Concert Review: Bon Jovi still ‘wanted dead or alive’

The synthesized sounds of electric guitars and the booming drums with Jon Bon Jovi nowhere in sight. The huge video screen blocked the audience’s view. It slowly rose to reveal the album’s cover art, a square red face smiling with attitude.

It was a nontraditional approach to start a concert with the band on stage and the singer, Jon Bon Jovi, standing on a platform clear across the venue for the opening number, “Last Man Standing.”

The roaring cheers of the audience welcomed the New Jersey natives of Bon Jovi on March 3 to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Adrenaline pumped and the sold out crowd reflected the powerful stage performance by Jon Bon Jovi, the lead vocalist and guitarist; Richie Sambora, guitarist and additional vocalist; Tico Torres, drummer; and David Bryan, keyboardist.

The terrific concert provided entertainment for nearly two hours with one hit after another, including “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “You Give Love a bad Name.” New songs performed were “Have a Nice Day,” “Who Says you Can’t go Home” and “Welcome to Wherever you are,” to name a few.

A highlight of the concert was when Jon Bon Jovi belted out the 80s hit “Bad Medicine.” When they reached the end of the song, Jon Bon Jovi spoke to the audience providing detail of the history of the song, all while the musicians continued to play music in the background.

The tempo picked up and “Bad Medicine” continued for almost five more minutes.

Jon Bon Jovi and Sambora had great stage presence. Sambora sang and performed a guitar solo during the song “I’ll be There for you,” which was brilliant.

With every song, the audience participated by singing, dancing and moving their arms along with the band. During the song “Raise Your Hands,” the audience’s liveliness was seen when Jon wanted everyone to do as the song says. The quick beat of the song made for an amusing moment, as the audience was entertained and animated.

Jon Bon Jovi and Sambora had a costume change after the encore. The always-stylish group did not disappoint when Jon Bon Jovi wore his usual performing attire, a long sleeve black leather shirt, and Sambora wore his signature dark leather coat and a black cowboy hat. The lead singer later changed into a Philadelphia Souls jersey, since he owns the arena football team.

The New Jersey-based group has been producing skillful music for over 20 years with the first single “Runaway,” which gained momentum in 1984. This multi-platinum group eventually sold nine million copies in the U.S. alone. Two songs, “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer,” reached No. 1, while “Wanted Dead or Alive” reached the Top 10. By this time the group Bon Jovi was established with fame. Since then they have sold numerous successful albums. Bon Jovi is currently on the “Have a Nice Day” tour to support the album with the same title.

Overall, Bon Jovi is a band not to be missed live. Everyone in attendance was highly entertained with the songs and the band’s stamina. A true rock concert with no disappointments; this will leave the audience wanting to hear more.

Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at

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