We… Got it… Goin’ on.

Going into last night I was a little skeptical. More than a little skeptical. The release of Lost Highway represented a slant in the country direction, and of that I was definitely not a fan. I even went so far as to say that I wouldn’t go. Still, not long ago I procured tickets anyway. I was concerned that there would be more country that I could stand. I was also concerned that that would affect the enjoyability of the concert. I was wrong to be concerned on both counts.

One of the things I didn’t really take into account is that a band like Bon Jovi has so many songs that everyone wants to hear that there’s not a lot of room to play a bunch of stuff off of a new album, regardless of whether it’s a slant towards the country genre. Yes, there were a couple of songs that made me furrow my brow, but overall it was a tremendous night. I even got 3 of my 5 requested songs (I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Born To Be My Baby, Bad Medicine), though my wishes to finally hear One Wild Night live still go unfulfilled.

One thing I neglected to put on my requests list is a full version of Living On A Prayer. I decided against including it because at every previous concert at which Bon Jovi has played they’ve done the accoustic version of the song (listen to Prayer ‘94 to get the idea). It’s nice to hear the song, but it’s not the same as hearing the electric guitar intro. Word has always been that the reason they don’t do the full version of the song is that Jon Bon Jovi can’t hit the “woah living on a prayer” high note anymore. So last night when the crowd found itself singing along with Jon as he went through the paces of the chorus, it occured to me that they might actually play the full version of the song. “No way” I thought, or probably even said. “Way” said the band, but only figuratively, as the song began. I waited for the chorus to see how Jon would deal with the high note, and the answer came quickly: Let the crowd handle it. When asked afterward what my favorite song of the night was, there was no doubt about the answer.

The night ended with the inevitable encore. It started with Wanted Dead or Alive, and ended with Jon talking about how they were only in DC for one night because he has to go to Philadelphia for a Soul game on Saturday, but they’d come back if they’d be welcome. He spoke of how he loves playing here, and mentioned the Capital Center from years ago, and then the band ended on I Love This Town (off of Lost Highway). I thought it was kinda cheesy for awhile, as the video screens behind the band that were showing random video that I’d best describe as “American” (high school cheerleaders at a basketball game, firefighters snowball fighting, etc). But then those screens started showing DC images. George Washington University. The Georgetown Hoyas logo. The Washington Redskins logo. The Washington Wizards logo. The White House. Sure, maybe they do that for every town they go to, but it was a nice touch.

In the end, it was a great concert and a fun night. The next time the band comes around, there’s only one answer to the question “are you going?”

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