Bon Jovi–the whole group–lit up Times Square last night with a ebullient, athletic 90 minute live show from the Best Buy (formerly Nokia) Theater on Broadway and West 44th St.
This is a smallish venue converted from a movie theater–the beloved Loew’s 44th St where I saw all the “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” movies. And Bon Jovi is a kick ass bigger-than-life band, launching their first greatest hits record in 27 years with the show simulcast on YouTube and local WPLJ radio.
You haven’t heard anything until a thousand people are screaming the words to “Living on a Prayer” and “It’s My Life” in your ear. Bon Jovi started out as a bar band and on some level they remain the Greatest Bar Band ever. Not only did they perform more than a dozen of their own hits, they mixed in “Pretty Woman” and “Shout” with the punch and drive of 20 year olds.
It was great to hear “Wanted Dead or Alive (I’m a Cowboy),” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” and “Keep the Faith” in this intimate setting. You could tell Jon, Richie, Dave and Tico were having fun, too. They had plenty of friends and family in the audience as well, including Richie’s mom, aunt and a family friend affectionately known as Eddie the Hat.
After the show, Jon Bon Jovi and Dave Bryan headed right home. But Richie Sambora and Tico Torres headed downtown to the Waverly Inn. They took up a table for about 12 people including Little Steven van Zandt. wife Maureen van Zandt, music publisher John Titta, and “American Idol” past winner David Cook.