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Bon Jovi > My show reviews > MAY 27, 2010 - East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA

My show reviews

MAY 27, 2010 - East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA

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An overdose of fun or how to seize the opportunities to touch Jon

Venue: New Meadowlands Stadium
Ticket: Circle Pit 2, Row 11, Seat 1
Pictures: Available
Videos: Available

The day broke on May 27, 2010 in East Rutherford in New Jersey under a grey sky. The New Meadowlands Stadium and the sky were the same grey. The weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms and showers mostly during the evening, with a 50% chance of rain around 7h pm. Martin and I were a little disappointed with the weather because obviously, the stadium doesn't have a roof and the opening act was planned to start at 7h pm! I didn't care that much because I had heard that Jon is on fire on stage when it rains and the important thing for me was to be there. However, I was not very looking forward to having wet and curly hair if it poured rain! We had bought ponchos for the rain just in case a little earlier during the week...

We drove around town in the morning to find local newspapers in order to get show reviews from the previous night. Apart from a few little technical problems, the show that had happened the day before had been a huge success. Martin asked me at some point what had gone through my mind when I woke up that morning in the stadium's shadow knowing that I would be going to a Bon Jovi show in New Jersey on the same night. In These Arms was playing in the car and I must admit that I almost choked at that moment! I was not that excited for a Bon Jovi show, but I was very emotional. It was true that I hadn't been sleeping well in the previous few nights and the sleep deprivation was starting to get to me.

In early afternoon, we got ready to spend a few hours in the stadium parking lot. I had to pick up my fan club tickets starting at 3h30 pm and since I didn't know how many people had purchased tickets through the fan club, I had decided to arrive earlier than later. When we got outside the hotel with our things to bring to the show, I saw a white BMW in front of the hotel which a man looking like Matt Bongiovi (Jon's brother) was leaning on the driver's door. He was looking at something on his cellular phone... I told Martin that he looked a lot like Matt and when we got closer to the BMW, I saw that it was him and also, he was wearing an official The Circle tour shirt. I then said: "Hi Matt!" but he didn't raise his head. I repeated his name a few times until he raised his head to see who I was. When he saw me, he said: "Hey, how's it goin'?" And I started telling him that we were going to the show that night and that I was quite excited because it was my first time in New Jersey and that I had decided to come down there for my 30th birthday this year. He put on a big smile (I could see how white his teeth were!) and he told me: "Well... It's a pretty good place to see the band! You are in for a great show tonight!" He didn't seem like someone who wanted to chat much longer, so I told him: "I hope so! See you at the show!" And he told me: "Enjoy the show tonight!" Martin and I said goodbye and we started walking to our car that was in the parking lot. I couldn't believe that I had just talked to Matt there! The story doesn't tell what Matt was doing there, but we were under the impression that he was waiting for someone; maybe not Jon, but family members maybe? I will forever stay with that question because it was none of my business to know that anyway! I was so happy to see Matt and be able to talk to him once more!

We went to have lunch around 2h pm at Chili's in East Rutherford after searching for a good pizzeria in Secaucus. We even got arrested by the police after turning right on a red light at an intersection where it was forbidden to turn on red depending on the time of the day. The policeman was super nice, he took the time to talk to us and explain what we had done wrong. He made us wait for about 5 minutes in the car while he "was verifying our papers" and since we were foreigners, he let us go with a warning. Phew!

We got to the stadium a little after 3h30 pm. The previous day, Martin and I had discussed the possibility to go to the stadium using the hotel shuttle that would have cost us 5$ each twice (so 20$) and we had decided to go by car because the parking cost 25$. Since there was a risk of rain at the end of the show, we didn't want to wait for the shuttle for an hour or so (there were only a few seats available per shuttle and we hadn't seen more than two of them go around the neighbourhood during the last two days). We parked the car and we started walking toward the stadium following the instructions I had received by email to get my tickets. We saw the remaining of the Giants Stadium by going around the stadium and we saw that we would be searched at the entrance a little later at the end of the afternoon.

After walking almost around the whole stadium, we got to the tent installed for the fan club tickets and a very kind man asked me where I was from; I was alone in line to get my tickets. When I said "Montreal", he said: "OK, so this is in the international pile..." He checked my name and he couldn't find it on the list! I got a little scared until he asked me for my confirmation email about my tickets. When he saw that we had tickets in the circle formed by the stage and the catwalk, he said: "Oh, you're in the circle! That's another pile then!" And he found my name right away! Phew! When we got away from the fan club tent, Martin told me that it wouldn't be a bad idea to know which entrance was the best one to avoid having to walk across the whole stadium to get close to the stage. I then returned to talk to the same man again. He told me that the stage was completely at the opposite from where we were but that all entrances had floor access, so any entrance would be fine and that the people dedicated to the event "would take very good care of us close to the stage". He wished us a very good concert, he gave us high fives to me and Martin and he told me: "See you in the circle; I'll be there!"

We then returned to the car. From the man's instructions at the fan club tent, we were close to an entrance that would give us a quick access to the floor near the stage. We saw that there were a lot of people who had already arrived in the parking lot and most of them were tailgating, this very popular phenomenon in the United States where people are literally partying beside their car with lawn chairs and are eating and drinking before going to the show. I found it special to see how big these tailgates were! Basically, it's smart because people have dinner in the parking lot prior to the show, so they spend less in drinks and food once in the stadium. As far as we were concerned, we had brought books to help us kill time. It was barely 4h15 pm when we got back to the car and the doors seemed to open only around 6h pm.

A little before leaving the car to go in the stadium, we saw some very threatening clouds coming toward the stadium! We could see far ahead that the sky was dark grey and rain seemed to be going down from these clouds! Around 6h30 pm, we decided to go to one of the stadium entrances because people were starting to leave the parking lot to go to the doors at that time. We could bring water bottles in, but they had warned us that they would take off the caps at the entrance. We were clever enough to find a way to succeed in putting caps back on our bottles inside the stadium after the original caps were confiscated at the entrance! ;) Once again, I was very well equipped to go to a Bon Jovi show; I had my little purse around my neck, my water bottle in my hand, my fan club laminates and my camera around my neck and my big purse on my right shoulder in which I had put only both our ponchos for the rain.

It was quite cold at that time of the day; I was wearing jeans, sandals, a pink tank top and I had my leatherette coat on. Some people were only wearing a small tank top, shorts and flip flops... I really felt for them! Some people had literally forgotten to verify the weather forecast before leaving home! The weather forecast indicated that the temperature would go below 20 degrees Celsius after 11h pm when the show would end!

About 10 minutes after we got in the stadium, we saw that pouring rain was now coming down! People who were already in the bleachers were starting to come back to the waiting areas and where the beer and food stands were; they were soaking wet. Martin decided to eat a hot dog and I decided to go to the restroom. Can you believe that when I got out of the restroom, I was absolutely alone inside the restroom?? Alone in a women's restroom of a stadium that can hold 82 500 people where a Bon Jovi show would be happening in a few hours, it was an absurd situation with the amount of women there! Let's say that this restroom was a little hidden and that other restrooms were a lot more crowded! We saw incredibly long queues in front of some of them!

The pouring rain continued and at some point, we began to see lightning. The first act, Train, started at around 7h pm, but they were literally playing in front of an almost empty stadium. Some courageous people were sitting down in the pouring rain, but most of these courageous people came to their senses, mostly when we heard thunder and saw lightning!! At some point, lightning seemed very close to the stadium and the music stopped. It surely might have become dangerous for the musicians or there wasn't anyone left in the stadium!! A few people took out their ponchos to put them on and I did the same. Others had made ponchos using garbage bags. Apart from a few exceptions, people were relatively in a good mood. There were a lot of people in a small area also, but nobody was stepping on somebody else's feet. With all the women or almost all women wearing sandals, the risk of having others hurt our toes was very high!

The opening act got back on stage a little later; it was around 8h pm and the pouring rain still continued, but at least, lightning seemed less and less frequent! Some people, including an hysterical woman in particular, started to wonder if the show was going to happen. It didn't worry me because Bon Jovi has already played in conditions just like these and mostly, the thunderstorm was almost finished; it was only pouring rain that was coming down at that time. The hysterical woman was crying because she was convinced that the show would be cancelled and she was following a security guard right behind him because she wanted to have the latest details as soon as he would receive some! Martin was very happy that I am not that crazy for Bon Jovi. I was very calm and I was waiting patiently for the opening act to finish their set. I went back to the restroom one last time after the opening act had done a few songs.. There was a small waiting line at that moment and women were very efficient not to let us wait long.

Security was overwhelmed with all those people who were waiting to go to their seats; I must admit that we were very packed at some point. Security kept on saying: "Either you're in or you're out! Not in the middle!" We convinced them that we just had to free up some space on both sides of the entrance to let people go by, but there was no space left before the entrance. The guards were understanding on that, but let's say that they didn't seem to enjoy the situation more than we did.

Martin asked me to give him his poncho during the opening act because the rain didn't seem to want to stop, despite that it was less and less heavy. More and more people got to their seats under the rain to see the opening act a little bit. Train seemed to be playing forever and a little after 8h30 pm, they finally stopped, to my great joy. We waited for people around us to move toward the stadium floor, because we were against the wall. When we set foot on the stadium floor, roadies were already starting to remove the protective covers from the instruments and equipment belonging to Bon Jovi and a few of them were already sweeping the stage and catwalk to remove the excessive water. It was barely raining, apart from big drops of rain here and there. The stadium was very bright with all the lights above the bleachers. There were already a lot of people in the circle and slowly, the rain completely stopped.

I was very impressed by the size and height of the stage and the circle was made of 4 sections of 13 rows each with about 10 seats for the two central sections and a little less for the sections on each side. We were in the 11th row of the second section on the right. Unlike what Martin had expected, our seats (1 and 2) were on the right instead of the left of the section. So instead of having dead center aisle seats, we had aisle seats beside the aisle between the first and second sections on the right when facing the stage. In fact, the tickets were excellent, but I was a little disappointed to not be dead center in case Jon would come to the main aisle to make people sing during Love's The Only Rule. Anyway, I was telling myself that I was still getting ready to see a Bon Jovi show in New Jersey! I love having an aisle seat because there is more room to move around and let's say that it's easier to go to the catwalk when Jon walks on it! ;) To go back to the stage, there was a huge giant screen at the back of the stage and two others on each side of the stage.

I saw the two same women from Germany who were on my right at the Montreal show on March 20 in the main aisle of the circle. I decided to go talk to them for a few minutes. When Sonja saw me, her face lit up, she hesitated for a moment and she said: "Hum, Montreal, right?" I was happy to see that she recognized me! I learned that they had gone to the show on the previous night, that they would go to Saturday's show, they will go to the one in Paris and one in London in June! Phew! Sonja told me that she preferred the current weather than the one on the previous night because to her opinion, it was way too hot and humid for a show. I told her that I hoped she had waterproof makeup on with the weather! We quite laughed! On my side, I had decided not to put makeup on to avoid having my mascara run during the show if it started raining! I told them that if it rained during the show, I would be able to know if it's true that Jon is on fire when it rains. When she heard my comment, Sonja said: "Oh yeah, he's very into it when it rains, I think he likes it!" We wished each other a very good show and we said that it would be great to see each other again in the future. I didn't want to chat much longer because Martin stayed at our seats. When I came back beside him, I decided to take out my camera to take a few pictures and I left it over my poncho around my neck because the rain seemed over for good. The ground was flooded since the tiles that covered the artificial football field weren't completely flat, but a little lower toward the center. Therefore, there was water everywhere. I decided to roll up the bottom of my jeans a little so I wouldn't have wet pants at the end of the show. I looked like someone from the 80's!

I saw that there was a little group of people in the bleachers on our right who had a huge bright yellow sign, divided in several sheets. The sign read: "Montreal Loves Bon Jovi 4ever" with a heart instead of the word "loves". Wow, people from Montreal! I wondered if it would be possible that among these people, there would be the people who had been shown on the giant screen during Livin' On A Prayer in Montreal. I took a few pictures of these people and the sign at that moment and during the show and when I look at the pictures more closely, the same woman who had been shown on the giant screen in Montreal was indeed among the group!! What a coincidence!

Bon Jovi was ready to give a show under the rain because there were huge colorless plastic umbrellas above the drums and keyboards that were big enough for Hugh at the bass and Bob at the second guitar to take shelter under them as well. As far as Richie and Jon were concerned, no umbrellas for them, but they are quite used to play in non-optimal conditions!

Strangely, the floor chairs were not as wet as expected. And they were held together by white tie-wraps! I told myself: "Wow, I hope that the tie-wraps will hold them together for the whole show because we will find ourselves surrounded by chairs a little later!"

Martin convinced me to take off my poncho at some point because it was chilly, but there were no signs of rain. When I took off my poncho, I saw Luca in the central aisle of the circle. Luca is the huge Italian fan that follows the band across the world. I was sure that he would be there for at least one of the Bon Jovi shows in New Jersey! When I finally finished taking off my poncho and installing my purse like I do in Montreal with its strap on the seat so the purse is hanging toward the floor from the chair, This Is Our House started to play, so I told myself that I would introduce myself to Luca another time! This Is Our House is the last song that plays before the band comes on stage. I put my unfolded poncho under my purse strap to hold it and avoid losing it in case I would need it a little later during the evening. I then saw a woman come on stage, she was probably the property assistant, the one who brings water, provides towels to the band members and gets Jon's clothes ready when he goes change his clothes. When she got at the center of the stage, she raised an arm in the air, she seemed very comfortable being there, she faced us and she sang at the same time as the song: "This... is... our... house!" and she went down the stairs located at the back of the stage that led backstage.

Several people understood like me that it was the last song; people went back to their seat and almost everyone in the circle got up on their feet. At the end of the song, the lights went off as expected and the introduction video of the show started. I decided to make a video of it this time, since it is very well made. The band members appeared on stage one after the other in the shadow, triggering a few screams up front. The first notes of Blood On Blood were heard and Jon appeared with his guitar on his shoulder and his fist in the air, triggering a wave of screams among the audience. It's very different to hear people scream in an open stadium because usually in an arena, it's deafening because of the limited space and the roof. In a stadium, we hear people scream, but the sound goes up and gets lost in the sky, so it seems like people are not screaming that much. But people screamed without a doubt! Martin would have gone without hearing Blood On Blood in concert, but I like it!

The set list that the band played was:


From the time of my introduction video and the last picture I took during the show, it lasted from 9h pm to 11h40 pm. They started to play 15 minutes later than usual because of the delay of the opening act caused by the rain. Not a single raindrop fell during the whole show and it was a little cold; I kept my coat on throughout the concert because a cool breeze would often reach us. I looked toward the sky at some point and I saw a single star directly above the stadium. I couldn't help but think that it was our lucky star that had watched over us! At the end of the show, I even took a picture of the moon that had appeared above the stadium higher bleachers (see picture below); there were only small clouds in the sky at that moment! Not bad for a weather forecast that called for a covered sky with a 40% chance of showers in the evening!! Well OK, I played Miss Weather Forecast long enough, I have more interesting stuff to tell!!

Bon Jovi show at the New Meadowlands Stadium, NJ, USA (May 27, 2010)

At the beginning of the show, I saw a woman two rows in front of me across the aisle in the first section of the circle on the right hold a rose in her hands. I quite knew what she was planning on doing with this rose; however, Jon rarely takes flowers from fans because of his allergies to pollen! Moreover that the allergy index at East Rutherford was very high that day (courtesy of the weather forecast website)!

I looked at the images shown on the giant screens during We Weren't Born To Follow in a very different eye on American soil. Images of astronauts, of Oprah and of Barack Obama were shown, among others. When President Obama was shown on the screen, several people started screaming and applauding. I told myself at that moment that I had to enjoy this show as much as possible by not taking as many pictures and making as many videos as usual. I wanted to enjoy the moment when I was realizing an old dream I had when I was a teenager of seeing Bon Jovi in their native New Jersey in one of the biggest American stadiums. Unlike what was anticipated with my emotional episodes of the days prior to the show, I didn't choke on the emotion of being there during the show. I was simply enjoying every second, even if I were telling myself that it had been so simple to realize this dream when thinking about it. I thought that the 425$US that each ticket had cost were a very good investment! Nonetheless I managed to take 1700 pictures and make about 20 videos during the show! Martin and I were very impressed to see how many pictures I had taken because he couldn't believe it either that I had taken that many! It's true that several of them are quite bad, but the shutter mode of my camera helped me take excellent pictures once again.

When We Weren't Born To Follow was almost finished, I told myself that they would probably go on with You Give Love A Bad Name as usual. Jon took his microphone in his hands, he welcomed us at the New Meadowlands Stadium for "round 2" on this Thursday night and he said: "We ain't gonna let a little rain slow us down baby!!" He really seemed to enjoy himself on stage at that moment with other comments he made about a huge commune shower with each and everyone of us. I was impatiently waiting to know how about 50 000 people would sound like while singing the beginning of You Give Love A Bad Name. When Jon said: "Shot through the heart and you're to blame" while raising and bringing down his arm quickly, the "You give love a bad name" of the crowd that followed was very powerful. Let's say that even if the sound would leave the stadium easily, 50 000 people singing the same thing at the same time is very impressive no matter what when we are used of knowing what 20 000 people usually sound like while doing the same thing!

My seat was extraordinary; unlike usually, I didn't have any big 6 feet tall guy blocking my view. My neighbour in front of me was barely 5 feet tall and the fact that I had an aisle seat allowed me to move a little to the right when the man on the left of the woman in front of me would block my view a little. And Martin had nobody on his left, so we had plenty of space! People around us really seemed to enjoy themselves, there were no drunks nor hysterical people around us, it was great! And also, between songs, it was quite easy to talk to each other; the sound would not bounce as long as in an arena and it was a lot easier on the ears! The sound amplifiers were also above us, so they weren't blasting in our ears! It was perfect!

The first lyrics of Born To Be My Baby were so appropriate to the type of day that most of the people in the stadium had gone through: "Rainy night and we worked all day." Jon even rolled his eyes and looked up while singing these lyrics. I told myself: "Hey it's true, the sky was uncertain all day with a big thunderstorm around 7h pm, we are Thursday night and people worked today!!"

During Lost Highway, I asked Martin to take a picture of me. He got out of the row to back up and be able to take a good picture of me with the stage in the background. A woman in the first section of the circle on the right saw Martin take a picture of me and she asked me after if I wanted her to take a picture of me and Martin. How could I refuse this after being so kindly offered?? She seemed very nice and as much a Bon Jovi fan as me by the way she sang and danced in the aisle near me!

Then, We Got It Going On started and I was about to get Jon's first surprise of the evening. After swaying his hips as he always does while singing: "Shake your money maker, baby smoke it if you got it", he headed toward the right of the stage and he stepped on the little bridge that allowed him to come on the catwalk that surrounded the circle. Instinctively, I made a few steps to head toward the back of the circle (I was in the third row from the back of the circle) because I had a feeling that Jon would go around the whole catwalk. While heading toward the back of the circle, I suddenly stopped because Jon didn't seem to want to go further than the beginning of the catwalk. I looked at Martin that had stayed in the row and I tried to ask him what his thoughts were by making signs. I was then the only one that had gone close to the catwalk; I found it weird! He just shrugged meaning that he didn't know what Jon's intentions were. I still decided to keep on heading toward the end of the circle where a security guard located at the catwalk kindly told me: "Come right here, there's a spot for you!" by tapping a finger on the catwalk to tell me that there was no one there. I then walked quickly where the guard had indicated.

At the same time, Jon had come closer to me and he was heading convincingly in my direction while continuing to sing at the same time. The woman who had had a rose in her hands since the beginning of the show was now on my left and she was determined to give him the rose when we would go by us. As Jon was approaching, people were screaming more and more around me and I noticed that Jon has a really big face and big white teeth when he is that close (he is very handsome in person)! Jon leaned over the girl that had the rose in her hands, he took the rose in his hands, he took the woman's hand to kiss it. At the same time, I tried to touch Jon's hand, but I barely touched it because he got up very fast to continue his round around the circle. He kept on singing at the same time and since he had now stopped in front of me, I managed to touch his leg without grabbing it. It's a blur to me and until I see a video of that moment, I probably touched his calf and not his thigh. The catwalk was as high as my arm pits, so Jon was a little too high from me for me to have touched his thigh, I would have had to jump... unless adrenaline played a role in all this! Ladies, I must say that his leg was as hard as rock! Then, he stepped to the side a little, but I was able to touch his sneaker right before he went too far away for my reach! I told myself at that time that my night was done; I had touched Jon at a show in New Jersey!

The woman who had given the rose to Jon was freaking out a little; she no longer moved beside me, she literally couldn't speak and she was looking at me, completely open-mouthed. So I got closer to her, I looked her in the eye and I told her after putting on a big smile: "Congratulations!" while rubbing her right shoulder. She was almost in nervous shock! Martin told me that she was sobbing when she got back to her seat and saw her boyfriend. I returned to my seat not long after that because Jon was already on the other side of the circle. When I got back beside Martin, he told me: "Well, next time, I know what I need to do when Jon will go on the catwalk..." I didn't understand why he was telling me this and he explained: "Let's say that the girls on my left in the row were pushing me a lot to let me know that I had to let them go to the catwalk!!"

I don't remember when exactly, but I saw Jon turn his back on us in the shadow on stage between Tico and David at some point and he fixed something that was bothering him in his pants. I clearly saw him unbuckle his belt, do his little things to solve the problem, buckle his belt, place his sleeveless shirt over the sound monitor hooked on his belt at the back of his pants. He then turned around and came back to his microphone to continue to sing! Obviously, he did that during a guitar solo and everything had gone probably unnoticed to 90% of the people in the stadium!

Before When We Were Beautiful, Jon did a speech like the one I had heard in Montreal in March 2010. I finally figured out what he was trying to say! He started off by telling us that the previous night, he didn't say things the way he would have liked. He specified: "And yesterday evening, I was in my hotel room, my head was pounding and my ears were still ringing from the show and I figured out how I should have said things..." When he said that, I thought that the theory of which Jon was staying at our hotel was a little more plausible than I had imagined! Bottom line, all that he wanted to say with his speech, is that he hoped that the new decade would bring people closer and that it would become the "we decade" instead of the "me decade" where everybody would do their own things alone in their corner. Mutual aid and solidarity are very important in these difficult times and he hopes that people will get together and stand together. I must admit that it was touching!

Before starting to play Superman Tonight, Jon told us: "OK, the next song will be more familiar to you because you all heard it on the radio and you probably saw the video on TV. The music business is crazy these days and decisions are made sometimes I don't totally agree with." I was under the impression that he had just said that their record company had forced them to release When We Were Beautiful as a single even if it didn't please him. I found it special that Jon would make such a comment, but well, he had the right to complain if he wanted! I must admit that Superman Tonight got to me with the images shown on the giant screen. These images showed people with a little board on which it was written what they have done to deserve to be called a superman. Among others, we could see firemen, policemen, people from the medical world and also people who volunteer or who have given one of their kidneys to a stranger.

Right after Superman Tonight, as soon as Richie started to play guitar, Martin and I recognized Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars! Wow, I didn't expect to hear that in New Jersey based on the set list of songs they had played the previous night!! I was very excited to hear this song and I started to follow the beat with my arms as usual. I asked Martin to make a little video of the song. I was a little disappointed to see the crowd's reaction when Jon asked that everyone follow the beat during the solo. People on the floor followed, but in the bleachers, only a few people raised their arms in the air. I was expecting a reaction such as in Montreal where everybody does it (or seems to do it)!

Bad Medicine made people go wild in the stadium, I didn't think that it was such a popular and appreciated song in New Jersey! The same images as in March 2010 started to be shown on the giant screens, which were women with very sensual curves who would sway their hips, for the pleasure of men at the concert (see picture below)! I desperately tried to make a video of Richie when he does his famous "you got a little but it's never enough", but the little teaser, he didn't even do it!!

Bon Jovi - New Meadowlands Stadium, NJ, USA (May 27, 2010)

Before doing their medley during Bad Medicine, Jon did a few moves, we heard the drums and other instruments do a few sounds, Jon did a few more moves, the others did a few more sounds, etc. during a few seconds. At some point, Jon laughed in the microphone and he told the other band members: "OK... All right... That's how you want to play me tonight, I hear you! Are we going to play cat and mouse all night or what?" He was probably waiting for a sign from the band members that it was time to go see Bob to choose the medley with him and he thought he was being mocked by the others. The moment was pretty funny!

Toward the end of Bad Medicine, Jon started to do his usual moves and his everlasting vocal notes that he does when he starts singing Shout. I told myself: "That's it, I will hear Shout again!!" but finally, he continued to tease us a little with his moves and vocal performances and he said: "That's it, that's all!" before doing a last chorus of Bad Medicine!

Throughout the show, planes were flying around the stadium; when the music was not too loud, we could hear them fly. It was special to see as much activity near the stadium! Also, I saw that people in the bleachers were clapping their hands with a delay (about half a second after the beat given by the drums) and when we were singing together, we could hear an echo from the people further away. It was beautiful and special at the same time because I realized how big the stadium was to make such an effect; sound really travels slower than light!

Before starting to play It's My Life, Jon said: "It's a chance there's no roof over this place, because I would be just about to blow it off!" I then knew that they would play It's My Life, it's almost a classic that he mentions the roof blowing off before It's My Life! The song was very electrifying, as usual! I must admit that I sang at the top of my lungs during the song because the lyrics reflect well my new way of living (It's my life, it's now or never, I ain't gonna live forever, I just want to live while I'm alive).

Then, Love's The Only Rule started without Jon doing his little speech about what matters in life, it's love and when we have that, everything else follows. I found it strange that Jon started to sing just like the album version and that he didn't talk before! Jon didn't go down in the circle to let people sing like he had done in Montreal. The circle in the "stadium" format is probably too big to make it possible without making people die of boredom in the bleachers. I assume that the woman in the main aisle a few rows in front of us was very disappointed of the turn of events by the way she had dressed. Let's just say that she looked a lot like Pamela Anderson face-wise and breasts-wise and that she was wearing a shirt that showed a lot of cleavage! ;) At the end of the song, Jon went down the little staircase at the back of the stage to get ready to go to the catwalk behind me.

I had told Martin that when Richie would sing his song alone while Jon would get ready to go to the catwalk, I would rush at the back of the circle to be well positioned when Jon would appear nearby. The thing is that first, I was not alone with that same idea and second, the security guards guessed our good idea! They categorically refused to let us go to the catwalk, whereas people would already gather en masse on the other side of the catwalk. Jon would walk directly where we wanted to go! The best way to obtain what we want when there are a lot of security guards is to stick together with several fans and ignore them. They cannot do much against 20 determined women who don't want to return to their seat!

Richie started to sing Lay Your Hands On Me and we were packed one against the other while guards would protest and we were acting like nothing was happening. We were singing and we had our hands in the air just like if we were at our seats and we were backing up slowly and "subtly" toward the catwalk. It was almost beautiful to see that solidarity between women against all of these security guards! However, after the first half of the song, the security guards literally pushed us forward and gave us the order to go back to our seats. The woman who had the aisle seat of the last row of the second section on the right (two seats behind me) was protesting like she had just learned that the show was cancelled. She was literally hysterical and she was shouting while crying: "This is my seat!!" to everyone who cared to listen. I asked myself what her problem was because nobody wanted to steal her seat! Clearly, she was not aware that Jon would pass by! We however obeyed partially by stepping forward a little. At some point, a guard shouted at me: "Go back to your seat!" and I was literally beside my seat in the aisle! I shouted at him while pointing my poncho on the chair: "THIS is my seat!!" What an idiot!

When the lights went out, all the women, including me, turned around at once just in time to see the little army of bodyguards and Jon in the shadow. I again noticed how small in height Jon is for a man, barely a little taller than me and I wasn't wearing high heels! Jon seemed a little irritated to see that there were as many people near the stairs who would help him climb on the catwalk. A woman even threw something, it looked like a scarf, that he rudely threw back at her; he didn't seem happy at all!

After Jon walked near us, the security guards couldn't prevent us from going to the catwalk. Let's say that we were walking very fast and some of us were running to be as close as possible to the center of the calwalk where Jon was. I heard some security guards say: "Take it easy, slow down, don't run!" We were packed in along the catwalk like sardines, I was standing against the catwalk at a good distance from Jon, but at least I was standing against the catwalk. I immediately noticed that the catwalk was not made of Plexiglas like in the arenas; it was covered with little lumps on its surface so it wouldn't be slippery. I literally put my left elbow on the catwalk. I was quite proud of where I was! We were so packed that I was extremely afraid that someone would step on my toes! Fortunately, the catwalk seemed empty below because I could feel a black sheet get further under the pressure caused by my camera and my left hip. I tried to locate Martin that had stayed behind to wave at him from where I was to let him know that I had made my way up to the catwalk, but I didn't see him with all the other people around me. I didn't even see Matt that was now near the catwalk stairs!

When I heard the first notes of (You Want To) Make A Memory, I literally flipped out! I knew from deep inside that if the band played that song, that I had now a very good chance of hearing Bed Of Roses! They don't play both these songs systematically at each concert, but they often go together; if they play one of the two, there is a good chance that they play the other. I discreetly took out my banner that read "Bed Of Roses 3876X in 1 Year" from my purse and I started to unfold it discreetly under the catwalk to get it ready just in case. I took a few pictures to avoid drawing the attention on me while I was holding the banner in my hands and while the band was finishing the song. The woman beside me turned around in my direction during the song while holding her cellular phone in her hand and she told me: "Oh my god! I'm so dumb! Being so close and not having my camera! Argh!!!" I saw her take a few pictures with her cellular phone throughout the time we have been at the catwalk!

During the timeout between (You Want To) Make A Memory and the next song, I saw the same woman who had stepped on stage right before the show bring a cup of water to Jon on the stage from the barricade between the catwalk and the first row of the floor.

As soon as I heard David play the first notes of Bed Of Roses at the piano, everything happened so fast in my head. I was telling myself that I couldn't miss such an opportunity to attract Jon's attention! My heart was beating at a 100 miles an hour and my hands were trembling while I unfolded my banner completely to show it as soon as possible to Jon. My back was against a security guard and the woman beside me saw that I had a banner in my hands that I was trying to put on the catwalk to get ready to lift it to show it to Jon. When she saw me, she told me: "Oh my god, you have a banner! You gotta show it to Jon! I'll help you!" And she told me that she would wave at Jon when he would turn around. I was screaming at the top of my lungs "JON!!!!" to try to attract his attention. He wasn't that far away from us, but he just needed to turn around! He reached out to touch the hands of several people on my right, but I was a little too far away to touch him at that moment. Most people were freaking out beside me! After having screamed his name a few times, he finally turned around completely, the woman beside me said: "Go, show it now!" I raised my arms in the air, I was now on the tip of my toes to be taller than the women beside me and Jon really took the time to read the whole banner, he looked at me and did a big sign with his body and his arms wide open and he leaned forward in recognition. He really looked at the banner a long time and by the face he was doing, it seemed like he was realizing more and more what I had meant. He seemed a little amazed to tell the truth! The woman beside me was flipping out, she told me: "Oh my god, I know he saw your banner, did you see his face?!" I was telling myself at the same time that if he had taken the time to read it, he knew by now that this song was one of my favorite songs. I was telling myself that the seed had been planted, that he had to do the rest and that I couldn't do any more than that. I also saw that he pointed a finger at a woman near the catwalk stairs at the beginning of the song; I told myself: "Well, he has just chosen the "Bed Of Roses girl" of the evening!"

After the first chorus, he turned around in our direction, I put my banner back on the catwalk without lifting it in the air so he would remember that it was me that had shown the banner. A security guard in the first row outside the circle saw me and he gave me the order to remove it because it was forbidden to put anything on the catwalk. I did what was asked but I left a part of the banner on the catwalk; I was hiding it with my arm and my elbow that were literally on the catwalk. Since the guard was not very tall, he couldn't see that I still had the banner on the catwalk partially. Strangely, the guard whom my back was against didn't seem to see what I was doing either.

Jon started to walk toward us and he touched the hands of several people on my right once again while starting the second chorus. The image of all these hands reaching out for Jon is always impressive; they seem like sharks going to the surface of the water as soon as fresh blood appears like Martin made me noticed! ;) I was telling myself that I couldn't miss such an opportunity to take his hand and hope for the best after the second chorus. He got in front of me, I stretched my hand toward him, he touched my fingertips as he passed by. I touched his sneaker with the palm of my open hand again for a second or two. His heel was getting up and down slowly and I told myself that it wasn't such a good idea to keep my hand there too long if I didn't want to have my fingers crushed! He sang the rest of the second chorus on my left and when he started singing the prelude to the solo ("Well this hotel bar's hangover whiskey's gone dry. The barkeeper's wig's crooked and she's giving me the eye..."), he was then on my left. He was facing the crowd outside the circle. I then saw a woman in the first row arrange her breasts and climb the barricade a little and she stretched her arms forward in hope that Jon would take her to dance.

When the solo began, he was right on my left and he made a fast step in my direction. I then put myself on the tips of my toes, I stretched both my arms toward him in the most convincing way possible. I screamed: "OH, PLEASE!!!" while looking at him as he was in front of me. I felt like my determination was showing through the way I was looking at him, I was very calm and I had only one thought in my head: it was now or never! Jon leaned over me and he stretched his arm to take my right hand and I told myself: "That's it, if he pulls me up, I'm going on the catwalk with him... and I have a security guard beside me to help me as well!" Everything happened so fast! I grabbed Jon's fingers with my right hand as if my life depended on it and I told myself that I would grab him as long as possible; if he didn't dance with me, he wouldn't have the time to take someone else! For a fraction of a second, I really imagined myself on the catwalk with him! I held on to his fingers as long as possible without knocking down the woman beside me with my elbows while Jon was getting away on my right and I finally had to let go of his hand. I hadn't felt that he tried to pull me up, but it didn't matter; Jon had gone directly in my direction at the beginning of the Bed Of Roses solo, I had the chance to hold his hand for a few seconds and I had been so close to my dream that I could have almost tasted it!!! I am not sure, but I think that the woman beside me really thought that he would pick me to go on the catwalk with him because she seemed disappointed when she looked at me. Jon only continued to walk toward the center of the catwalk without dancing with a woman. I was relieved in a way that he finally hadn't chosen anyone else to dance!

After the solo, he sat down on the catwalk in front of the first row of the floor and I took a few pictures before realizing what had just happened and before I started trembling. After putting the cap back on my camera lens, the emotion hit me pretty hard. I then put my arms on the catwalk and I buried my face between my wrists by putting my forehead on my hands and I started to make "no" signs with my head in exasperation; tears were not falling down, but my face got tense just as if I were sobbing. I was telling myself that I had done everything and that I was now out of ideas to go on stage with him one day; I had been so close to the goal! I had to take deep breaths to calm down and I lifted up my head after. I had just felt one of the greatest emotions of my life and I had the right to be that emotional. Yes I was disappointed to have missed such an incredible opportunity, but I was also strangely and extremely happy. After all, Jon may have not wished to dance with anyone that night and he made his way in my direction to get to me at the beginning of the solo! I will never believe that this was a coincidence, since he saw my banner at the beginning of the song!

The security guard on my left then told me to take off my arms that were on the catwalk. I pretended that I didn't hear him and he then took my left arm to take if off himself. I let him do it. After my arm was down against my body, I put my elbow back on the catwalk by keeping my arm forward and my back against him; he couldn't do much against this! When Bed Of Roses finished, I heard Jon say: "OK guys, wanna join me over here??" I heard the crowd react without knowing what was happening exactly. I didn't even know if one or several members were making their way to Jon on the side where I was. I saw David getting closer a few seconds later with his accordion around his neck, but he was making his way down without shaking hands with anyone; so I came to the conclusion that he didn't want to interact with us and I then put my hands near my body so he wouldn't trip over by walking by me.

David was so close to me when he arrived at his microphone, we were separated by about 3 people! I put myself back on the tips of my toes because I was feeling one of the sandals of the woman beside me softly rubbing my right big toe. I told myself that I would be in great pain if she brought her foot completely down on the ground! ;) I turned around a fraction of a second to observe the first row of the floor. I saw an Asian woman almost directly in front of me who was sobbing and wiping her eyes the best she could; I don't think she was expecting to see the band that close!

Richie and Tico arrived from the other side of the circle while David had passed near me. They seemed so big on the catwalk, they seemed larger than life. When I heard the first notes of Never Say Goodbye, I told myself: "You're kidding me! Never Say Goodbye? Wow, it's been a long time since I've heard this in concert!!" After the first chorus, Jon started to sing the second verse and I think he made a mistake because he stopped singing and I heard a nervous laugh in his microphone. HE HAD FORGOTTEN THE LYRICS!! We then started to sing louder and louder so he would remember the lyrics as fast as possible! It was special, the people were singing really loudly and we could easily recognize the lyrics from what we were singing! Jon remembered the lyrics only when he started the second chorus! Poor Jon! But it was a special moment nonetheless because around me, we just wanted to give Jon his memory back so he wouldn't hesitate long before continuing to sing!

During Something For The Pain, the security guard beside me started to pull on my right arm to take me away from the catwalk and he told me: "You gotta go back to your seat! Everyone!" I screamed at him: "NO! I'm staying!" by pulling very hard forward with my arm so he would let go of me. I was telling myself: "What is his problem??!" The guard really wanted us to go back to our seats right away! None of the women wanted to follow his instructions and the guard was telling us the story that Jon would soon be coming there and that we needed to make a way for him to walk. I was telling myself: "Come on, Jon go back in the circle to go back on stage, it's a little absurd!" I soon realized that the guard had misunderstood the instruction! He thought that Jon would pass by the same place like he had done to go on the catwalk! Soon later, a roadie (and not a security guard) passed by us to explain to us that Jon might maybe decide to pass by there and that he wanted us to free up space so he could come. It's funny, we wanted to listen to him more than the security guard! Just the tone that the roadie used to explain the situation to us was more appropriate than rudely pulling us away! I didn't well understand what the roadie had said to the girls beside me, so I asked him what he had said. He told me: "We need to make space for Jon just in case, but that doesn't concern you, you are fine where you are! Stay there, you're fine!!" I told myself: "Oh yeah? OK then!!" and I told him: "OK, well tell that to that guy, he's pulling me!!" by pointing the security guard! The roadie then looked at the security guard and I heard him tell him: "They will do one more song up there and she is fine where she is! You never know what will happen. Jon may walk, but he may also run to the stage or want to shake hands! You never know... But she can stay there." I was proud of myself that the guard would be put back where he belongs and it was because of me!! In my head, I was telling myself: "There you go, you got what you deserve!"

At some point I saw that David wanted to take a step back to be more comfortable in front of his microphone and I clearly saw him look behind him very closely before stepping back. I was under the impression that he wanted to avoid stepping on fingers or hands of women who would have put their arms on the catwalk. I found it was very kind of him to look out like that for us! Let's say that he didn't smile much throughout the time he was on the catwalk because he seemed very focused on his music, but he still took the time to look around him and to give nods to a few people.

The band played Someday I'll Be Saturday Night on the catwalk as the roadie had said and then, the band members returned to the main stage. David is the only one that went on my side and he didn't shake hands while leaving. Jon surely went the other way of the circle on the catwalk to return to the stage because we didn't see him beside us, so the security guard really flipped out for nothing! Me and all the other women returned to our seats instinctively after just in time to raise our hands in the air for the beginning of I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. I thought that we were really disciplined to all return to our seats like that! When I got back to my seat, I told Martin that I had held Jon's hand at the beginning of the Bed Of Roses solo. He just looked at me and he made a sign with his head meaning: "Come on, are you kidding me??" He didn't seem to believe me still when he told me: "I had a feeling that you would go up on the stage, I was ready with the camera!" I had the big camera with me, but Martin had our old digital camera with him in case he had to make a video of something.

I was still on a cloud when Work For The Working Man started. I don't like this song more since the shows in Montreal! Martin glanced at me to tease me because I had told him before the show that I could easily go without this song!

I don't know when exactly, but just before a song, Jon said that there were people from all around the world at the show. He started to name the places very slowly: "We have people from Germany... Italy... Australia... New Zealand... Japan..." When he mentioned Germany, I thought about the Germans I had talked to, when he mentioned Italy, I thought about Luca... ;)

When the band started Who Says You Can't Go Home, I looked at Martin and I told him: "Well, is there going to be encores or what?" It seemed to me like the band had almost played everything they usually play and that the encores should have started beforehand. During Who Says You Can't Go Home, I really took the time to think once again that I was in New Jersey at a Bon Jovi show and I had a hard time believing it still! The song could have been called Who Says You Can't Come Home because I was where they call home! ;) I felt a great deal of serenity at that moment; I was really living what I had so hoped to live one day! During the usual "It's all right" of this song, the giant screen at the back of the stage was showing images of people in the audience and at some point, I saw a banner that read: "Italy is here". I told myself: "Well, this is Luca!" He always brings this banner with him at Bon Jovi shows he goes to; it's his unique trademark! ;)

Throughout the show, I noticed that Jon was not soaking wet from the sweat! He even kept his leather jacket on except for the encores where he was wearing a sleeveless shirt; this same sleeveless shirt that he had worn throughout the show! It was special not to see Jon with his hair and shirt as wet as usual by heat, humidity and sweat! OK, he certainly had wet hair and a few drops of sweat came down his face during the show! It was very special not to see him change his clothes three times during the show!

When Keep The Faith began, I saw that the giant screen at the back of the stage was showing the band members with a background containing fireworks. I told myself that we would have the same kind of fireworks as the ones I had seen from the hotel room on the previous night. I then got the camera ready to make a little video and when they started, the crowd vividly reacted. There were a lot of fireworks in a relatively long period for a rock concert (about one minute). The fireworks seemed to be lit from the stadium periphery completely at the top. The effect was very well done! I found an official picture from that was taken during the first show that occurred the night before the one I went to. I decided to include it here because it represents well the stadium with the fireworks:

Bon Jovi show at the New Meadowlands Stadium, NJ, USA (May 26, 2010)

At the end of the song, Jon did his verbal goodbyes that usually indicate that the encores are about to start. The band members then went down the stairs at the back of the stage. The lights went out and the crowd started to scream and applaud. The band came back on stage quickly, probably not to lose too much time between the main show and the encores because they had started 15 minutes late and there was probably a curfew for shows in an open stadium.

When I heard Tico bang on his drums in a convincing way, I told myself: "What, Always?!" I was expecting Runaway at that moment, but surely not Always! What a nice surprise from the band nonetheless! Jon seemed exhausted during the song and I decided to make a video of the song almost entirely. It's a beautiful song, but not necessarily one of my favorite ones, so I decided to take the opportunity to know what it feels like to record a complete song! Let's only say that my arms were very tired at the end, after holding the camera up to my face during about 6 minutes!! Before the first chorus, we heard a wave of screams and claps all of the sudden. It's like if the people in the whole stadium had just realized what song the band had just started! It was very special to hear that wave in our ears!

I don't remember when during the encores, but I remember turning my head to the right just in time to see the man who gave me my tickets before the show! He was right to say that we would see each other in the circle! He was with a woman; he was holding a pile of things in his hands, it seemed like shirts wrapped in plastic bags. The woman was holding a list in her hand and she was verifying the seats and rows. I assume that they were distributing something to the people who had purchased VIP packages through the fan club. They made their way forward toward the stage and I didn't see them come to the back again.

Jon let us sing the first verse of Wanted Dead Or Alive entirely like he often does in Montreal. People were singing loudly in the stadium! And I tried to sing a little less loudly while making a video of the first verse, so we could hear something else than me singing off key! I got pretty teased by all of those who saw my video of Wanted Dead Or Alive from March 20, 2010! ;)

When Livin' On A Prayer began, I told myself: "That's it, the last song, I feel that Jon will not do any bonuses!" I decided to turn off my camera and I told myself that I had to enjoy it. Jon did an a cappella version of the beginning of the song even slower than the one we are used to, it got some people confused, including me! I sang at the top of my lungs at the beginning of the song when Jon gave us the microphone like he usually does. I took a few pictures only of the giant screens during the chorus when people who taped themselves singing Livin' On A Prayer were shown on the screens and on the stadium publicity strips.

At the end of the song, Jon repeated slowly in the microphone: "We got each other... and that's a LOT!" by raising his eyebrows when he said the "LOT". I realized at that moment that he probably wanted to go back to his speech right before When We Were Beautiful when he had said that we had to stick together as a society and not follow the "everyone for themselves" philosophy. I don't know why, but I understood another meaning to Livin' On A Prayer at that moment. I realize more and more that Jon tries to transmit the philanthropist legacy that has been sticking to him since a few years already. He gives a lot of his time and money back to the community and the several publicities for his foundation give strength to his wish that his fans get more involved in their community in return.

The band bowed sincerely after that and each member left by the stairs at the back of the stage. I saw Jon take off his earpieces while he was passing beside the camera that was filming them go away. The lights didn't turn on right away, but several people were already gone. Some had even left during Keep The Faith, people in the bleachers and in the circle!

We got out of the stadium quickly and we walked with a fast pace to the car and believe it or not, but in exactly 20 minutes, we were in the hotel room! I couldn't believe how little time it had taken us to get out of the parking lot with all the cars that were there! We waited for only a few minutes to get out of the stadium parking lot!! We had prepared ourselves to the worst; we were ready to wait an hour in the car because of the traffic jam caused by everybody who wanted to get out at the same time!

We are now two days after the show. I'm writing these lines in the car on the way home. My body doesn't hurt anywhere, except a little pain in my arms and shoulders, under my feet and in my legs (mostly my calves). My voice is perfect despite the fact that I quite screamed and sang. Yesterday, the day after the show, I must admit that my legs and my lower back were pretty stiff; we still remained on our feet from 6h30 pm to midnight on the day of the show! I didn't suffer from dehydration, I almost didn't drink water during the show and I didn't feel faint despite the fact that I didn't eat a bite starting from 3h pm the day of the show up until 10h am the next morning. I'm really under the impression that I took the time to enjoy this concert as I have always wanted to. Even Martin told me that I looked very zen during the show and that I wouldn't have enjoyed the show as much if I had made such a crazy thing when I was 20 years old! I feel like I accomplished everything I was hoping for during my first trip to New Jersey!

Copyright © May 29, 2010 Marie-Hélène Cyr

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