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The Bon Jovi Phenomenon
Bon Jovi Are Still As Popular As Ever
What Makes Bon Jovi As Popular As Ever Before 30 Years On
Earlier this year Bon Jovi celebrated 30 years at the top. Since forming they've had more hits than the final episode of the Sopranos and they were the words of Jon Bon Jovi himself not mine. I heard those very words when standing in the audience at the Etihad in Manchester.
I have to say it was an incredible show. The stage looked amazing it was a packed crowd and it was the first time I'd ever seen the band live. I'm a relative newcomer to Bon Jovi having followed the musical paths of my peers growing up and Bon Jovi was never a band I'd taken time to listen to.
It was only a chance stumbling upon a Benidorm tribute act 5 years ago that I started to realise just how many of their songs I'd liked. Then in my mid 20's I was confident enough to explore what I liked and enjoyed rather than what I thought was cool and to my surprise I loved their music.
Fast forward to the present and only a short time back I stood excitedly in front of the stage and took a look around to see possibly the biggest mix of fans I'd ever seen. Of course there were women of age who had followed the band for some time. A lot of whom I'm sure were personal fans of the charismatic Jon Bon Jovi proven by even the slightest wiggle of his hips making them erupt into cheering.
However there were plenty if not as many teenage girls there too. Then you'd look around and see teenage boys there too and then you'd see all ages from rockers to OAP's who seemed united in their love for the band.
It was a crazy sight to see the generation gap bridged so tightly in one arena. I found myself knowing I liked the band and why but how do they manage to create such huge appeal across all generations and sexes?
There's no doubt they make great music. Almost every one of the three hour set they sang were classic rock songs. From ballads to more upbeat tracks and each one came with an ability most bands don't have for the crowd to join in and sing along. They were quite simple songs but powerful ones too, ones that stand out the minute you hear them but surely that cannot be the only recipe for success.
A Great Front Man
There's little doubt when you see Jon Bon Jovi that he oozes self confidence and natural charisma. To hold 20,000 people plus on a string with every word you say takes some doing and you can't fault their work for almost three hours they were non stop in their music and must take some physical effort as well as having the star quality to make each song stand out in it's own right.
Other bands have had incredible front men though and have not stayed at the top so long so perhaps there are other things to consider?
There honestly seems a real intense ambition to stay together as long as possible. You can see it in their faces these guys love being on stage and love touring and only the absence of Ritchie was evident but for understandable reasons as health comes first but I'm sure he'd have been there if he could.
They seem to remain united by a love of making and performing their music and they hold each of their anthem tracks with such pride when you often see other bands resent their biggest successes after a while.
Perhaps it's the fact that they've produced so many hits means there's no real focus on any one song as their signature track. Some Love it's My Life, others Livin' On a Prayer, others Always but it seems to differ from fan to fan and personally my favourites are Bad Medicine and Can't Go Home two songs rarely mentioned by others.
So they write great music, perform well, have a handsome charismatic front man and have stuck together and most would think that's their real secret but I think there's one more thing they have few other bands do..............................................
Bon Jovi Live
Bon Jovi at the Etihad
Livin' On A Prayer
The Real Secret To Bon Jovi's Success
When I hear a Bon Jovi track one things always stands out and that's the beat. They sound like a real rock band. Everything is deep and catchy and it makes you want to sing and dance and they really do write incredible rock songs.
However the lyrics often are in contrast about love and softer subjects or are completely uplifting. That to me is the key and few bands can do this. They can be any man's guilty pleasure because they play rock music and stuff you know is cool but you can secretly for once not feel the aggression of the music but it's power and feel uplifted or happily sing along to lyrics that talk about love.
It's not often men can do that. The women feel the passion in his music and performances and men feel the power and essentially they're feeling the same thing but just interpreting it differently. It's an essential key element on song writing that appeals to the old and the young at the same time and to men and women across the board to.
Gay or straight wouldn't matter there's something there for you. Who can complain about a great rock song, easy to sing along to that almost always have an uplifting message of survival or success and you leave the concert not just having enjoyed the music, you turn the engine off in the car and CD stops and it doesn't just finish it's that real uplifting feeling when it stops that lasts and few bands can ever do this.