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Bon Jovi comes home to the Wachovia Center

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The boys from Jersey have done it again. Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan and Tico Torres, along with guitarists Hugh McDonald and Richie Sambora and Jon Bon JoviBobby Bandiera, brought the house down to a sold –out show during a two-day- three-concert tour in the City of Brotherly Love. And oh was there love.

The latest batch of awesome from Bon Jovi ,The Circle Tour, is a two-year world tour promoting the band’s latest release, The Circle. Bon Jovi always puts on a great show, and Wednesday night’s 2½ hour show was spectacular. I didn’t have the closest seats, but since the stage was 360 degrees- hence the Circle- it didn’t matter where you were to see the show and feel the energy.

The show kicked off with Dashboard Confessional  doing songs off their new album and U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love) and then Vindicated, which was fantastic.

At 8:30 or so, the stadium got dark and the crowd went crazy. From where we were sitting my pal Samara and I got to see the bank walk up and go behind the screen while the show was beginning- us lucky people saw that before the rest of the crowd did, and they exploded into Happy Now and We Weren’t Born to Follow.

Songs from his older albums, such as Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen from Mars got the audience dancing, and then Bon Jovi paused to talk to the crowd to tell us how he and Richie Sambora wrote When We Were Beautiful, which is my new fave song off The Circle. During the making of the album, Jon commented that the world was changing and they needed to change with it- addressing the economy, the country, the world and what they can do to rebel and be their own person. Since these guys are rock superstars, I think they make a pretty good cause to identify with the everyday man and woman and to understand their struggles and joys of the world in this decade.Christine's view of the concert

After It’s My Life, Jon went to change his shirt (I caught a glimpse of him tearing his shirt off as he went backstage! I know- it’s like I’m 18 again or something) and Richie came out to sing Homebound Train, which was great to hear him sing, as he always does a solo or two in the middle of the show.

The set was amazing with giant screens projecting ‘the circle’ and buzzwords such as hope, love, anxiety, pain, etc, along with crazy graphics, which would then morph into floating tiles behind the stage that Jon would jump up onto to sing to the whole of the stadium.

For (You Want to) Make a Memory and Bed of Roses, Jon surprised everyone and was up on the front of the circle stage singing to a hushed audience. The rest of the band then joined in to sing Love for Sale and Something for the Pain, which the crowd quieted down for this and enjoyed the different vibe.

Earlier in the day, at 5pm, Bon Jovi had paid up a debt to the City of Philly and the Philadelphia Soul fans by giving a free concert  to celebrate the team winning the arena football championship in 2008 with Pierre Robert from WMMR.

He then thanked the Philly audience for being dedicated fans for 27 years, and then brought the sold-out crowd of over 18,000 to its feet. The encore, which included Wanted Dead Or Alive and ended with Livin’ on a Prayer, whipped the crowd into an absolute frenzy. The excitement in the Wachovia Center  was so intense you could almost grab it out of the air. As a fan that has seen him five times, this was on of the best shows I have seen them perform. They keep making new music and new fans, and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon!

SET LIST:

HAPPY NOW

WE WEREN’T BORN TO FOLLOW

BAD NAME W/ BAD CASE OF LOVIN' YOU (ROBERT PALMER COVER)

THORN IN MY SIDE

BORN TO BE MY BABY

LOST HIGHWAY

CAPTAIN CRASH & THE BEAUTY QUEEN FROM MARS

SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD

WHEN WE WERE BEAUTIFUL

SUPERMAN TONIGHT

WE GOT IT GOING ON

BAD MEDICINE W/ TWIST AND SHOUT (THE ISLEY BROTHERS COVER)

IT’S MY LIFE

HOMEBOUND TRAIN RS

I WANT TO MAKE A MEMORY

BED OF ROSES

LOVE FOR SALE

SOMETHING FOR THE PAIN

KEEP THE FAITH

WORK FOR THE WORKING MAN

WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME

LOVES THE ONLY RULE

ONLY LONELY

ENCORE:

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE

LIVIN' ON A PRAYER

Christine Tarlecki can be reached at engchik@comcast.net  and on FaceBook and Twitter under engchik, as well as at http://engchik.blogspot.com

Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi picture courtesy of www.backstagejbj.com