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November 29, 2005

Bon Jovi rocks Mohegan Sun

MOHEGAN-- Bon Jovi rocked the Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday night, playing to a sold out crowd that was as enthusiastic now as they would have been 20 years ago.

Though unannounced, opening band The Mercury Seed was also a hit with fans.

The group won a spot opening for Bon Jovi in a contest sponsored by the band in each performance market.

The Mercury Seed performed six songs off their newest album "Dust" and have a sound similar to Lifehouse, mixed with a bit of Gavin Rossdale from Bush.

Bon Jovi took the stage a little after 8 p.m., and opened with "Last Man Standing," off their "Have a Nice Day" album, released in September. While fans were obviously psyched to see the band hit the stage, the crowd became louder and more pumped during the band's second song -- "You Give Love a Bad Name" -- the first song by the band to top the charts, in 1986.

Jon Bon Jovi played off the crowd, including two specially positioned groups of fans on either side of the stage. At one point, the women in the crowd tore Bon Jovi's shirt off. He walked back to the stage, but not before joking with the audience fans "don't do this for Bruce, and definitely don't do it for Bono," speaking of Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono.

Old and new
The group played a mix of old classics and new hits, incorporating goodies like "Born to Be My Baby," and an acoustic duo with guitarist Richie Sambora of "Always" with brand new songs like "Have a Nice Day," and "Who Says You Can't Go Home."

Bon Jovi had two costume changes throughout the night, but appeased female fans by starting off in a pair of his signature tight jeans and a leather jacket.

Though it was evident the band put a great deal of effort into the show. Performances by Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres and keyboard player David Bryan were especially notable.

Both musicians gauged their performance by crowd reaction and were incredibly successful in recreating the album sounds of the songs.

Sambora held up his end of the gutsy guitar-playing the band is known for, with prominent solos during "Bad Medicine" and "It's My Life."

After closing the set with a rendition of "Livin' on a Prayer" that would have made Tommy and Gina proud, the band returned to the stage for a four-song encore ending with "Wanted Dead or Alive." By the end of the evening, the entire arena was standing and some were holding lighters.

More than two decades after their first album was released, the band can still pack a house, and get a crowd on their feet.

Bon Jovi may have aged, but their classic rock sound hasn't.

Norwich Bulletin

Posted by riesambo at November 29, 2005 09:39 AM