Other media outlets and blogs were on this story like a cheap suit, so I’ll do it up Sexy Armpit style. If you know me in “real life,” then you know I’m a huge Bon Jovi fan. There’s Bon Jovi fans all over the world, but if you grew up a couple of miles away from Jon’s hometown and went to the same high school Richie Sambora did, there’s a special connection. Everyone all over town has a Bon Jovi story for you.
Here’s one: Opening night of the Prudential Center was pretty exciting. It took about 10 minutes to walk from Newark Penn Station to the new venue “The Rock” as they’re calling it. This wasn’t a fun journey because I had to pee so bad and people were walking very leisurely, like when they’re at the mall on a weekday. I briskly walked past everyone not giving a f–k about huge piles of horse shit in the streets. Horse shit? Oh yeah, there were police on horseback in addition to the 35,000 other cops and security strewn about the area. You’d think the President was coming. (I doubt Bush would last 3 seconds in Newark. I also doubt he’d be able to bypass all the piles of horse shit.)
TV crews and radio stations were setup and, once we got there, thousands of people were waiting in lines to actually get in the building! There was a big holdup because everyone had to get patted down, scanned, and then you had to do the hokey pokey. As I held out my ticket to give to the ticket taker, she said “I need your ticket.” I was a bit confused because that’s exactly what I was shoving in her face at that moment. They really trained these folks well! We made our way up the spiral staircase that brought us to the top that overlooked the foyer with the N.J Devils logo on the floor.
“The Rock,” is a brand new facility with the most up to date amenities. The center also features a bar/restaurant that’s open on the area side so you can watch whatever’s going on while your getting trashed and eating a $5.00 slice of pizza. I would say the place was fairly impressive, but I really didn’t think there was anything wrong with the Meadowlands Arena aka the Izod Center. I questioned how cutting edge the facility was when people were leaving after the show and the escalator stopped dead with a bunch of people on it. If we didn’t grab hold of each other we would have went flying into that disastrous place called “let’s cover this up by giving them comped Bon Jovi tickets for the next 10 nights so it doesn’t make the papers.”
Oh yeah, you probably want to know how the show was! Let’s put it this way, Bon Jovi NEVER puts on a bad show. Every time I’ve seen them they’ve been on point and I always leave saying how great the show was. It gets harder to top themselves but this show had a more laid back vibe, like on their latest album “Lost Highway.” The album is less rocking, and more reflective, with a country aspect to sound. That didn’t deter the band from kicking off the Prudential center and their world tour in a grand fashion: “I’m a New Jersey Devil and this is my new house,” Jon declared.
Highlights of the show: The opener “Lost Highway,” “We’ve Got it Goin‘ On” (What’s with all the the commercial jingles lately?), A spectacular rendition of “These Days” sung by Richie Sambora with Violinist Lorenza Ponce. How many times have you seen a violinist rocking out a solo? Then there was the middle aged guy who’s pissed drunk and thinks he’s giving his own concert to the people around him. I can’t forget the crazy people in front of us who thought they were filming a B-52’s video. (see above) They were dancing like they were at a Prince concert. The best moment as always was the finale of their anthem, “Wanted Dead or Alive.”