It was a beautiful night, because the rain that had been threatening for much of the afternoon held off. The tickets said 7:00 p.m, but we meandered across the street to Soldier Field at quarter to 8:00 p.m. and Kid Rock, performing with Bon Jovi as the lead-in act, had not yet taken the stage.
When he did, all numbers were up-tempo and, later on, he joined Bon Jovi for a rousing rendition of “Old Time Rock ‘N Roll.”
There was an intermission after Kid Rock’s hour long set and then, at approximately 9:30, Bon Jovi took the stage and held court for 2 and 1/2 hours. They played all the songs they’ve made famous over the years, and some I didn’t know. Bon Jovi looked great in a black jacket and pants that were also black, but sparkled. Other band members mostly went with the black leather pants.
Richie Sambora, in particular, had lost weight. He wore a silver lame jacket to open the show, then switched to a sleeveless leather vest, and finished up with a hat and vest combo. The fans were appreciative at all points, and 60,000 of them turned out. Considering that the band has played in 50 countries and released 11 studio albums, 2 compilations (1 Great Hits in 1994), 1 live album and sold 130 million copies, worldwide, we got what we expected: a World Class show. While the bands were performing a variety of film clips were projected on the 3 large screens behind them.
Bon Jovi, as a group, has been rocking and rolling since 1983. Jon Bongiovani, whose surname provided the group with its name “Bon Jovi” has been married to his high school sweetheart Dorothea for 21 years and has 4 children aged 17, 15, 8 and 6. It’s no wonder that Jon told “E! Online” prior to the Chicago show, “My life’s pretty good.” If you saw the “Sixty Minutes” special filmed at the palatial French chateau that is home in New Jersey, you will agree. The 48-year-old rocker pulled a calf muscle early in this tour, but, unlike Kings of Leon who canceled their entire St. Louis concert because a couple of pigeons shat upon 2 of their band members while they were playing, this band takes a licking, but keeps on ticking.
Jon Bon Jovi revealed that 2 countries they have yet to play, but would like to are Israel and Greece. Considering that they’ve played 2,600 dates in 50 countries, I’d say it’s a good bet they’ll eventually add both of those countries to their tour list. This tour, The Circle Tour, comes on the heels of the November, 2009 release of their latest album, “The Circle” and will wind down the North American leg after Saturday, July 31’s show. Then, one month off (August) and back to tour Latin America, Australia and Japan beginning in September.
A great show with plenty for everyone.