Bon Jovi Concert Review

The band that defined rock and roll in the ’80s is one of the biggest touring acts of all time. The New Jersey-based group rose to fame with a series of anthems that have become fist-pumping, generation-spanning hits.

Bon Jovi has sold millions of albums and sold-out arenas across the world. Their success story is a testament to the idea that a smart strategy can take you far in the music business. Their plan was simple: Write well-crafted rock songs with a pop sheen, play your heart out each and every show, exceed the expectations of the fans, and look good while doing it.

Despite missing a handful of notes in Sunday’s show, the band proved that they still know how to rock an arena. The group’s new lineup — singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarists John Shanks and Phil X, percussionist Everett Bradley and bassist Hugh McDonald — sounded tight on both the anthems and ballads. Phil X, who replaced Sambora after his acrimonious departure in 2013, brought heft to the anthems and showed great musical chemistry with fellow guitarist Shanks.

Although the band did not perform any of its big production numbers, it was still a high-energy show with plenty of dancers, video projections and lots of jumping, dancing and bounding. Even though the 63-year-old Bon Jovi’s energy level is starting to wane, he kept the audience engaged with his jumping jacks, jazz hands and surfer-crouches. And he was clearly enjoying himself, not to mention the huge crowd’s reaction to him.

A surprisingly strong setlist was on offer: a healthy dose of the ’80s classics (‘Livin’ On a Prayer, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’) and a fair share of their recent songs that have become concert staples (“This House is Not for Sale,” “Have a Nice Day”). The only song from 2020 that did not make the cut was a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Bon Jovi is currently in the midst of a 2022 tour, which continues through May. Their next stop is St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center on Saturday night. Jon Bon Jovi is a legendary figure in rock and the Hulu docuseries Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story is an in-depth look at his career through old photos, vintage footage and candid interviews. The band has already been praised for its honesty and insight. It’s worth a watch!