Concert Review: Bon Jovi proves it 'Can'

New Jersey rockers pack Honda Center on a rainy night in Anaheim.

October 10, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Rock band Bon Jovi perform at the Honda Center on Wednesday as part of their 2013 "Because We Can" tour.
Rock band Bon Jovi perform at the Honda Center on Wednesday… (Rhea Mahbubani,…)

Jon Bon Jovi doesn't want to be another wave in the ocean. He is a rock, not just another grain of sand.

And he definitely rocked Wednesday night at the Honda Center.


Because he can.

Bon Jovi made a pit stop in Anaheim as part of its "Because We Can" tour, in support of the band's 12th album, "What About Now." Having started in Washington, D.C., in February, the group is poised to perform across North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

With returns to Wales and South Africa and first-time shows in Bulgaria and Poland, the tour snagged the No. 1 spot in Pollstar's last two tour rankings, having already grossed $142.1 million.

Although it was a dank weeknight, people from Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties arrived in hordes to watch their favorite New Jersey boys live. Outside the venue, a hierarchy of bootleg gear stretched for nearly a mile, while audience members — groups of friends, couples and oversized hipster glass-toting youngsters — donned boots, parkas and jackets and sipped wine to ward off the chill.


The show began at 8:30 p.m., an hour later than anticipated, with the musicians stepping onstage amid a flurry of white and blue lights. For a few minutes, only one spot was conspicuously vacant — behind the main mic.

When Jon Bon Jovi appeared, silhouetted by a glaring spotlight, the crowd roared in approval. People popped out of their seats to accompany his opening act, "That's What the Water Made Me."

Once he had everyone's attention, the guitarist and lead singer, donning an American flag jacket, said, "This ain't television. Get out of your seats. Show me what you got."

In the nearly 2 1/2 hours that ensued, the band thrilled viewers, who packed seats all the way up to the nosebleed section, with old and new hits, including "Raise Your Hands," "It's My Life," "Runaway," "Bad Medicine," "Whole Lot of Leaving" and "You Give Love a Bad Name."

Talking about giving love a bad name, the group's split from longtime guitarist Richie Sambora was evidenced by the presence of Phil X, born Theofilos Xenidis, who joined the tour in Calgary, having been given only a 15-hour heads-up. His skills were evident, though, as his fingers flew over his instruments — one of which displayed an action figure in its bridge.

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