February 10, 2017
It started as just a crazy idea but what if…Bon Jovi was playing in Atlanta? And I could schedule it around a visit to a dear friend who lives there?? Well, this Jersey girl decided – what the heck??
So, with five like-minded girlfriends, this crazy idea turned into reality. Although this would be my seventh time seeing him, I was excited to see JBJ outside of the NY/NJ area so the plans were confirmed and off we went!
First of all, what a city! Atlanta is really spectacular - I'd go back ANY day! The Philips Arena is a great venue. The opening act was a local band that Bon Jovi hand-picked as part his way to give back to the music community and they were great. Bon Jovi kicked off his 2/12 hour concert with a 21-song set list that included both old and new hits. He opened with singles from his new album "This House is Not for Sale" and "Knockout" then broke right into longtime fan favorites "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Born to Be My Baby" and one from "The Circle" album "We Weren't Born to Follow". He continued with another new song, which is one of my favorites, called "Roller Coaster". He played two more songs from "The Circle" and kept it going with "We Got It Goin' On", "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and "It's My Life". He threw in some older tunes like "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" and "Blood on Blood". He finished the set with four classics: "Lay Your Hands on Me", "Have a Nice Day", "Bad Medicine" and "Keep the Faith" – with Jon shaking his maracas. He closed the night with a three-song encore that included "Always", "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Livin' On a Prayer".
It was classic Bon Jovi – he's a little grayer and sounded like he had a bit of a cold but played on like the handsome, professional that he is. This loyal fan enjoyed his performance but with a twinge of melancholy – I still miss Richie. The band is just not the same without Richie Sambora's distinct guitar riffs and of course, his voice. But I guess it's time to get over it and face the reality that he's not coming back.
If you get the chance to see him here in NY or NJ, I'd highly recommend it. His songs are an integral, historical part of the middle-age group's (those of us in our 40's and 50's…ok, and 60's too!) – music libraries. We know many of his songs by heart and there is much comfort and enjoyment in hearing the, dare I say, "oldies"? This fan will keep coming back for more memories.