Sunday, April 6, 2008

BON JOVI & DAUGHTRY @ Honda Center

What a night it was, what a concert!!! It's great when you can go to a concert and it's all about the music and having a good time, without even a hint of any sort of political message. Such was the case at the Bon Jovi & Daughtry show I attended on Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim. It was the second of three sold out L.A. area shows for the rockers.

Chris Daughtry, and the rest of his band Daugthry came on stage just after 7:40 pm. The crowd, which was made up predominately of Bon Jovi fans, nonetheless REALLY took to liking Chris and the band from the beginning.

Daughtry has had quite a remarkable run of success since finishing fourth in American Idol 5 a year and a half ago. A #1 and four times Platinum debut album, with three (going on four) top 10 pop hit singles. The band launched quickly into their current (and #11 hit) "Feels like Tonight" and played for almost 45 minutes. I must say the sound quality and acoustics throughout the night were outstanding, and made Chris and the band sound great even on his non radio hits. His third hit "Over You" drew a great response, and Chris told a little story of how he "knew this song was meant to be a hit on the radio"... Sure enough it did make it to #6 on the pop charts late last year. They also played his very first hit, the #1 smash, "It's Not Over" to a rousing ovation.

Chris and the band closed things off kind of catching everyone off guard as they started playing a cover of Mötley Crüe's classic, "Home Sweet Home." The crowd really went wild, and by that time even the rabid Bon Jovi fans were TOTALLY into it as he was covering a song from "their era," the 80's. Smartly, they used the song as a lead-in to arguably their most successful single to date, "Home" which was a #1 hit at both Adult Contemporary and Hot AC, along with a #3 hit at pop radio. The songs spiritual overtones and message even made it a HUGE hit on the Christian charts where it just missed the top 10. Out of all of Daugthry's songs, this was the one that definitely will be their signature song for years to come - pretty much everyone in the crowd knew all of the words! It won't be soon before long before they are headlining their own shows - they are truly THAT good!

The forty-five minute set by Daughtry went by very fast... even more surprising was the intermission - it was all of 15 minutes! Yes, you definitely get your money's worth when you see a Bon Jovi concert.

Jon Bon Jovi and the rest of the band hit the stage precisely an hour after Daughtry had. From the moment they took the stage, the sold out crowd was TOTALLY into it as was the band... Since I grew up in the 80's and knew practically all of the words to the songs, my fear was that I might not have a voice at the end of the night - I don't think I would have cared if I had lost my voice though, as it was an absolutely incredible show put on by New Jersey's favorite son and his bandmates... can you believe these guys have been doing this for 25 years? Jon and the band have always kept their perspective, and several times throughout the show he smiled and let the audience know just how thankful he was for everything and most especially, the fans!

The band launched into their current hit "Lost Highway" off their album of the same name, and basically went non-stop for two hours straight! Of course, they played all of their signature hits. "Born To Be My Baby," their first #1 hit "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Summertime" were amongst those songs which led the early part of the show. One of the great things about their hits is that almost the whole audience knew knows all of the songs. While Daugthry had one song, the whole audience knew, Jon and company had about 15!

Later, they launched into "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" and then played Jon's huge solo hit "Blaze of Glory." Towards the middle of the show, they really brought some HEAVY artilery, playing "In These Arms," "It's My Life" and the #1 hit "Bad Medicine." The whole crowd was REALLY into it during this rockin' sequence... They then slowed things down and Jon took a little break as he let Richie Sambora sing another of their #1 hits, the ballad, "I'll Be There For You."

After Jon's break, the band did some of their more current stuff including "You Want To Make A Memory" and his two Country crossover hits, "Til' We Ain't Strangers Anymore" and "Who Says You Can't Go Home." No, there were no appearances by Leann Rimes or Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles though it would have been cool if one of them had shown up. One thing that was REALLY cool though was when Jon actually went into the audience and shook tons of fans hands!

They then caught everyone a little off guard as they launched into a cover of Tom Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down." The cover though (not surprisingly) was VERY well received. The band closed things out in style, with three songs that EVERYONE knew very well: "Have A Nice Day," "Keep The Faith," and their biggest hit of all, "Livin' On A Prayer."

The very boisterous crowd of course demanded an encore and they got it about five minutes later as they launched into a very spiritual song called "Hallelujah." Then next did another of their many signature songs, "Wanted Dead or Alive." For the very end, I thought they would launch into their very first hit, "Runaway," but Jon threw me and the rest of the people around me a curveball when they launched into a song off their new record called "I Love This Town." Other than not hearing "Runaway" or their huge hit "Always," I have to say I pretty much heard everything I wanted to hear, and only wish that I had atteneded a Bon Jovi show sooner - yes, as a HUGE Bon Jovi fan, this indeed was my first. Lord willing, it definitely won't be my last!

You can go to their official website for other recaps of the show and a complete set list with comments from attendees..

Bon Jovi 4/5/08 Honda Center Show Set List

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