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January 20, 2006

Bon Jovi fans pack the house with energy

'80s pop metal faves look good, sound good, smoothly mix old, new

Aging artists often appear to be going through the motions, but not Bon Jovi, who performed for a packed house at Charlotte Bobcats Arena on Wednesday.

Their rock 'n' roll sincerity was plastered across their faces as they bashed through a set of hits and new material. That fact was never more evident as during the band's latest hit, "Have A Nice Day," or the oldie "Bad Medicine."

A fit Jon Bon Jovi appeared in embroided denim and leather on a small stage at the back of the arena with an acoustic guitar for the first song, "Last Man Standing."

"You Give Love A Bad Name," the second song of the night, helped kick things off right for fans in their 30s, 40s and 50s who were dancing, singing and playing air guitars to the music.

Guitarist Richie Sambora soared through '80s-style solos and provided tuneful harmonies. Drummer Tico Torres, looking buff, seemed to enjoy himself more than anyone as he pounded through the set. Keyboardist David Bryan shined during "Runaway" on the bouncing keyboard hook and also turned in impressive background vocals.

The show attracted at least one local celebrity. Charlotte's own Ric Flair was escorted to the front row midway through the show and even stole some of Jon's thunder when onlookers "Whoo"-ed as Flair passed.

The sound from the arena floor was the best system since the new venue opened in October. Bon Jovi delivered a show that was as crisp and loud as a rock concert should be.

The seemingly tireless rockers didn't lose momentum until the dragging start of the still-powerful anthem "It's My Life."

It was apparent the seasoned lead singer could no longer hit all of his high notes. Instead he sang "I'll Be There For You" an octave lower than the original.

Posted by riesambo at January 20, 2006 10:20 PM