Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jon Bon Jovi upsets US fans

I think this is the full (or more of the) interview I posted last night. Among other things, Jon said he liked touring Europe and playing for "a fan base that knows all the verses, not just the choruses." He repeated the sentiment later in the interview: "They know all the verses, whereas the Americans live around the choruses."

First of all, I do think Jon was merely complimenting European fans ahead of the European tour, as opposed to taking a deliberate pot shot at American fans. And secondly, it's not the first time Jon or a member of the band has specifically talked about European fans "knowing the verses" instead of "just the choruses" and I doubt it will be the last. Nor is it the first time heated debate over the differences in crowds and set lists has been raged.

Having said that, I've always maintained that it wouldn't be too hard for Bon Jovi to throw a bone for the diehards at EVERY show, regardless of the location or the overall crowd response. All it would take is one or two gems or rarities a night. Plenty of time to play all the tried and true hits that casuals come to see, and then everyone leaves happy. Don't punish a loyal, passionate fan just because he/she happens to live in the wrong city, country or continent.

Meanwhile, a Facebook group called North American Bon Jovi fans who know the verses has been set up.


  1. What he says is true. There are us die-hards, but the band probably couldn't sell out arenas every night playing solely to die-hards. Having played in front of (many, many fewer) people before, I know what a big job it is to keep the crowd engaged in a show. As awesome as it would be, it only takes one Dry County or Love's The Only Rule to lose an audience in America. Then, recapturing them is twice as hard.

    I'm not saying a few gems would destroy the show and leave them playing theaters and clubs, I'm saying it's much more demanding than doing what they're doing now.

    I've thought for a few years now that it'd be cool for the band to do a theater tour playing "An Evening With Bon Jovi" style (not, however, doing TLFR material) and play mostly deep album cuts and songs they are passionate about instead of doing Bad Name and Prayer and Bad Medicine, etc. That probably won't ever happen though.

    If I had the means, this American would fly to Europe to see them. :-/

  2. One more thought.

    It's possible many die-hards have been priced out of the first several rows and instead are sitting in the upper sections. That's true for this die-hard and at least a few others I know.

    When I was in Nashville, the front rows were dead during LTOR. I was in the upper deck standing up and was asked to sit down. If the die-hards had mostly been pooled down front, the perception from Jon's POV may have been different.


  3. "It's possible many die-hards have been priced out of the first several rows and instead are sitting in the upper sections. That's true for this die-hard and at least a few others I know."

    That's the impression I get as well. Starting ticket prices in the US, from what I've seen, are actually much lower than they are in Australia but getting up the front is out of the question for many people. And if you're travelling to see the band as well, that's even more $$ to take into account.

    But if Jon's looking out in the front row and seeing no diehards because they can't afford it, who's fault is that?

  4. I completely agree with all of your points, Daniel. Let's face it. Jon plays in the US and he plays in Europe, and this is his perception. I happen to be one of the die hards who is jealous of the European setlist. I too would love to be able to fly over to Europe for a show. As it is, I have spent over a thousand bucks on 3 shows this tour (and my seats weren't as good as I would have liked them.....never could get into that darn pit this time around). Even up close, I know that there are definitely people who don't know all the words to the songs. Sometimes they don't even get up dance (which I just don't understand). In Europe, don't they usually que to get their seats? Wait in line for days and many hours, get a number, and then get a ticket? If so, there is no wonder that the crowd he is looking out at knows all the words. The die hards are up front. I miss the days of sleeping out for concert tickets and not having to fork out the huge bucks to get upclose. I agree that the majority of the crowd wants to hear the "standard" songs. I am always crossing my fingers for These Days, Diamond Ring, Hallelujah, Loves the Only Rule, Dry County, etc. I got to hear Hallelujah and Loves the Only Rule on night two of a back to back show. Night 2 is always better than night one because I think Jon knows, there probably will be some die hards who have been to the show back-to-back nights. I would love for Bon Jovi to do a fan club show and take requests. I know that the die hards list would be much different from a typical setlist.

  5. I admit I got a headache reading the Jovi boards this morning. This is one of the more sensible boards.

    All this comes as quite a stun to me, perhaps just to me because of the Jovi fans I've had the pleasure of meeting recently. One of them was in Munich, and was a bit disappointed with the set, saying it was long and disjointed and that the show she saw in St Louis even w/o Richie was tighter and on fire. She actually launched into a huge speech about how the U.S. complains too much.
    Then, from a while back, I was talking to a fan who witnessed Dry County for one of the first times they pulled it out in the US this tour. She said the atmosphere was so terrible around her that she almost wished they hadn't played it.

    I have no idea who is to blame for this, and pricing diehards out of their range is probably a huge problem, but I also tend to think [small voice] there really aren't as many diehards as they think there are.

  6. I agree with Daniel and what a show that would be if they played theatres with "An Evening" Yeah like that concept

  7. "... but I also tend to think [small voice] there really aren't as many diehards as they think there are."

    This is a true statement, IMO. Bon Jovi and JBJ were MASSIVE (I mean beyond belief massive) from 1987 to 1990. There is a lot of carry-over fan-wise from that era. They are in their 30s, 40s and 50s now and go to a show to hear the hits of their youth, plain and simple. The fanbase is getting older, too, which means there is less energy given by fans.

    It's kinda like this, in my estimation: If 18,000 people are at an arena show in a normal part of the USA (i.e. more Nashville, less NYC), I'd dare say less than 1,000 of those could be classified as real die-hards (who know a song like Dry County or anything from These days beyond the singles). That leaves 17,000 people who go nuts for "Bad Medicine" and sit on their butts or go for a beer during "Love's The Only Rule."

    If you were in JBJ's position, would you play more Bad Medicines or more LTORs? I don't blame him, it's just unfortunate for people like us who are spening parts of our days reading a Bon Jovi blog. ;-)

  8. ...looking at the Facebook NA Fans Know the Lyrics Page... suggesting people boycott his foundation... and donate to local homeless shelters? Arent we getting a little... Crazy? Psychotic? Way out of touch here?

    This whole incident has really opened my eyes to the kind of psychos that call(ed?) themselves Bon Jovi fans. Thanks.

  9. Daniel-
    Again, I totally agree with everything you are saying! We are the minority....not the majority. Jon is the consummate showman. He knows what he's doing and he plays to the majority audience. I always leave a show happy........but I am thrilled when I hear a Hallelujah, Damned, Loves the Only Rule, etc. I am generally one of the few people in the audience who is singing along to every word of those songs. I do think the majority of the people are there because they loved the songs of the 80's and they remember the Bon Jovi of old....big hair, spandex, etc. They may not have any of the newer cd's and they don't know the songs. Love your "An Evening with Bon Jovi" idea. Maybe I need to go to a fan club show one of these days. Though I love all the songs that some of us call "vanilla", my very favorite Bon Jovi songs are not the "top 10" type of songs. They are the more obscure ones that most of the audience just would not know. Years and years ago (around This Left Feels Right cd release) I had the pleasure of being at a half acoustic and half electric show in St. Paul. This was one of my very favorite Bon Jovi experiences (and I've never missed a tour...even when they were opening for the likes of Ratt and 38 Special). I heard tons of people complaining and saying that the show was "horrible" on my way out. The majority of the crowd wants to hear the songs they know....and they want to hear them the way that they know them. Jon knows how to read a crowd and he gives the majority of the people what they want. He talks about it on the When We Were Beautiful documentary. He says that when he does a song like Hallelujah he has to bring the crowd back up again.
    Thankfully, every now and then he does those rare songs for those of us who are dying to hear them.......even in the US.

  10. That's true -- We are very much in the minority. A lot of my friends and acquaintances would say they liked Bon Jovi if asked, but only a handful would be able to name a song that wasn't a massive hit.

    As for boycotting the Soul Foundation, I know the guy who created the group and he's not advocating that... but other individuals will post what they post.

  11. Talking about boycotting the Soul Foundation is silly. It is a great organization that does a lot of good for a lot of people. Who would want to boycott that just because they don't like Jon's perception of things?

  12. As a fan in the UK who once attended a US show, I must admit to much preferring the UK shows. Every time. There is always a mix but even here... you don't get so much album 'stuff'.

    Dry County is an absolute favourite over here. Crowd went berserk for it in Manchester this year (around me they did at least).

    As for prices- its steep at the front in UK, not sure about the rest of Europe but I paid £170 for two tickets ($300) and then travel and then hotel. So not all that cheap here either.


Thanks for giving me your time.