On paper, the Abu Dhabi show wasn't overly special (20 songs and "Capt. Crash" in the freaking encore?!) but the significance of the gig went beyond the set. For starters, it was the first time Bon Jovi had ever played in the Middle East. I won't pretend that money wasn't a factor in picking Abu Dhabi and there's no need for anyone else to pretend either (I mean, China has a communist government and a capitalist economy; money talks. I sure don't begrudge my favourite band for getting paid to do something they love!). But it would be interesting to find out how many of us in the Western world -- when we hear the words "Middle East" -- automatically think of terrorists, planes crashing into buildings, and bombs going off? And how many of us come to those conclusions without actually knowing anything about Islam OR the Middle East (they are different things!) outside of what the media and politicians tell us? So it's a fluffy romantic ideal but I guess I'm a true believer in the power of music to transcend real or perceived borders between cultures.
But if you think everything I just wrote is crap, then here's another reason why this show was special: "Bed of Roses". The This Left Feels Right version had already been played during the Lost Highway and Have a Nice Day tours, usually on a platform out in the crowd. Great for the girl who gets to dance with Jon, and great for the casual fans who can't tell the difference between the two versions, but not so for those of us who missed the original.
But on May 20, 2008, the electric version as it appears on Keep the Faith was performed for the first time in five years. I have a real soft spot for this song as it was the first Bon Jovi song I ever fell in love with. The keys are great; that wailing guitar gives you goosebumps that TLFR can't even begin to reach; and I was just so proud of Jon for bringing "the real Bed of Roses" back! Check out the video.
Now back to earlier point about music transcending cultural barriers... This is by no means the best performance of "Livin' on a Prayer" of the tour, but Jon for one looks pretty impressed by the crowd's reaction to his a'cappella intro. Not bad for a "corporate" gig! Who knows, the band might even return to the Middle East someday.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Emirates Palace (20/5/08)
BORN TO BE MY BABY
YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME
SLEEP w/ Rockin' All Over The World & Start Me Up
(YOU WANT TO) MAKE A MEMORY
WHOLE LOT OF LEAVIN'
IN THESE ARMS
WE GOT IT GOIN' ON
IT'S MY LIFE
BAD MEDICINE w/ Shout
I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU - RICHIE VOX
BED OF ROSES
WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME
HAVE A NICE DAY
KEEP THE FAITH
LIVIN' ON A PRAYER
CAPTAIN CRASH & THE BEAUTY QUEEN FROM MARS
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
Hey ! I totally agree with you , I like better the original BOR version and it's a pitty they dont' play it anymore...Also I think this is the best LOAP version with the capella intro ...remind me the oldest tours like These Days , the last tour I got to see in my country...ReplyDelete
Finally I couldn' t agree more " money talks " in this industry and it's nothing wrong with that it's just that it's so sad that another tour went by and they didn' get back to Argentina, It' s seem to me that Jon since many tours ago doesn't want it to keep touring so far and long, unless they get paid well I guess...please don't get me wrong I totally understand that is their right to do what ever they want but I couldn't help it to tell you this because it's seems to me that you are very objective about the band and you could understand how sad I am for missing the guys again.
You have an awesome blog ! Love it ! Keep doing the great work !
See ya next tour around !
Marcela from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Thanks for your kind words. :)ReplyDelete
The original BOR was actually played a few times after this show, including the first night at MSG (so it could be on the DVD if they don't cut it out). But I do feel for the fans in Argentina/South America and lots of other countries because this tour was the first time I'd had the chance to see the band in Australia. Bon Jovi has done a lot of touring this decade so the people who get to see them quite regularly don't really understand how frustrating it can be when you don't have that chance.
Thank you for your understanding !ReplyDelete
Can't wait for that DVD being release here !
I'm glad you got to see them ! So was like you imagined it ?? Or even better ?? I think there's nothing comparing to a Jovi live concert...!
I've heard that they took a while also to return to Australia so when I found out that they were playing there I was hoping that they could step before or after into South America, at least that's what they did on '93 and '95, but they weren't :( Next time hopefully !
Thanks for the NJ Rock Radio St. link, great music playing all day, I feel back in Jersey again !
It was a great show! To be honest I was a bit worried at the time because Jon's voice hadn't been very good in Japan the week before (he might have had the flu, I'm not sure). But he sounded fine at my show; good performance and an amazing experience for me. :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, the last Aussie tour before Lost Highway was in 1995, although they did do a one-off gig and a 45-minute festival appearance about 5 or 6 years before that. I really hope you get the chance to see them next tour!
it was one of those terrible days in my life...
my beloved band in dubai and me in iran...
you people should be really happy to see bon jovi in your town
Your prediction that the band would return to the middle east came true in 2015ReplyDelete