Day 3 of Bamboozle snuck up on Festival goers. While the first two days were full of warmth and sunshine, Sunday afternoon greeted the crowds with wind and clouds. The foul weather didn't deter the mobs from storming Asbury Park for one last day of jam-packed music. As darkness covered the beach, New Jersey legend Bon Jovi took the stage.
Earlier in the day whispers of Bruce Springsteen jumping on stage for Bon Jovi's 8:45 P.M. set filtered through the crowds, and anticipation was high when the band finally began to perform.
Not wasting any time, Bon Jovi started off their over two hour set with "Raise Your Hand." Seemingly within seconds, the crowds changed over from scantily clad youngsters to parents in old concert tees.
Following "Raise Your Hand," Bon Jovi immediately transitioned into "You Give Love A Band Name." The song was released in the 80's, and honestly it looked like keyboard player David Bryan was stuck in that decade with his Rick James hair.
While Bryan is still trying to channel his youthful days in the 80's, Jon Bon Jovi looks pretty much the same as he did when guest starring as Sarah Jessica Parker's love interest in "Sex and the City." Richie Sambora on the other hand was a little frightening when his face lit up the large screens on stage. For a man who seems to be constantly involved in a crazy love triangle, I was honestly shocked at what looked like some pretty horrific plastic surgery (but maybe he was just having an off day/hung over/sick).
The band continued to immediately transition from song to song, playing "Born to Be My Baby" (with Bon Jovi himself doing some crazy hip thrusting, throwing the moms of the crowd into a frenzy), "We Weren't Born To Follow" and "Lost Highway."
After playing a continuous streak of songs, the band finally talked to the crowd. "We have a lot of catching up to do," said Jon Bon Jovi to the crowd. "We're more handsome than ever. I'm looking pretty good these days." Like I said before...Jon Bon Jovi is indeed aging very well.
Probably to the delight of the bands that graced the stage before Bon Jovi, he gave a shout out to their performances. "Lots of cool bands. Young bands. New bands."
The chit chat wasn't long though, and they swung back into playing a hit that had the crowd roaring, "It's My Life." From what I could tell (my glasses were pretty covered in dirt at this point), Sambora voices the "bow wow" part of the song. Pretty impressive.
Following "It's My Life," they played "Blood On Blood." As Sambora ripped on guitar, he was seen with his eyes closed, almost as if he was reminiscing about the past.
With each new song the band started they seemed to lose a few more youngsters who had hoped to catch a glimpse of Bruce Springsteen (who would never come).
Those who did stay for the first half hour though got to hear story time with Jon Bon Jovi.
"I can't believe it's been 30 years," he said, reminding me of the lines the old lady spoke in "Titanic" when retelling her story about her few romantic days with Jack Dawson.
"I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in."
Alright, Bon Jovi might not have said that, but that's where I honestly thought he was going.
Instead Bon Jovi said that even though playing on the beach Sunday night was no Giants Stadium, he came back to play because of "all the times I hoped to play at Convention Hall."
Swinging into "Runaway," it was then that I decided to run away from the venue myself.
The set wasn't bad...but as someone in their early 20's, I didn't go to Bamboozle pumped up to see Bon Jovi perform, even though he received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from my Alma mater.
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