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Bon Jovi > My show reviews > APRIL 20, 2013 - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

My show reviews

APRIL 20, 2013 - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Warning: If I ever find out that the pictures displayed on this page end up on someone's website without my consent, or if some people try to remove the watermarks and try to resell these pictures, they will have to provide some good explanations. I will then have to remove my pictures and other visitors of my website will be deprived of them!

The day I went to paradise on Earth


Three existential questions
Departure from Montreal and arrival in Las Vegas
Arrival at the fan club trip welcome party
My picture from February 14, 2013 displayed on the fan club website
Pictures from the welcome party
Pictures of the chapel where Jon got married in 1989
Arrival at the bar where the pre-show party was
Arrival at the arena; excitement was in the air!
My pictures with Jon Bon Jovi!
Set list
Two funny moments during We Got It Going On
Jon's arrival at the catwalk
Very unique moment during Who Says You Can't Go Home
End of the show

Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena
Ticket: Section 15, Row C, Seat 1
Pictures: Available
Videos: Available

Since I became a Bon Jovi fan, that is since February 21, 1993, not a day has passed when I didn't imagine the moment when I would meet Jon. Not a single day. I have always been convinced that it would happen someday. Time has passed and I have come a long way since that time when I saw Jon sing Bed Of Roses for the first time on television a few months before I turned 13 years old!

Without knowing it at first, life would offer me the opportunity to realize one of my biggest dreams when I had my car accident on November 2, 2012 (see my February 14, 2013 show review). Indeed, I thought I would not receive a big amount of money from my car insurance company since I held a lease on my car. I had the nice surprise of getting a few thousands of dollars from them at the same time Bon Jovi fan club trips were announced in mid-November 2012. One of the trips was in Las Vegas in April 2013 and another one was in New Jersey in July 2013. Only the trip to Las Vegas included a photo op with Jon. Isabelle, my friend and Bon Jovi fan, had gone to Las Vegas in April 2012 for the same kind of trip and she had told me her story when she got back. I had then thanked her for making me dream; she had had a very nice meeting with Jon and the picture of Jon, herself and other two of her friends is simply marvelous.

The evening when the trip to Las Vegas was announced, I looked at my budget and I came to the conclusion that it was now or never; I had enough money to pay for this trip and even invite Martin to come with me! He had told me a few days earlier how curious he would be to be able to be on my side when I would finally have the chance to meet Jon, even for a few seconds. He wanted to see my face when I would be able to talk to Jon. That evening, I asked him if he really wanted to see what I would look like when meeting Jon, because if he wanted it, he now had the chance! Strangely, it was one of the most beautiful and easy decisions that I made in my life.

Jon still has a weird effect on me: I rarely want to travel for business, but when it comes to exile myself to the other end of the United States to go meet Jon and see Bon Jovi in show, I don't hesitate one second! One of my former supervisors at work once told me that he had found the way to send me to a conference or another business trip; he only had to find a destination where Bon Jovi would give a show at the same time as the business trip would be held!

The morning when we could start registering for the trip, I had brought my personal laptop at work to be able to send my email. The instructions were clear on Bon Jovi's website: the registration forms were accepted only starting at 11h am. I had taken my iPhone as a time reference, since it is synchronized with satellites. In my email, I was clear: I had written that it was now 11h am on my iPhone before sending my email! Those who received my email should have quite laughed, because the trip didn't sell out before February 22, 2013! Anyway, a few days later, I received a confirmation from Runaway Tours (the company that administers the fan club trips) that spots on the trip had been reserved for Martin and me! I had to wait until December 12, 2012 (12-12-12) before my credit card was charged. When I saw the transaction go through that morning, I really realized that my dream would come true and that I had just paid 1625$US per person to make it come true! The only thing that was not included at that price was the plane ticket to get there.

Speaking of the price of the trip, here is thus what was included, per person:

Huge existential questions started going through my mind. Two months before the trip, the three following questions were haunting me almost day and night:

My coworkers and my family can certify it; I talked about these three questions often!! I was obsessed by the first one, but the second one is probably the one which got me most anxious. What to say to a man whom I have been dreaming of meeting since 20 years?! Mostly that I didn't have hours to talk to him, but a few seconds only instead! How to summarize all my passion in a few words? How to tell him that he changed my life for the better? What to tell him to make him realize that I would not be the same, that I would not be as happy, without him in my life? Think about it well; in 20 years, Jon has indirectly been part of the good and bad moments of my life, including:

Let's add to that the twenty or so Bon Jovi shows that I attended since 1993 and the numerous friendships that I was able to make because of my passion for the band! Now try to imagine yourselves in my shoes; I spent a lot of time scratching my head to find THE sentence to tell him, THE sentence which he would maybe remember... Now imagine my anxiety!

Throughout the years, I was also able to come up with a small list of things to do as a Bon Jovi fan. This list was inspired by a list that a fan from the United States had created and posted on the fan club message board several years ago. Here is what it looked like before April 20, 2013:

X See a Bon Jovi show
X See Bon Jovi in New Jersey (their native state)
X Have Jon look at me
X Have Jon read one of my banners and react
X Talk to Jon (without necessarily getting a response from him)
X Have Jon smile at me
X Have Jon point at me at the end of a show
X Touch Jon
Go to a fan club trip
Get an autograph from Jon
Talk to Jon and get a response from Jon
Have my picture taken with Jon
Give Jon a kiss
Dance with Jon during a show

A few weeks before leaving for this trip, I got transformed into a woman who loves to shop (it is not usually the case with me!) and who wanted to reach a new summit of femininity for my picture with Jon! I bought myself a new dress, new shoes, new accessories (bracelet, necklace and earrings) and I sought beauty tips from my coworkers and a few cosmeticians before buying new makeup! I even made an appointment with an esthetician to get a manicure! I had never gone to see an esthetician for a manicure!

The sales assistant of the store where I bought my dress asked me what was the occasion for which I was looking for a dress. When I answered, her jaw dropped to the floor while she looked at me directly in the eyes for several seconds at the same time as she asked me if I were serious. She was the first one to give me advice on the accessories to buy to be at my best. When I left the store with my dress, I told her that I would come back to show her my picture with Jon. She seemed very sincere when she told me that she was happy that I would offer it, because she was a little embarrassed to ask me to do it, since we didn't know each other at all!

All the preparations around the trip convinced me that the timing was right to meet my idol. It seemed like a force was helping me find the perfect things, obtain the best advice and despite how much the trip meant, I was still serene towards everything, although I was excited. Moreover, my serenity could be explained by the fact that finally, I would meet my idol and in some way, a huge weight would fall off my shoulders when I would have my picture with Jon. After having spent 20 years dreaming about this moment and asking myself if it were to happen someday, to know that it would be planned and I would meet Jon was a great comfort, because it would happen in a context where he would expect to meet fans and chances were greater that he would be in a good mood! And I must admit it, I was starting to seriously ask myself if the day I were to meet Jon would come someday!

The enthusiasm for the trip to Las Vegas didn't stop at me only. My coworkers, some friends and my family were happy that I would be able to realize my dream. During my last day of work before I left, several coworkers came to wish me the best trip possible and I could see that they would think about me. I was really under the impression that I was going to get married since people seemed so happy for me!

We got up at 3h30 am the morning we left for Las Vegas, because our flight was at 7h40 am and Air Canada suggested on its website to arrive at least 3 hours in advance. Martin and I were very perplexed regarding this delay that seemed exaggerated, but in reality, we got on the plane 5 minutes only before the departure time! We heard the last call for our flight when we were running in the hallway to get to the boarding gate! Because of budget cuts in the United States, there are less American customs officials and it results in enormous repercussions on travelers! We were stuck in three waiting lines that wouldn't end, and we were not the only ones who were discouraged, because the people around us were all taking the same flight! Fortunately, the flight went well.

When we got to Las Vegas, Martin and I were surprised of the weather; it was sunny and during our taxi drive to the hotel, I was immediately amazed by the palm trees on the side of the roads and in the middle of the highway. For the first time, I was at a place where there are palm trees everywhere! I then realized while seeing very unusual things from my usual scenery that I was a few hours away from realizing my dream!

When we got to MGM Grand, we had to wait in line to check in. Fortunately, there were rooms available and we were able to drop off our luggage before setting off on an adventure. As soon as we got down the elevator, we started walking in the enormous hotel casino. It was so surreal to see all these people, sometimes lightly clothed (mostly the women) play slot machines at this hour! We went to get lunch, because it was quite late (Montreal time) and my stomach gurgled. We then went to walk on the strip, after changing our clothes. It was a little surreal to go take a walk wearing a tank top, shorts and sandals in mid-April! But was a pleasant weather nonetheless! A nice 24 degrees Celsius without humidity! I said to Martin that I would like to have our summers in Quebec exactly like the weather then. We walked quite long enough on the strip, while getting amazed from building to building while we were discovering Las Vegas.

At some point, my eyes started burning, as if they were very dry. Since I didn't have my contact lenses on yet, I could not put on my sunglasses, because I was wearing my normal glasses. We turned around shortly after and it was about time, because I couldn't keep my eyes open in the sun. Fortunately, on the other side of the strip street, we were more in the shade. I was still looking forward to coming back to the hotel to try to hydrate my eyes a little bit. When we got to the hotel, we went across the casino again and I noticed that people could smoke and drink alcohol very freely when they were playing. I was saddened by realizing that people still had the right to smoke in public places like casinos! Nothing to help my eye dehydration!

Before we went up to our room, we headed towards the lobby, because I had received the instructions that the check-in for the trip was in the lobby from 3h pm to 6h pm. The man who greeted me asked me for an ID and handed me over our show tickets, our Runaway Tours badges and other fan club-related papers. I couldn't see anything anymore at that moment and my interactions were brief, because my eyes made me suffer enormously. I maybe even seemed a little rude to the man who asked me if I wanted to participate in a contest to get the chance to win a guitar autographed by Jon himself a few days before (the guitar was on the counter not far away from him). My eyes were hurting so bad that I told him that I would think about if I wanted to participate or not before I got back to Martin and headed towards the elevators to go back up to the room.

We got back to our room and I started putting water and drops in my eyes to hydrate them as much as possible. My eyes were scarlet! I told myself that the Runaway Tours staff in the lobby must have thought that I looked drugged! I also looked at where our seats were by opening the envelope containing our show tickets. Earlier that day, we had gone to get information on how to go to the chapel where Jon got married in 1989 and I asked if they also had the seating chart for the arena. The woman who gave us information asked me if it were the seating chart for Bon Jovi. I was surprised to notice that there was a unique seating chart for Bon Jovi! I had taken a picture of it to be able to see where we would be in the arena afterwards. Anyway, when I opened the envelope containing the tickets, I noticed that we were in the third row in the section in front of the first rows of the floor after the pit on the left of the stage. When I was thinking about our tickets in the last weeks, I was telling myself that I preferred being in the bleachers than far on the floor and I had imagined that I would be in the bleachers on the left. Maybe I had a premonition! Despite the fact that I always try to be close to the stage on the floor in Montreal, I knew that I would be farther away in Las Vegas, but the tickets could not be better, because they were exactly where I was seeing myself for this show!

I noticed that the number 24 was written on our Runaway Tours badges. I immediately thought that it was the order in which we would be for the picture. I rejoiced having a number that was so small, because I told myself that Jon would be less tired of smiling at the beginning rather than at the end!

Martin slept for the rest of the afternoon, because he was sick (he was coughing and had a headache), and I also rested my eyes by closing them without sleeping. Half an hour after getting back to the room, I felt bad for having acted weird while checking in for the trip, so I went down in the lobby to apologize and buy a ticket for the autographed guitar draw. When I came back to the spot where the Runaway Tours staff was, I apologized to someone (sorry, I never asked him his name during the whole trip!) and the man seemed surprised by my apology! Joe was beside me; when he heard me, he asked why I was apologizing. When I told him that maybe I seemed rude, but it was because I didn't see anything because of my dry eyes, he told me: "Not at all, don't worry about it, you were fine earlier!" Anyway, I bought a ticket for the autographed guitar draw after asking them what the money would be used for. They didn't know, but they suspected that Jon would give the money to the JBJ Soul Foundation. When one of them said: "Jon didn't tell us what he would do with the money.", I was a little surprised by the fact that he had probably talked to Jon personally. I told myself at that moment that I was with people who could really interact directly with Jon! Joe said to me again that the welcome party was going to be at the Hard Rock Cafe that night starting at 9h pm and he made me promise to be there. I asked him how many people were on the trip and he answered that we were 200!

I went back to the room afterwards, Martin was still sleeping and I decided to rest a little before getting ready to go have dinner and then go to the welcome party which was held at the Hard Rock Cafe not far away from the hotel. For the occasion, I had bought a sparkling black dress, measuring up to the dresses that several women were wearing in Las Vegas. We left the room probably a little after 7h30 pm if I remember well. Speaking of measuring up to Las Vegas, I was much delighted to be in a world where women can never be too classy and where people are often very glamorous, but at the same time, the town spirit in general (debauchery, gambling, alcohol, parties, etc.) is so different from my personality that it was a little paradoxical to like the city!

Instead of going to a restaurant in the MGM Grand, we decided to go eat directly at the Hard Rock Cafe. We got our picture taken officially and we were brought to our table afterwards. We ate a hamburger (which was excellent) and we finished eating exactly when the welcome party was starting. We started seeing people with Runaway Tours badges around their neck and we went up to the third floor where the party was held. When we got to the front table, Joe immediately recognized me and told me, while smiling: "Here she is!" I couldn't help but put on a big smile He gave us red guitar picks as tickets to buy drinks, while telling us to take the opportunity to have drinks on them. When we got in, we saw that a few people had already arrived and we went around the room, to go sit at a free table. The man who had told me about the guitar contest came to take a picture of us at the beginning to put the picture on the Runaway Tours Facebook page.

Bon Jovi music was already playing in the room. Darren came to welcome us shortly after by going on the little stage at the back of the room near where we were. He gave us a few instructions for the photo op with Jon the next day by reminding us that we couldn't have anything in our hands and that it was not a "meet and greet" with Jon. He told us that there were people from around the world on the trip, such as people from Australia, Japan, Europe and Canada. We were also able to have Rob talk to us, because he was the one who would take the pictures with Jon the next day. He reminded us that we had to look at him and not Jon during the picture. Small detail, but it seems like there are people who are not able to turn their eyes towards the camera when they are beside Jon... He also mentioned that he takes the pictures for the fan club during the shows (if I remember well), so it rang a bell! After his speech, I went to see him to ask him if he were the one who had taken the picture of me which is on the Bon Jovi fan club website and which was taken on February 14, 2013 in Montreal while I was wearing my customized tank top in the pit. When he saw the picture, he told me: "No, I didn't take that picture, but it's quite a nice picture, though!" He seemed impressed when I told him that it was me from behind! Isabelle is the one who had found the picture a few days before and she had really made my day by finding this picture! I use it without having obtained official permission from the fan club, but here it is anyway:

Marie-Hélène Cyr at the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

A couple came to sit with us at some point, I didn't think of asking their names! They were from Alberta and they recently moved to Vancouver Island. They were very nice and we chatted a lot with them. They are retired from the way I understood it and the woman discovered the band during the Lost Highway era. They were on their third fan club trip, the first one being in San Francisco last year and the second one in New York during Richie's solo tour at the end of 2012 if I remember well. They ate a lot of small dishes that the Hard Rock Cafe staff was bringing regularly, because from the way I understood it, they hadn't had dinner yet.

The man told us a little bit about their fan club trip in San Francisco. They were lucky to have an acoustic concert from Jon with a little Q&A session. Isabelle had been part of this trip and she had told me a little bit of this magical evening. The couple had had the incredible chance of being in the first row for this concert, they still seemed surprised of the chance that they had had! The man also told an anecdote about the restrooms and the long waiting line for the women restrooms compared to the one for the men. It seems like women were risking going into the men restrooms and at some point, a boy being ten years old or so at most really seemed to need to go from what the man could notice. He then talked for the boy, asking the women who were going into the men restrooms if they could at least let the boy go before it was too late. Of course, the women agreed (it was the men restrooms after all). When they sat down at their seats for the concert, the couple noticed that the boy whom the man had helped earlier to go to the restrooms was one of Jon's sons! Wow, this is such a story to tell, the man came to Jon's son's rescue! It seems like the boy was surprised to see that the man was at the same table as him and vice versa.

We also talked about the shows that we went to. The woman seemed very impressed that Jon went into the pit during three out of the five shows in Montreal during the The Circle/Live 2011 tour. She commented that Jon doesn't do special things like these in the West! Moreover, she told us how was the first show of the current tour leg in Calgary during which they learned that Richie would not be part of this tour leg because of personal reasons. It seems like Jon handled things very well to put on an acceptable show, despite the fact that he had learned at about 3h30 pm on the day of the show that Richie had to stay in Los Angeles! Let's say that Jon didn't have much advance notice that night!

Martin seemed exhausted at some point and when I looked at my watch (which was still on Montreal time), I noticed that we had been up for almost 24 hours! We wished a good end of evening to the couple who was with us (they understood very well that we were very tired from flying from Montreal on the same morning) and we left. Before leaving, I took a few pictures in the Hard Rock Cafe to remember that we had gone to a private party! I even took a picture of Tico's drums from the Have A Nice Day tour that had been offered to the Hard Rock Cafe. (What a coincidence to see the drums in the staircase leading to the third floor!)

Fan club trip welcome party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 19, 2013)
Fan club trip welcome party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 19, 2013)
Fan club trip welcome party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 19, 2013)
Fan club trip welcome party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 19, 2013)

We went to bed as soon as we got back to the hotel room in hope to be in shape the following day. The next morning, we got up at around 7h30 am. When I woke up, I told myself: "That's it, April 20, 2013 is here. It's the day I meet Jon Bon Jovi!" I noticed at that moment that my hands were a little sweaty. I was very calm despite all and I was hoping that everything was going to go well. I absolutely wanted to see the chapel where Jon got married in 1989 (the Graceland Wedding Chapel) which was in the old Las Vegas. A clerk at the hotel concierge service had told us that the best way to get there was by taxi. We then got in a taxi; the driver didn't seem to know where it was, it stressed me a little bit! But we arrived to our destination in a few minutes and I was surprised to see that the chapel is very small! However, it was really the one; a sign in front of the chapel indicated that Jon got married there! We wanted to go inside, but when I opened the door, I noticed that a future bride was getting ready to walk down the aisle, so I closed the door! But well, it doesn't matter, I had the time to see inside a little. It was a little surreal to be there, where Jon got married! Here are some pictures:

The Graceland Wedding Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi got married in 1989
The Graceland Wedding Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi got married in 1989
The Graceland Wedding Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi got married in 1989
The Graceland Wedding Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi got married in 1989

We went back to the hotel quite quickly and we decided to go eat at the hotel food court before going back to our room. Then, the great preparation began on my side: shower, drying of hair, straightening of hair, putting on contact lenses, getting dressed, putting on makeup, etc. It took me less time than planned, so I was able to continue writing my review a little bit. I was still not too nervous, until I put the Runaway Tours badge around my neck to go get the tour program autographed by Jon at around 2h30 pm. The pre-show party was starting at 3h pm, but we could go get the tour programs starting at 2h pm to let ourselves enough time to go put them in our room instead of carrying them the whole evening in our hands. Martin and I arrived at the Centrifuge bar within the hotel casino where the pre-show party was held. Joe immediately saw me and he said: "Here she is again!" while smiling. It was almost a running gag between the both of us! When I got a tour program autographed by Jon in my hands, I realized that I had just done another thing on my list of things to do as a Bon Jovi fan! We returned to our room to drop them off, I prepared my purse for the show with everything I usually bring at a Bon Jovi show. When we left the room for the pre-show party a few minutes later, a little after 3h pm, I told Martin: "That's it! Only a few hours remaining before meeting Jon! When I come back here, it will be done!" It was a really unique feeling and I even said earlier during the day that a part of my life would stop that day, that is my life before meeting Jon!

When we got to Centrifuge, we saw that several people were already there; in reality, there were no sitting spots available anymore! Bon Jovi music, which was playing inside the bar, rang out up to outside the bar! We went around the bar (which was round-shaped) and we saw that chefs were serving small pasta plates and skewered beef and pork (it looked like pork, I didn't eat any personally). It was still quite early, but I told myself that it was better for me to eat a little not to get weak in front of Jon later! People were calm and several were talking together, while others were alone. We also had two coupons per person for drinks, so I had sparkling water and Martin had a rum and coke. I told myself that it was not the moment to drink alcohol, because I wanted to have my whole head while getting in front of Jon later! However, it was not the case for all women, because some seemed to have had more than one drink! The food was excellent, but I was so afraid of spilling any on my dress! I was keeping an eye on the other people around me as well!

The same man who had taken pictures of us all the previous day was going around the people again to take pictures. He took a beautiful one of Martin and me! Here it is:

Bon Jovi pre-show party in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 20, 2013)

I think that Darren was the one who told us at some point that he had a scoop for us, since we were on the trip. Runaway Tours will announce within the next two weeks or so a fan club trip to Australia. From the crowd's reaction, some people were already thinking about going!

Shortly after getting there, Rob talked to us to remind us about the rules to follow for the photo op with Jon. We couldn't have anything in our hands, couldn't try to get an autograph in any way. We also had to put our personal things on the ground before moving towards Jon. He told us that we couldn't jump on Jon, kiss him, scream or hug him. In short, we had to respect him. He told us that he would try to put the pictures online in one to two days, because he knew that we would all wait for these famous pictures! He finally reminded us to stay calm, that we were only going to meet Jon Bon Jovi and there was nothing to get excited about! You don't say! From the way people were laughing in the bar, Rob knew quite well that nobody believed him! Strangely, I felt that my heart rate was a little faster than normal, but I felt very calm at the same time.

At around 4h15 pm, I decided to go to the restrooms one last time before leaving for the arena (we were leaving at 4h45 pm). There was a small waiting line for the women restrooms, what a coincidence! However, the line was still moving along quite quickly. When I got back to Centrifuge, I saw that Martin was talking to two women who had been beside us for a little while. From what I could understand, they had asked him to take a picture of them, but none of the electronic devices that they had with them seemed to work properly. Martin decided to go to the restrooms in turn while telling me that they had asked him questions about Bon Jovi for which he wasn't sure he had the right answers. Among others, they had asked him, after learning that we were from Montreal, how long the shows in Montreal usually last. It seems like they were very surprised to see that we had had shows that lasted nearly three hours in 2010! I then talked to them while Martin was gone to the restrooms in turn to ask them what kind of questions they had asked him. Strangely, they avoided answering, I don't quite know why. I then told them that Martin was still good, because he was with me on the trip only to be able to see how I would react when I would be in front of Jon. One of the two women then told me: "Oh, you'll be a wreck!" They had had their picture taken with Jon in 2011 in New Jersey and one of the two women said that she didn't even remember shaking Jon's hands when she got in front of him and that her friend was the one who reminded her about it after the picture.

The Runaway Tours staff made the draw to win Jon's autographed guitar shortly afterwards, in addition to 2 autographed CDs of What About Now and a package for a free wedding at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. Unfortunately, I missed a prize by one number (I had the number 676296 and they drew 676297).

At around 4h45 pm, the Runaway Tours staff told us to position ourselves in lines of two people in width while respecting the numbers on our Runaway Tours badges. During the pre-show party, I had noticed several numbers on other guests' badges and the largest number that I had seen was 132. I then told myself that it would be quite complicated to get in line in numerical order and that we would not have a lot of time with Jon! The Runaway Tours staff quickly saw that it would take us a lot of time to get ourselves in line, so they decided not to respect the badges order until we arrived at the arena entrance. We thus started heading towards the arena while keeping an eye on our neighbors in front of us to stay together. The people in the casino looked at us in a weird way; we were 200 to move together, we were really a big crowd!

The walk to the arena was still quite long and I was afraid of slipping with my high heels and my smooth shoe soles! However, I had had the time to practice myself to walk with my shoes when we had gotten out of the elevator a little earlier. There was a nice vibe within our group, people were festive and the women seemed a little more excited than before. When we arrived at the arena entrance, we had to wait for the staff to be ready to scan our show tickets and when we got in, we had to go down an escalator which brought us to the floor level. I don't know if the Runaway Tours staff had planned our arrival through, because they seemed confused to figure out how we would position ourselves. I don't know who said it, I think it is Darren, but at some point, he told us that it would be impossible to get in line while respecting our numbers. He wasn't worried, because everyone would get the same chance of getting their picture with Jon. Martin and I were still quite happy to be among the first ones in line at that moment! It pays off sometimes to be quick in listening to directives and put ourselves in line when told to do so!

We noticed that the average age of the staff working at the arena was still quite old! It was different from the Bell Centre staff! Shortly after getting to the floor level, we started hearing the soundcheck! Darren had warned us that we would have time to kill before our pictures with Jon and that we would probably have the chance to hear the soundcheck from where we were. He was right! What a delight to hear Jon's voice from far away! We were now one step closer to Jon! He was there and the moment was approaching fast! At some point, I saw Cory, one of the women who were handing out fan club tickets in Montreal, pass by. I was surprised to see her pass by there!

The women at the front of the waiting line started getting impatient a little, by manifesting the urgent desire to go to the restrooms. To avoid total chaos, someone from the Runaway Tours staff (anyway, it looked like it...) was managing the access to the restrooms, because there were not that many for the number of women who wanted to go! It was funny, at first, he asked: "Does anyone have to go potty?" as if we were kids! From the crowd's reaction, that is with laughs and numerous hands that were raised, he learned that the coordination would be huge! The excitement continued to grow by the minute, while time passed by. After 5h15 pm, the Runaway Tours staff decided to reposition ourselves in a waiting line arranged from left to right instead of front to back. It was total chaos, because some women seemed to have left their logic and judgment elsewhere, because some of them didn't understand the principle that we had to be two in width, by forming several lines of two people in width... We then ended up in the second row from the left and a few groups of two people ended up in front of us in the second row.

A man working for Runaway Tours (or for the band, I don't quite know) told us a few minutes later that we would soon proceed; the soundcheck was then almost over. He told us that he would escort us to where the pictures would be taken and we had to cross the floor behind the sound console. He then asked us to keep our voice down while we would head towards where Jon would be. Jon's voice was no longer heard at the soundcheck since a few minutes already, but there were still music from time to time. He also told us to head towards the door on our left to go up the stairs leading to the upper level after our picture with Jon. In short, we could not stay near Jon after our picture!

The first row on our left started moving forward. The woman in front of me turned around to shake our hand firmly while wishing us good luck. The excitement was at its peak and we didn't wait long before we started moving forward as well. We were several to look each other in the eyes before starting moving forward, as if we wanted to tell ourselves: "That's it, the big moment is soon!" When crossing the floor, we saw that several band members were still on stage, except Jon. David starting waving at us and we were several to respond to his gesture, without screaming. I looked up to notice that the arena was really small, with only one level of bleachers, without boxes! We were far away from an amphitheatre as big and impressive as the Bell Centre!

We stopped at the end of the floor, on the left side while looking towards the stage. People were almost whispering. The moment would finally come. I was not as nervous as I thought. We talked a little to the two women in front of us; the one who had shaken our hand was from Texas and it was the second time that she was going to get a picture with Jon. She told us that the first time, she cried during and after and we could see that she was already a little emotional. The woman on her left was from Tokyo and she was as nice as the woman from Texas. I then told them that as for me, it was the first time and I had been waiting for that moment for 20 years.

We started moving forward and we could hear Rob's camera do the typical "click click". I then realized that we were not so far away from where Jon was, but we could not see him, because a black vertical panel was hiding him (the panel was behind Jon and we were diagonally behind the panel). I then took off my badge from around my neck and Martin did the same, as well as several people in front of us. I had told myself that it would be better not to have that around my neck! I also saw Matt, Jon's brother, who was behind Rob and another person who also seemed to take pictures.

The line was still moving quite quickly. I then asked Martin to start the audio recorder on his iPhone which was in his pocket just in case we could hear what I would say to Jon and what he would answer. There were then only a few people in front of us and I started seeing a hand stretch towards people who were getting in front of the black panel. My god, it was Jon's hand!! My heart skipped a beat, my head was barely working. I saw that some women were only shaking Jon's hand while saying "hi!", were getting close to him quickly and as soon as the picture was taken, they were coming back to pick up their personal things left beside us. I also saw that some women were taking the time to say a short sentence to Jon after the picture and one of them even had the time to show the tattoo that she had on her left shoulder.

I looked to my left, Jon was there, a few steps away from me. He was wearing a long-sleeved burgundy shirt and he seemed in a good mood, because he was smiling a lot and he seemed very relaxed, with his hair a little dishevelled. I was surprised to realize how much of a tan he had! The woman from Texas then turned around towards me and she told me: "Oh my! He looks tired!" I didn't find that he seemed more tired than usual.

A few seconds later, the only two people in front of me were the woman from Texas and the one from Tokyo. I then dropped my purse on the floor on my right, Martin put his badge on top of it and Jon looked at me, so I stepped forward. While walking towards him, I told myself: "The heck with it, I've been waiting for that moment for 20 years, I will still not only say hello to him!" I held out my hand towards him and I think that I told him: "hi!" but I don't remember anymore. I shook his hand firmly when I felt his hot hand squeeze mine while looking at him. I was under the impression to have stepped into a dream, I could not believe that I was beside him, that I was finally meeting him officially. Time stopped a little, I felt like I had completely gone to paradise on Earth. If it weren't the case, it looked like my paradise anyway. I then hurried to tell him very quickly: "Jon, I would like to thank you for making the last 20 years of my life amazing!" with a sincere smile and while feeling a little nervous hesitation in the voice, without having my voice tremble; it was more like if I were out of breath. I'm under the impression that he was surprised when I started talking to him. He was looking at the camera when I started talking and as soon as he heard his name, he turned his head towards me and he really listened to what I told him, because he seemed focused on my words while staying super serious. When he understood what I had just said, he then made me one of his biggest smiles, he put his right hand on my back and he patted my back slightly during maybe a second or two while telling me: "Ahhh... Come here..." and I then got close to him. I remember looking at his back for a fraction of a second and before putting my left arm around him, I told myself: "I cannot believe that I will hold Jon by the waist!" Honestly, I don't remember anymore when Martin shook his hand, it's probably right after I told him: "hi!" and before starting saying the rest of my sentence. It was such a surreal moment, I remember tilting myself to the left to be as close as possible to Jon's face. I don't remember that I smiled anymore; I just remember hearing two "click click" while I was then looking directly into Rob's camera. Jon then got slightly away, I waited for him to turn around towards me again, I then held out my hand again, he also held out his hand and I squeezed it strongly again while saying with a smile: "Thank you so much again!" He smiled at me again and he told me: "That's my pleasure!" (I was under the impression that I heard a "honey" afterwards, but I think that my head played tricks on me...) The worst is that he seemed so sincere! I then headed towards my purse, I picked up Martin's Runaway Tours badge and we left by the door on our left which led to a staircase. I then saw that the woman from Texas had watery eyes and someone was comforting her. When we got at the top of the stairs, I saw that several women were in shock and those who were following behind seemed overwhelmed as well! The majority had already opened their cellular phone to send messages or talk to people, probably about the picture that they had just taken.

I realized what had just happened, but I was too happy to cry! Jon had seemed so simple, so easy to approach despite his international star status, so human, as I was imagining him. I was even under the impression that he was shorter than me, but well, I know that he is taller than me. Maybe I was under this impression, because I really considered him as a human being and not a superman during that moment. I really looked at him equal to equal, without putting him on a pedestal and I believe that this is what kept me calm. It was as if I were meeting a good friend... It's hard to explain how good I felt near him. I was relieved, serene to have been able to talk to Jon, to have had interaction with him beyond I was hoping to have. I had a huge smile on my face and I was super proud of myself to have had self-control (even if I don't remember anymore all the details under the emotion of the moment) and have been able to talk to Jon! The moment probably lasted only twenty seconds or so at most, but they were the most beautiful and intense seconds of my life! I think that the fact that I met several astronauts and I was able to talk to Chris Hadfield (a Canadian astronaut currently in orbit aboard the International Space Station and the first Canadian commander of the Station) live from space a few weeks before helped me a lot to prepare myself for this meeting. My two meetings with Matt, Jon's brother, in 2010, probably helped me greatly as well. Martin made me notice how big Jon's smile was when I had talked to him. I was so overwhelmed with happiness, I told myself that the timing had been perfect: Jon was in a good mood, he had talked to me and I had had the guts to defy the rules a little and tell him what I wanted to say to him. My moment happened almost identically as what I had visualized in the last months. I would have surely liked to tell him the rest of my sentence, but I saw in the moment that I would not have the time and I would be better off not taking too much advantage of the moment! If I had been more quickly mentally, I would have told him after the picture, but I was too impressed to find myself beside him to think about this! At the beginning, I thought that I told him: "Thank you for making my life amazing for the last 20 years.", but the recording that Martin made revealed that I said the word "amazing" at the end (it's the only word of my sentence that we hear), so I'm pretty sure that I told him as I wanted to tell him. The rest of my sentence would have been: "Even the bad moments were better because you were there for me." Here are thus the two pictures that were taken when I was beside my idol:

Marie-Hélène Cyr, Jon Bon Jovi and Martin in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 20, 2013)
Marie-Hélène Cyr, Jon Bon Jovi and Martin in Las Vegas, NV, USA (April 20, 2013)

As a coworker told me, I have the dream (Jon) and reality (Martin) on the same picture!

We waited a few more minutes before realizing that there were a lot more people around us, but nobody else was coming through the doors. The pictures were already finished and I'm not sure that they had started more than half an hour before! I took the time to send a short email to Sandra, Maryse and Geneviève, because Sandra and Maryse had asked me to keep them updated on the event when it would be finished. Martin and I then ate a slice of pepperoni pizza, because we were still hungry and it was barely later than 6h pm. We thus had a lot of time to kill before the show which was planned for 8h pm. Among others, we went around the arena to realize that it took only a few minutes to fully go around!

We then decided to go sit at our seats, even if it were still quite early. At this time, there would clearly be no opening act (it was not written on our tickets). We were indeed in the third row in the bleachers, with seats 1 and 2 of the row which were the farthest seats from the stage of this section. I had hoped that it would be the opposite, that is seats 1 and 2 were the ones closest to the stage in our section. We were at the same level as the tenth row of the floor after the catwalk. We still had a nice overall view of the stage and the catwalk was quite close to us. While looking at the crowd, we realized that most people on the fan club trip were in the same section as us (some in the first and second rows and several others higher than us) and some were between the seventh and tenth rows on the floor. The bleacher seats were really not comfortable; ours were in hard plastic and the ones in the first two rows of the bleachers were completely in metal! Moreover, when we got up of our seat, it rose automatically in vertical position.

I was surprised to realize that all the sections in the bleachers had access to the floor and that some people were going straight to the floor without having to show their ticket (they seemed to be heading towards the back of the arena). Security didn't seem very strict, it was different from the Bell Centre!

Around 7h45 pm, I decided to hang my large purse on the seat as I usually do when I'm on the floor. I noticed that by raising my seat, the purse stayed hooked correctly to the seat, giving me even more space to move. I was also able to let my Bed Of Roses banner hang from my large purse so it would be easier to grab it if need be, because I didn't have pockets on my close-fitting dress in which to put my banner! Finally, the seats had their benefits! I then had my small purse and my camera around my neck.

At 8h pm, half of the crowd or so didn't seem to be at their seats yet! We saw people on the stage who seemed to be doing the backstage tour, because I saw that they were all wearing headphones and Alli was there also. I then figured out that the show would not start before a little while. My patience was put to the test later, when we saw not one, but two other groups of backstage visitors pass in front of us on the floor! I told myself that Jon should not be happy at all from the lateness! I also saw people who were on the Runaway Tours trip do the backstage tour, so some of them had decided to pay for pit tickets through the fan club with a VIP package that included the backstage tour (the same package that I had on February 14, 2013 in Montreal).

I was impressed by the number of women wearing a dress or a close-fitting and very short skirt and how popular high heels were in the arena! Let's say that I saw several women wearing high heels throughout the weekend in Las Vegas. And let's also say that I was part of these women who were dressed very classy to be in the bleachers!

At 8h30 pm, I was really discouraged by the fact that the show had still not started (yet, the time indicated on the ticket was well and truly 8h pm). People in the arena had succeeded in doing quite an impressive wave! It had been a long time since I had not seen an impressive wave like that! Martin also made me notice that the bridges between the catwalk and the main stage were on the catwalk. I saw at that moment that the floor was narrower in width than at the Bell Centre (36 seats instead of 42 seats per row) and that the catwalk seemed more elliptical than usual. The bridges thus had another angle than the one that I'm used to and they didn't seem to be high enough for the people who were entering the pit; with the bridges on, they would have had to bend forward very much. Martin then told me that he doubted we could see Moment Factory's special effects with a stage that seemed tighter in width...

Around 8h40 pm, the volume of the background music increased a little and a few minutes later, the clock ticks from the AC/DC song called Hells Bells were heard. I made a comment to Martin that it would be a good concept to have a Bon Jovi show start with clock ticks and at the end, have the lights go off to let the concert begin! It's almost what happened, because we didn't hear a lot of the song before the lights went off! I stood up, I opened my camera to make a video of the band coming on the stage and when I heard the first notes of That's What The Water Made Me, I was already overjoyed of being there, because this is one of my favorite songs of the new album called What About Now! I was a little surprised to see them start with this song, but it was a beautiful surprise!

Here is thus the list of songs played that night:


The show started a little before 8h45 pm and ended at around 10h55 pm, it thus lasted about 2h15 and included the smallest number of songs of all the Bon Jovi shows that I went to. Let's say that it didn't help to have the show start so late!! But however, it was an excellent show; Jon was in great shape, he was jumping everywhere, he seemed to enjoy himself like a young man on stage and he was in a very good mood! It had been a long time since I had seen him like that! I always thought that when I was far away, I didn't enjoy Jon's energy as much, but that evening, I saw that he was giving his 110% even if I were in the bleachers. I can only imagine what a show it would have been if I had been in the pit on top of it!

I still managed to take 1612 pictures and make 21 videos. I decided to make a lot of videos, because my pictures weren't turning out great because of the distance that separated me from the stage. Moreover, I often had a blue spotlight which was making the effect of a semicircle on the left of my camera, no matter what the orientation of my pictures (portrait or landscape) was. I decided to share with you my best pictures of that evening.

After That's What The Water Made Me, Jon talked to the crowd, greeting everyone who had travelled across the United States to come to Las Vegas. Jon told us that he was conscious that in a city like Las Vegas, he expects to have a lot of tourists at his shows. He also reminded us that he had been doing that for the last 30 years, going from city to city, and he told us that it was not always very easy, but we could understand that evening the lifestyle that he's had for so many years. I felt far away from home as well suddenly, but at the same time, I was happy to be in a foreign city at the other end of the United States!

Jon also invited all the people to get up off of their seats, as he usually does. While looking straight in front of me, that is towards the bleachers on the right of the stage, I saw people in the first rows of the section in front of me stand up straight! At the first notes of You Give Love A Bad Name, the whole crowd vividly reacted, but I could notice that the crowd was a lot smaller than in Montreal (and there were empty seats in the bleachers), so the level of decibel that the crowd could reach was less than what I'm used to. It didn't prevent me from reacting vividly in the bleachers; I stayed up throughout the show, unlike the three people in front of me who spent a part of the show sitting down... I was dancing at my seat, I was raising my arms, exactly as I do on the floor, with the same enthusiasm! And I could even say that sometimes, I felt even more enthusiastic, even if I knew very well that Jon couldn't see me!

At the beginning of the concert, Jon was wearing a small sleeveless leather vest on top of a long-sleeved shirt and he took off his vest quite quickly and he even pulled up the sleeves of his shirt up to his elbow. I wondered why he was dressed like that, it was above 25 degrees Celsius outside! It's true that the air conditioning was really strong in the arena, it must have been because of that!

The crowd also reacted very well to Born To Be My Baby, me included. I was really happy to hear it again! It's weird, because I remember when I was younger, I wasn't too thrilled to hear it in concert.

Since we were a lot of fan club members in our section, the atmosphere was excellent. People were singing a lot around me, I also saw Martin sing several times. I had a little bit of a hard time making videos and taking pictures, because I had to use the full zoom to have nice pictures of Jon and the slightest movement made a huge difference on what I was filming or taking in picture!

Jon talked to the crowd right before Raise Your Hands by saying that he would not waste time talking and he continued by saying: "We will take you on a roller coaster ride like you've never seen before in this city. All you gotta do is strap in baby, and let yourself go." He then raised his arms in the air before saying: "RAISE YOUR HANDS!" When I figured out that they would play this song, I was even happier! I adore this song in show, and Jon put so much energy into it that evening! At first sight, even people in the highest sections seemed to raise their arms to the beat of the chorus, it was awesome!

I was very surprised to hear the first notes of Superman Tonight! I would have never thought hearing it in Las Vegas! But well, I like it a lot in concert too, so it was a very nice surprise from the band!

When the first notes of It's My Life were heard, the crowd stood up at once once again. I was happy to see that from city to city, this song triggers a nice positive reaction from the crowd! I really took the time to savor the lyrics of the chorus when Jon sings: "It's my life, it's now or never. I ain't gonna live forever. I just wanna live while I'm alive." I was in Las Vegas, in an extraordinary show, I had just realized one of my biggest dreams a few hours before, I was in front of Jon again and he was singing these lyrics... I told myself at that moment that I will never regret paying so much money to realize my dream, because we only have one life to live and I didn't want to pass on realizing this dream. I also had a little thought for my deceased father who probably left a few dreams behind him and I felt very privileged at that moment to have found the way to accomplish as many dreams up to now!

I adored Because We Can again, mostly the part where Jon sings the chorus at the beginning and at the middle of the song while he makes us clap our hands in the air. I hope that this song will never disappear from the set lists during future tours, because it is really good! And moreover, I now knew it by heart, so it was a lot more pleasant to hear it!

I don't remember anymore when during the show, but I saw the hexagonal columns appear and images started being displayed on them. I told myself that yes, we would see Moment Factory's special effects that evening too!

Right before starting What About Now, Jon insisted in thanking all the people who are at the service of Americans (firefighters, policemen, people in the military, etc.) and more particularly, those who helped the people during the attacks at the Boston marathon the previous week. He also indicated to us that it would be the next single of the album. I knew the lyrics of this song a lot more too, I was able to appreciate it to its real value!

I danced so much that evening, wearing high heels and a close-fitting dress, it was so different than usually where I wear very comfortable shoes and I'm always wearing jeans (or shorts if the show is outside during the summer)! My dress was comfortable enough for me to be able to dance easily, I had a lot of space to do it as well, because I had the seat right beside the aisle and my seat was raised. I was moving my arms at the same time as people in the first rows of the floor, as if I were there. I was singing at the top of my lungs so loudly that I could sometimes hear myself sing very well! Between the songs, the crowd, less numerous than what I am used to, was less noisy, so it was easy to talk to each other, Martin and I. It was weird being able to hear each other like this!

When I Love This Town started, I was really surprised (finally, it was an evening full of surprises!) that the band played it so early in the evening! Usually, they keep it for the encores... At the same place in the song as in Montreal, the hexagonal columns rose from the stage and images of the Las Vegas city were displayed on the columns like in Montreal. I was expecting a strong reaction from the crowd when the people would recognize the typical Las Vegas buildings, but on the contrary, the crowd didn't react that much...

At the beginning of We Got It Going On, I decided to make a video of a part of the song to perpetuate Sandra's tradition to film it. I told myself that she would like to see Jon sway his hips! At the end of the first chorus, Jon first came to the side of the stage closest to us (on the left while looking towards the stage) and he stopped in front of someone in the first row and he looked at her a little. Suddenly, he started making the gestures of someone who types on a smart phone with both his thumbs. A few seconds later, he made a gesture to the person and he pointed at her afterwards as if he meant to say: "Hey, what are you doing? You send text messages while I'm in front of you? Stop that, I am there, enjoy it!" He was then making a serious face, he then pointed at the person with his finger and he made a nice smile to her, I'm not sure he was that angry! Anyway, he made his point! I only hope that it was someone who was going to write the songs on the internet as they were played, because if the person were really sending random messages about anything, it wasn't too smart of her!

Jon then headed towards his left and he bended forward to pick up something from the stage. When he stood up, he saw that he was holding a black bra in his hand. He seemed surprised and a little amused to see the bra there. He then took the bra with both his hands and he brought it to his chest exactly where it would go if he were a woman. It was a really hilarious moment, he played the game through! He then threw the bra in front of him in the crowd and he made a head sign to a woman as if he meant to say: "Be careful next time, you just lost your bra!" I was so proud of myself, because by making a video of the beginning of the song, I was able to get everything on a video!

It was the first time when I didn't see Jon climb on the hexagonal columns (or the panels of the giant screen during the previous tour) during We Got It Going On. Let's say that that evening, he didn't have a single reason to do it, because a black curtain was hiding the area behind the stage which didn't contain any seats anyway. He thus stayed on the stage walking from one side to another while going to see all band members, but I admit that it was weird not seeing him perched on something and making people behind the stage go hysterical!

Keep The Faith started and I tried to take pictures of Jon to get one on which his maracas would not be blurry, but the task proved itself to be almost impossible, because I was a little too far away from the stage and my camera had a hard time focusing on the main subject on the stage! When I heard the maracas after the solo, I told myself that they were doing exactly the same sound as when I had had them in my hands in February; good memories resurfaced while seeing these same maracas in Jon's hands! I saw Jon disappear by the staircase at the back of the stage after one or two choruses following the solo. The other band members thus started their infernal solo while Jon got ready to go to the catwalk. I told myself that I would see him a lot closer in a few minutes.

The lights went off on the stage after Keep The Faith and I saw people getting active at the back of the pit and I believe that I saw Jon's silhouette in the dark. He climbed on the catwalk, the lights turned on at the catwalk and people in the first rows of the floor vividly reacted. I then saw a lot of LCD screens (from cellular phones and cameras) turn on near the catwalk! Jon told us that they would now play another song from What About Now and I told myself: "Oh yeah, they will play Amen!" I was happy, because Martin has never heard Hallelujah in show and he had not heard Amen either in Montreal in February. He was quite wondering why I was so enthusiastic towards both these songs in concert, because they are usually filled with emotions.

Amen then started; I was already overjoyed of hearing it once again. When Jon sang: "Last night I had a dream, the dream I had was true" at the very beginning of the song, I told myself that the idea of writing this on my Facebook and Twitter accounts the next morning would be very appropriate! (I had thought about it before the show, but after hearing Jon sing these lyrics, I was convinced.) I let myself get carried away softly by the song, savoring all the lyrics that Jon was singing. I told myself at that moment that I would so much like to have enough money to follow them on tour for several shows. I also told myself, while thinking about Maryse: "I'm the one who is about to fall in love tonight!" I had so many emotions and so much love for Jon at that moment, it seemed like my feelings for him were resurfacing one after the other. I seriously wonder how I stayed so calm while he had put his hand on my back for the picture and I had felt his shoulder and his hip against my shoulder and my hip...

After Amen, there were a few seconds of "silence" (because some people were screaming nonetheless), and Jon said something along the lines: "Now, here is a song that I wrote like 20 years ago..." When he heard that, Martin turned towards me, he knew very well what it meant. At the same time as I bended towards my purse to pick up my Bed Of Roses banner, I told myself: "Oh wow, it is true that it's been 20 years, as my passion!" The first piano notes so typical of Bed Of Roses were heard; my heart was so filled with emotions, I was trembling. My hands were trembling so much that I had a hard time unfolding my banner! Before the first chorus, Jon kneeled down on the catwalk and he really had a hard time singing, he even coughed and stuck his tongue out at some point while putting his microphone away from his mouth and he completely stopped singing afterwards. As soon as he got the chance, he took his cup in his hand and he took a sip. When he got up again, he said: "Well, at least you know it's not a tape!" HAHA And he then quickly resumed the rest of the song. I tried showing my banner to Jon several times during the song when he was turning around, but I seemed too far away, even if I were moving it quickly to attract his attention, it wasn't working! Martin told me to put it higher, but I preferred going in the aisle a few moments instead, without luck. Oh well, it would have been cool for Jon to see it in Las Vegas, but well, I was already very happy to hear the song!

After the solo, Jon sat down on the catwalk facing the floor on our side, making the women in the first row after the catwalk hysterical. He then got up again, touched several hands while heading towards the other side of the catwalk softly to get back to the main stage and end the song right beside David. I rarely saw Jon end this song on the stage since there is a catwalk!

I had another nice surprise when hearing the beginning of Last Man Standing! I didn't expect this one at all either! I had a little thought for Sandra who had tried so much to make me understand during a show in 2007 that this song was starting. I had told her a few hours before the show that I wanted to make a video if the band played it. I hadn't recognized it at the beginning and Sandra had made me understand right on time that Last Man Standing was starting. I had then started making a video in extremis right before Jon started singing! I had a huge smile on my face that evening in Las Vegas while I was listening to the instrumental beginning of the song and I was savoring each note, because I had already recognized it!

We witnessed a very unique moment and a moment up to the reputation of crazy things that can happen in Las Vegas during Who Says You Can't Go Home. During the first chorus, Jon didn't seem very focused and when he came to start the second verse, he tried singing, but he stopped right away and he said instead: "You girls are distracting me!" while talking to girls in the first row. He continued, while turning to the other band members with a huge smile on his face: "You know what I see? In the front row, there's those girls who came up with the song (inaudible mumbling) of their t-shirt and one of them goes "I wanna sing, I wanna sing, I wanna sing!" (while bringing his hand to his mouth to imitate the woman)". And he added: "So wait wait!" while signaling the other band members to stop playing. He then looked at one of the women in the first row and he told her: "You wanna be a big star, huh?" while putting his hands on his hips.

After a second spent looking at her, he continued: "How are you gonna crawl up here on this stage with this little skirt? I wouldn't mind if you did, sweetheart..." (or something like that, he mumbled a little). He then stetched his hand forward in the air and he started pulling his fingers towards him making the sign that she could come join him if she wanted to. He said: "Come on. It's all right. Come on." As if he didn't believe that she would do it. He then talked to the security guard who was close to the stage in the pit: "Be a gentleman, help this lady, use that chair beside you." Jon then stepped forward to go on the edge of the stage and he reached out for the woman who wanted to sing with his hand. We then saw a beautiful blonde go on stage and Jon then signaled another woman to come join them; it seemed to be her friend (she had short dark hair). He also helped her climb on stage. Both women didn't seem to believe what was happening! The woman with the short hair headed towards David to give him a kiss on the cheek and she went to see Tico as well, while the first woman was talking to Jon and she seemed to ask him if he were serious. While Jon said: "Making their Las Vegas debut...", making the crowd to go wild, the blonde went to give a kiss on the cheek to David as well while the woman with the short hair was coming back towards Jon. She was jumping of joy and she decided to kiss Jon on the mouth who didn't do anything else than smile and laugh. When both women came near Jon, he asked them: "You remember the dance moves and all, right? You don't have your magic outfits on..." The blonde told him something, and he answered: "Oh, you don't, huh? Well, let's just start with something easy... Watch this." He then started singing the "it's all right!" and between each "it's all right" that he was saying, both girls were getting close to the microphone and were repeating them. Jon then raised both his hands at the level of his elbows and told us: "Give it up for them, will you?" We thus applauded them. Jon then briefly turned around towards the other band members and he said: "Second verse!"

Jon then started singing the second verse while both women were jumping on the stage following the beat of the song, still not believing what was happening to them. I then noticed that the woman with the short hair was wearing a fan club VIP badge, so I told myself that at least, they were fan club members and they seemed to really know the lyrics by heart. When the song was at "Every step I take, I know that I'm not alone", Jon stepped backwards and both women went to sing at the microphone all the lyrics of the remaining of the verse! Jon seemed so amused, he was smiling with his teeth showing and he turned around towards Phil X while making a face that meant: "I cannot believe that they are doing it for real and moreover, they are good!" They didn't sing badly and they had no earplugs, so it was even more difficult for them to hear the music and be able to sing correctly. They managed it very well; I was even impressed! Right before the chorus, Jon got close to both women who were still at the microphone and he had to split them apart gently with both his hands to be able to come sing again! HAHAHA He then started singing the chorus and both women came back to sing with him at the microphone.

The women seemed so at ease to be there, they didn't seem drunk either, because they would have never been in such control! I'm sure that it was not arranged, because the woman with the short hair had her mouth wide open in total surprise during the solo. Jon made the women do the "it's all right" again and during the solo, both women continued dancing and singing on the stage. They even pretended that they had a guitar in their hands at some point and I must say that the blonde was really into it by playing in the air! They continued dancing after the solo and they were singing the lyrics without being close to the microphone, but at the chorus, they gathered around again to go sing with Jon once again. They stayed near Jon to sing with him.

At the end of the song, Jon signaled the women to follow his cue to make a final jump the three of them together and then, the women took a bow, they applauded, they gave high fives to Jon and from Jon's incessant smile, he just had a nice moment too! I bet that the women were realizing that paying more than 1500$ per ticket for this VIP package just got worth it! The woman with the short hair gave Jon a last hug, the blonde then kissed him on the mouth before hugging him as well. She was dragging out a little on the hug and she seemed to tell Jon something in his ear; Jon then pushed her away gently to show his desire to continue the show. Both women then went to say goodbye to the other band members, while Jon returned to the microphone to say: "It's not easy being me." while wiping off his mouth with his sleeve. He continued: "It's 24 years upcoming this week that I got married in this town and it might be the night I get divorced too..." while pointing the women who were still on the stage. Both women finally went down the stage and Jon said: "Tico, give me the beat!", announcing the beginning of I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.

During Bad Medicine, Jon consulted Phil X and Bob as usual to determine the mix to do. I told myself: "Yeah, the mixes are finally back after their absence was noticed at the beginning of the tour." Jon commented that we were in Vegas and we had to stay up all night before doing his consultation! During the consultation, he said: "I might not be as pretty as that Justin Bieber..." Oh wow, this is not something to say, not with his beauty! Jon continued by saying: "And I can't dance as good as Justin Timberlake..." No kidding, I heard people boo Jon by what he had just said since it was so not true! He corrected himself by saying: "But we've been around longer than both of them put together and I ain't going nowhere, so I'm sorry..." Anyway, the band decided to play a part of Hot Legs, which was very appropriate for the place, because there were a lot of women with nice legs in the audience! It was a little weird when Phil X and Bob got closer to the main microphone to sing with Jon, because they are not part of the original band members! But well, they were doing a good job nevertheless!

The band left the stage after Bad Medicine which seemed to last longer than usual. The hexagonal columns rose up at the back of the stage and images of a falling wall started being displayed on them. It is a good idea, but I find that it makes the crowd go quiet, because everyone is impressed by the images! I hadn't noticed in Montreal, but when the wall falls down completely, the What About Now album cover shows up on the columns! It was a nice effect for the end of this little interlude!

When We Were Beautiful started, I was strangely happy to hear it and I wondered how long the encores would last, because either Wanted Dead Or Alive, nor Have A Nice Day, nor Livin' On A Prayer had been played yet!

Before starting Wanted Dead Or Alive, Jon took the time to tell us a few words to thank us for our friendship, our kindness and our support in the last thirty years. And he added: "And these days for your patience too..." He was clearly making a reference to Richie's absence! And Wanted Dead Or Alive started. I followed Martin's advice after starting singing loudly; I started singing less loudly deliberately to be able to hear the crowd sing and not just me on the video that I always make of the first verse. Several people around us had started singing the first verse before Jon told us to sing, it was great! I pleasantly remembered at that moment that there were plenty of fan club members around us! The crowd still sang quite loudly for a small crowd! I must admit that I missed Richie at the end of the song when I didn't hear Phil X respond to Jon "and I ride, ide, ide, dead or alive..." and it was a little weird to see that Jon was the only one playing the acoustic guitar during the song. Apart from that, Phil X did quite a nice job, I didn't often realized that Richie wasn't the one playing!

Jon started Livin' On A Prayer exactly like the "Prayer 94" version on the Cross Road album, acoustically, and he sang until the end of the first chorus like that before starting the song for real! Wow, it had been a long time (if it weren't the first time at all) that I had heard the acoustic version of Livin' On A Prayer during a show I went to! I sang so loudly once again during this song, I had the feeling that it was the last song and I wanted to be sure that I was sending all the energy that I had left towards the stage, towards the band who was in front of me for the 22nd time that evening. At the end of Livin' On A Prayer, I was surprised to see Jon introduce the band members, he hadn't even done it in Montreal in February!

Jon quickly pulled out his earplugs before taking a final bow. I was a little nostalgic at that moment, because I knew that my trip was coming to an end. The lights turned on extremely quickly in the room after the band left the stage!

We were stuck in a huge traffic jam when we left the arena; it seemed like there was only one door to go back to the MGM Grand complex. I imagine that it was indeed the case! There were so many people in the casino that evening (it was Saturday night...) that I felt uncomfortable in that crowd. I just wanted to get out of there to be able to breathe a little! Martin and I got back to our hotel room, I then had a hard time tolerating my high heels, because my feet had swollen during the evening and the shoes were completely getting into my skin.

We waited a little in the room, I changed my shoes and I took off a few jewelry pieces. We went down again to Centrifuge to go thank the Runaway Tours staff for the trip and hope that Rob would have his camera to be able to show us our pictures with Jon. The Runaway Tours staff had informed us before heading to the arena that there was going to be a post-show party at that bar. When we got to the bar, there were already a lot of people and I saw that Darren and Joe were there. When Joe or Darren saw me (I don't remember who did this anymore...), he put both his index fingers in a cross while looking at me, as if he didn't want me to be rude to him, I don't quite know. As soon as I smiled at him, he made me a nice smile. He was already teasing me and we had known each other since barely 30 hours! A woman said that she was saving the seat beside her for Jon. Darren informed all of us at that moment that Jon was taking a plane in twenty minutes or so (he even looked at his watch to verify what he was saying), that he would thus not spend the night in Las Vegas and he would certainly not come join us! Anyway, I thanked Joe and Darren, one of them asked me if we were going to see each other again, I said probably yes and he asked me if I were interested in the trip in New Jersey. I told him that it would have to be another time for New Jersey, because there was no photo op with Jon during that trip!

I then went to Rob and I thanked him for taking the pictures of Jon with us and he told me that he had already put them on Facebook. WOW! I was really impressed! He asked me: "Yeah! Wanna see them?!" You bet I wanted to see them!! He then opened his smart phone and his Facebook application and he asked me if we were in the first or last groups to have our picture taken. He still got quite quickly to the pictures of me, Jon and Martin. It was weird seeing myself beside Jon and I immediately noticed that he wasn't smiling much! It is only later by looking at the picture closely that I figured out that if Rob had waited a second before taking the picture, Jon would have had a huge smile on his face! But still, I am more than satisfied of my two pictures, they are very beautiful and I have a large smile on the face! YEAH!

We returned to our room shortly after, because we had to get up early to take our flight back home. I slept very well that night. I was so happy of my day and so exhausted at the same time!

I can now say that from the list of things to do as a Bon Jovi fan listed at the beginning of the review, the following items can now be checked:

X Go to a fan club trip
X Get an autograph from Jon
X Talk to Jon and get a response from Jon
X Have my picture taken with Jon

All that is left is find a way to give Jon a kiss and dance with him during a show. Wow, these are big things to do! But I like challenges! If someone could help me after reading this review, I would certainly be grateful to them until the day I die!

We are now two days after my meeting with Jon. My calves hurt very much from walking so much in the streets of Las Vegas, dancing and jumping in high heels during a whole evening and my arms and the sides of my body also hurt. But it is part of my passion and I live with it! And indeed, one of my recent publications on Facebook is: "Last night I had a dream, the dream I had was true. I met Jon Bon Jovi for the first time in 20 years. Amen." What comes to my mind spontaneously is the sentence that Maryse used to respond to this publication: "What else can I say?"

Copyright © April 22, 2013 Marie-Hélène Cyr

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