29 years and counting. 29 years since I’ve started this passion for Bon Jovi. 8 years since i last saw them in Bucharest. The band itself is just one year older than me but everything seems like it’s been lasting since forever.
Last evening I saw them live for the second time in my life. I’ve bought the ticket months ago and I’ve been waiting for their concert like crazy. If anybody ever asks what my favourite band ever is I would answer without any doubt: Bon Jovi. Their album “New Jersey” marked my childhood, I’ve learnt their songs by heart even before I could speak proper English, I followed them closely throughout the years. The sticker with the band that we had at home on the bedroom bookshelf is a photo that I will never forget. 29 years later its colours faded but it is still there. It is surprising how they managed to make an impact on so many generations.
Last evening’s concert was a huge desire to hear those songs again, to dance and sing along, to jump and clap. Their latest album “This House Is Not for Sale” toned down their rock’n’roll style and their live performance was toned down as well. Jon’s voice is far from what it used to be, though certain songs still bring it back. However, his abilities of being an extraordinary frontman to one of the greatest bands ever are still there. And so is his amazing smile. They didn’t play “(You Want to) Make a Memory”, again! But the setlist included so many songs that are dear to me, four of which come from the “New Jersey” album. Each song reminds me of a certain period in my life, from being 6 and trying to make a sense of “Born to Be My Baby” to being 9 and watching “Keep the Faith” on MTV to being 16 and rocking to “It’s My Life” at high school parties to current years when “This House Is Not for Sale”, “Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning” and “Labour of Love” are fairly new additions to my Spotify playlists. They didn’t play the last two songs yesterday but even so, was it worth it? Yes! Do I want to see them again? Yes, please!
I liked the people around me, from dear friends to complete strangers of all ages, to a dad that came to the show with his two sons, the youngest being somewhere around 10 and holding his fist in a tight grip on his chest during “Wanted Dead or Alive”. The organisers managed the long queues in an efficient way and they provided water points, cups included, inside the arena. And when I finally managed to get my brain out of my critical-view-on-concerts approach everything turned to pure joy. Hearing “Bed of Roses” and seeing all the lights lit around the venue during it was blissful. Getting to hear my favourite Bon Jovi song ever at the encore was incredible, just when I thought the setlist couldn’t get any better. Watch it below! Singing along to “Living on A Prayer” was heartbreaking because I knew that the concert was seconds from being over. And I just glued myself to the concert hall’s floor to the last moment when the band joined up on stage and bowed goodbye. I wish they never said goodbye but maybe after almost two hours and a half it was about time they did.