my point and shoot. I really need to talk to Jon about letting me bring in my pro gear...dontcha thing?

Jon came out on the circle all alone. The crowd pushed forward, surrounding him, reaching to lift him up with cheers and smiles. I think he could feel the love. A few times he mentioned Richie, telling us we had to sing his parts for him, loud enough to hear in California! Jon put in a couple of new verses in old favorites that are just to melt the heart. You could just see the emotion dripping from him right along with the abundant sweat he worked up on the stage. A couple of songs that go to me, a few tears welling up in the eyes, I'll Be There For You and Wanted. Those two were what did it for me. Richie is his sidekick on those. There were others, too. But those, to me, were the two that hurt. But it is what it is and he poured his heart into the performance. Not too much hugging and kissing last night, no Bed of Roses. He has been very touchy feely with the audience lately. As if he needs to touch us and needs us to touch him. I think he is pulling strength from us when he is up there alone, working the audience. Of course Tico and David were there, too. David as flirty and cute as ever. Tico was somewhere back there, love Tico! Hugh and Bobby, and of course, Phil.

The show went on, Jon only shed his leather jacket, never took the time to change once or dry the locks plastered to his neck and head. The snug black tank top soaked pretty well all the way through, he bid us goodnight. Mohegan did its best to sound big, despite only holding 9000 people. It worked. Jon and the boys came back and said to heck with curfew, and played until well after 11 for us, as least 15 or so minutes past. The boys all took hands, Phil too, and thank us, then bowed. Then the original boys, the remaining, stood there, an empty space so very obvious. Jon looked tired. He looked sad. He looked so very spent. Tico gave him a pat on the back and they left, Tico the last to give a wave to the audience and descend into into the underbelly of the stage.

Paige and I looked at each other, let out a heavy sigh, and waited for the crowd to clear a bit before we left. Sad to see them go, happy from such an awesome show, and promises of more wonderful music from our boys in two weeks when we fly into Milwaukee for the second to the last show. A wonderful night, all around. Emotional, but so charged with energy and rock n roll. Thank you Jon, Phil and all the boys. We really appreciated the effort that you all gave and hope you all felt the love back. Until our next date....wanna see a concert? ;)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mohegan Sun review, Night 1 and 2

I am going to get another cup of coffee and attempt to get this blog going again. Be right back....Alright.

So as the tour started in February, I survived by trying to stay up for the various play by plays and commenting on set lists the morning after. But finally, my time was coming. Mohegan. I had originally bought two tickets and my bestest Jovi buddy was going to fly up to go with me. Circumstances being what they may, it didn't work out for her. She is in Nashville and I, Boston. So I had an extra ticket, asked another friend, who had to think on it for all of about 2 minutes. In the end I was overcome with the lure of the pit, and we ended up with two pit tickets for night 2 as well. What can I say? We were going to be there anyway. As it often happens with this particular sickness called "ticket addition" I found another set of tickets even closer for night 1. A mere 4 rows from the coveted circle and that awesome acoustic set we have come to expect this tour.

So on the road we went. I picked Missy up Thursday night at Logan International. The Jovi lucked held strong as I didn't get lost in Boston and Missy exited the plane with the Jesus in hand. All good signs. We chit chat that night, and head to bed, knowing we have a weekend of little sleep ahead of us. We wake up, cheerily put my little guy on the bus, pack the car and we are Mohegan bound! We were lucky enough to stay at the Mohegan hotel Friday night and were upgraded to a suite, no charge. Well, this room was so big, and the shower so huge you could fit the whole band it just the shower (maybe Hugh and Bobby, too). Fun! With cautions to not lift anything out of the mini bar that we didn't really want to consume, the bellman left us to enjoy our afternoon. Too wired to take a nap, we unpacked, figured out the nightly wardrobe and headed down to meet up with a few other folks. Our other friend, Terri, had the unfortunate situation of her friend getting sick (poor friend had to head home)so we met up with her and another friend, and some of the fun fan fic ladies I have had the pleasure to chat with online. We got dinner at the food court, and then all went our separate ways. We decided to check out the opening act, a band that had won a local contest to open for Jovi. they were good, and clearly so thankful to be there. Fun to watch. We sit in our seats and are in awe, so close to that Circle! These were GOOD seats!

The opener finished and the roadies built the Jovi stage. One song was cut short and Our House came on. We knew it was time. Camera ready, we sat tight. The big screen came down and the opener began. I will say, it is impressive. I won't spoil it if anyone hasn't see it. And as much as I say we don't need all those robotic screens, it is really amazing. The screen lifts and there is Bon Jovi, ready to rock the house. They band had started about 15 minutes late. Jon was in a good mood, the band was cheery. But there was a bit less energy than I would have liked to have seen. I had heard sickness has been going through the band and crew. A few wobbles and a shorter set list, but some wonderful surprises and moments as well. The casino had an 11 p.m. curfew, so to fit in the show, a couple changes were obvious, and they left out LTOR for the first time this tour. No pit walk for Jon. We were disappointed. But there were many highlights of the of show. Never Say Goodbye on the Circle, well, OH MY! I had not heard that live since well, it was the 80s. And what fun to see the whole band up close like that on the circle, even Tico! I was able to get pictures of him I have never been able to get before.

In the end it was a great show. It is Jovi, after all. Some speculated about Richie and a mistake or two, the gum, etc. But the vibe was fine, just a bit short, and not too energetic.

After the show I texted my Jovi Buddy, Paige and then we headed to Ben and Jerry's, now a tradition after all Jovi shows at Mohegan. We then found a quiet little nook to have a few drinks and hang out with Jesus. Upon closing, Terri and her friend, Debbie, came up to our suite and we ordered room service pizza. The man serving us that evening was heard to quote, "there is a name for people like you." He, however, never did share that name. Might be a good thing, we let him live. :)After pizza, a small mini bar raid and Jesus in the ice bucket, we went to bed at 5 a.m.. True to it's name Mohegan Sun brought the sun way too early, thank GOD for hotel black out curtains. We rose and checked out around noon, got lunch at the casino and contemplated how long of a nap we could fit in that afternoon. That evening we were going to stay with our friend, Terri. She has the extra hotel room from her other friends that had to leave, so we took that one. Luckily we did fit in an hour or so nap. We got ready again and headed out to Friendly's where our waiter, Johnathon, was moving on a track much slower then the rest of the world. Not going to work for us so we leave and end up eating hot dogs and nachos inside the arena before the show. Eh, it is ok. The casino is MUCH more crowded in general that Saturday night.

We get our tickets and head into the show, being led to that coveted place, inside the circle.....WOW! It felt so cool to sit inside and have everyone look at us, wishing they were in there. We had row 5, 2 seats from the center isle. Now those were good seats! We skipped most of the opener and settled in for Jovi, who came out about 10 minutes early. Jon clearly was going to fit in what he could even though they told him he had to go to bed at 11. He was still going to rock the house that night. THe screen comes down and the opener starts. well, being literally 5 rows from that huge thing is even more impressive than 10 rows, as we were the night before. The screen lifts much faster than the previous night and there is Jovi, this time, packed with energy, and Jon with a look on his face that says you better be ready to rock and rock hard! He is heard to say, "Stand up, people! This isn't television!" Well, I was standing anyway. lol I can not remember when I ever sat at a Bon Jovi show.

Now I have to say, this was the most awesome show. It was as awesome as it could be being in a small venue with a curfew. But the audience, people, stand up! After a few songs, I heard people sat down, especially in the stands. The pit, not so much. the energy there was good (as I hoped not to be wearing the beer, the fan next to me kept waving around).

ANyway, back to the show. Camera in hand, I did my part to document this wonderful evening.

I was told I was easy to find in a video of Miss 4th of July, in the pit because of the camera always in front of my face. LOl what can I say, it is what I do.

The show rocked. The band was on fire. I am not going to spend time speculating about Richie. I think he is ok. He played wonderfully, Jon sand so strongly. His voice is in tip top shape, better than in years. Richie did my favorite, Homebound Train. Man, I love it when that man sings that songs. That deep voice. *swoon* (yes, I am a Jonny girl!). Just loved it. Security so quietly sneaks Jon out on the circle. The man is literally 4 feet from me and I didn't even know it. The spotlight goes on him and he starts to sing, his back to us.

The view. Yeah. Two different views on two different nights. I am so thankful to have had both views. Something to be said for both sides, just depends on what you like. There are some songs I am sad I did not get to see from the front, actually. And that is saying something since Jon's back was to us, we got to enjoy a view, close up, that is not a bad view at all. It is a very nice one, as a matter of fact. The man is 48 years old, and has a physique of a man 20 years his junior. He is tight and in shape, his clothes showing this off to it's best advantage. *Shallow moment there, fanning self.* Ok, back to the music. Miss 4th of July... well, My God. It was just spectacular. Amazing. And Jon on Hallelujah. The whole arena was stunned silent as Jon held the ending note for what seemed like eternity. It was almost like he had to recover when he was done. Truly beautiful and amazing. Something I will NEVER tire of seeing.

The arena erupted in fits of cheering as Jon recovered his smile.

The other highlight was yes, we did get Love's the Only Rule and Jon did walk the pit. One fan had to be pried off of him at once time. But my friend, Missy, got to hold his hand. I am loving his interaction with the audience this tour. Really special and I just love that song anyway. He puts everything he has into it.

The encore almost didn't feel like one, I know they were trying to fit it all in, so not much of a pause there, they sort of just played it. Wonderfully though, I must say. Some other highlights were Hot Legs and Jon's little story about the girls outside his room. Then his little banter about Cougar Town. Well, not so much, Jonny. Cougars are older women trolling for younger men and your still quite a bit older than me, sweetie. Unless the arena is filled with 70 year old grannies, I think he got is terms a bit confused. I will forgive him, however. :)

All in all an truly amazing set list (really, both nights) and the energy level on Saturday night WORE us out! It is tough being a groupie on tour, I must say. *yawn*. We went back to Ben and Jerry's, looked for a place to have one drink, but went back to our hotel when we found none. We choose hot cocoa instead and spent two hours looking at our pictures from the evening on the computer. Trying not to swoon too much, we went to bed at a more reasonable hour of 3:00 a.m.

Sunday we had a wonderful breakfast on the way out, before I took Missy back to Logan. I sent her off with a hug and promises to see her, and the rest of the gang, in Nashville. 3 weeks is really to far away! Watch out Nashville, the Belles are headed your way!! It was a wonderful weekend, with wonderful friends. Mohegan Sun is just a fun place to be for a show (or two). There really isn't a bad place in the house, the arena is SO small. The limit on time is a bummer. But in the end it all worked out and was so worth it!

Bring on Nashville! I am ready to rock 'n roll!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

JBJ on the Today Show

Well, here we go again. It is time for Jon to get out on the streets and promote the upcoming album, The Circle. His latest stop was the Today Show. Ann Curry was a lucky girl with not one, but three hugs from the toned and in tour shape rock star. These little teases are not making it any easier to wait for the album, the documentary and the MSG DVD. As much as I hate ticket stress, I am as ready as Jon is to get on the tour road again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maybe Someday and Its Just Me

Even though I have heard them all well more than a million times, most likely. Every once in a while on a particular day, one song will make me take notice again. I can't really pinpoint any reason it happens, it just does. Today, Maybe Someday... and a lovely acoustic performance of Its Just Me from Destination Anywhere, plus a fabulous life performance.

It is official!!!

The new track list is finally blessed by Obie!

Hi Obie!

When are you going to publish Circle setlist and more info?
Asked by andro10 on September 14, 2009 at 10:58am
OK, here goes........
We Weren't Born To follow
When We Were Beautiful
Work For The Working Man
Superman Tonight
Thorn In My Side
Live Before You Die
Love's the Only Rule
Fast Cars
Happy Now
Learn To Love
Answered by Obie on September 14, 2009 at 11:44am

Back in the swing of things

Like many of you, I am a Jovi freak, but also a mom and have even put a few hours into that thing called work. It was a crazy summer and just now I am finally seeing that a routine may be possible once again. Isn't it wonderful how school organizing our lives. At least for me. And in that routine I am scheduling regular time to get back to writing our current Fan Fiction, Pictures and Prose. I tried my own personal blog last year, but failed miserably. Family and friends often commented that there was no update. Well, I gave up. Maybe someday I will get back to blogging. But for now I am kind of stuck in Jovi world. I am impatiently awaiting the new album, the Circle, scheduled for release here in the US on Nov. 10th. Can you say F O R E V E R? That seems like how long it is taking for that date to get here. We got a new song a few weeks ago. And I love it. But I want more! So in the mean time, I am getting my fix by writing once again.

A friend pointed out a new fan fic to me: Stick to Your Guns. Good stuff, check it out if you haven't already. It certainly got my juices flowing and got the writing bug to, well, bug me again.

So that is about it for my mindless rambling today. Here is a link to some new Jon and Dot pictures for your viewing pleasure. All I can say Holy Arms, Batman!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jon Bon Jovi and Friends

My friend and I were the lucky attendees of a very special private show put on by Jon Bon Jovi and Friends for his fan club. Now being long time fans, as in back to day ONE, it has always been a dream of ours to see Bon Jovi in New Jersey. The Holy Land, as it is known to die hard Jovi fans. When it was announced on the fan club board that Jon was indeed going to put on a private fan club only show in the coming year, well, let me just say we were slightly excited. Little did we know how special of an event it would be.

We waited impatiently for tickets to go on sale. Then waited impatiently for venue information. Finally we found out all the important information, booked our trip and we were ready! Making sure the camera batteries were charged, along with the Jovi pods, and the fun could begin. We were held back just a tad by the fact that Paige was almost 8 months pregnant. But did that stop us? NO! She flew to me on Friday before the concert, I picked her up and we headed to Jersey in the Jovimoble (aka Rav4). Ms. Garmin did not lead us astray, depositing us safely at the lobby of our hotel.

But. Let me just tell you, Jersey is not a place for the faint of heart. Oh no. The roads are a bit challenging on a good day. The state of no left turns and full service service stations was an adventure to be sure. But we braved our obsicales and trudged forward with our plans.

Saturday we were up at a decent hour, not rushed, but with plenty of time to spare. We headed out on a tour of Jovi sights that are a must see for any serious Jovi fan. Ok, mostly they are JON Bon Jovi sights, I will admit. But hey, we are Jon girls, after all.

The first stop was Jon's childhood home in Sayreville, NJ. A modest looking home on a quiet street. We did a quick drive by picture op, not wanting to disturb the current owners. I must wonder, though, if they sat near their front window watching the increase in traffic as numerous Jovi fans also took the same tour.

Next on the tour was the Sayreville War Memorial High School where Jon spent his high school days. I am betting he wasn't the best student, possible jotting down lyrics in the middle of math class perhaps?

The next stop was the pizza place where the famous Pizza Parlor Jury took place. Jon and Richie were rumored to see what the local kids though of new songs at the pizza place. I wonder if they say an increase in business that weekend.

On to Jon's estate in Red Bank we went. Not wanting to be labeled as stalkers, but wanting to see where Jon lived we drove by a few times, finally nailing down the exact house. We decided to find a place across the river as the place for our photo session, managing some nice shots with the trees bare for the winter.

We were then back on the road on our way to the famous Asbury Park where Jon and Bon Jovi played the music circuit at Fast Lanes and the Stone Pony. The Stone Pony is still a hopping destination where some of the hostest local bands can be seen to this day.

Another popular place for Jon to play "back in the day" was Fast Lanes. It is now closed for business, and as you can see, hasn't faired as well as the Stone Pony.

We then took a short walk around Asbury Park, the boardwalk, the old casino. It is an area that has much character, but it is evident that the place has fallen on harder times.

Our stomachs rumbling, we headed back north to find a place for a late lunch, to meet up with some other Jovi friends and finally back to our hotel. Stay tuned for day 2 of our Jovi adventures in Jersey.