Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi > My show reviews > FEBRUARY 18 & 19, 2011 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

My show reviews

FEBRUARY 18 & 19, 2011 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Baby's first concerts

The Bon Jovi shows on February 18 and 19, 2011 in Montreal will make history in my life. Indeed, for the first time, I went to see Bon Jovi pregnant; I was 24 weeks pregnant at that moment! Fortunately, the shows were not three months earlier when I was feeling tired early in the evening! Life is well made sometimes! OK, I admit it, let's say that my pregnancy was planned a little (read: a lot!) based on the dates I was hoping to see Bon Jovi again in Montreal to be able to go comfortably!

For those who wonder, yes, I worked out for the shows even pregnant! I had to modify my workout routine to avoid dangerous exercises for my ligaments and my belly, but still, let's say that I succeeded in keeping my cardiovascular system in top shape! I had a very good reason to be motivated in working out several months prior to the shows: attend two shows in two nights is already demanding physically... While pregnant, I had to find a way to hold on for two nights in a row!

The current tour (that I will still call The Circle in this review even if the official name seems to be Live 2011...) had really treated me well up to this moment. I had the chance of attending more concerts than I could have imagined, in addition to all the shows that the band broadcasted on the internet and in theatres... However, seeing Bon Jovi so often in a short period of time took away a little of the magic surrounding the shows, because I noticed how much the shows run smoothly and how they are predictable. But well, a Bon Jovi show is still a very special event in my life, no matter if it is my first or 16th concert! To prove it, I would like to emphasize that one week prior to the shows, I choked each time I heard Bon Jovi music in the car or at home, even on very upbeat songs! It was a first for me to be so emotional so long before a Bon Jovi show!

Both shows in February 2011 were also an important milestone in the part of my life associated with Bon Jovi. Indeed, a few days later, that is on February 21, 2011, I celebrated my 18th anniversary of passion for the band! My passion has reached maturity! Phew, I am not getting younger! For those who sometimes ask me why I feel the need to see the band each time they come to Montreal, even if they come twice in 2 nights, I would like to answer the following to them. When someone has been in your life for 18 years, he is part of your family, he is someone you consider being a close relative, even if blood does not link you to him officially. If you had a close relative come in your area a few days every 2 or 3 years, wouldn't you go see him each evening as well? I think that asking the question is answering it!

Day 1 - The VIP experience

Venue: Bell Centre
Ticket: Floor, Row A, Seat 38
Pictures: Available
Videos: Available

When the fan club tickets for the show on February 18 went on sale, I had been too sure of myself and I had not succeeded in getting tickets in the circle for me and Sandra, neither did Sandra. Nevertheless, I had bought a single floor ticket in row J that I was counting on giving to Martin if I were ever lucky enough to find a better ticket.

Thanks to Maryse and to an incredible chance during Evenko's presale, she and I succeeded in buying a pair of tickets each in the first row of the floor outside the circle (right in front of the stage catwalk going around the circle) with a VIP package included in the ticket price. I owe her a big one! Maryse, Geneviève, Sandra and I would live a VIP experience which was a first for the four of us! In fact, it was nice to think that we would be reunited once again the whole gang to live this moment!

The VIP package that we bought was called "Let it rock", it cost 425$CAN and it included:

Eight days before the show on February 18, Maryse and I received an email about a package being delivered which we were not expecting. We figured out that it was probably the merchandise included in our VIP packages! We did not have to wait long before finding out! The next day, when Maryse received her package in the afternoon, she wrote these simple words in an email: "Huge box! I will come back to you with details but there is plenty of stuff!" Something to whet my appetite with! I could not wait to know what this box contained! I still remember the moment I opened the box at home when I came back from work! I felt like a kid on the morning of December 25 when he opens his Christmas gifts! We received, for each purchased VIP package, the following articles: a blanket, a scarf, a beanie, a notebook covered with leather, a tour program, a metal water bottle, a 50$ gift card, a reusable bag and a thermos thingy to keep a bottle cold in the summer, everything with the Bon Jovi logo used on the Greatest Hits which was released at the end of 2010!! I could not believe the quantity of merchandise and mostly, I was relieved to know that we would not have to carry all this to the show! I was afraid of receiving the merchandise only on the evening of the show!

A few days before the show, I decided to make a list of things to do and a list of things to bring to a Bon Jovi show. I must say that these lists helped me a lot on the morning of February 18 when I started looking at them more carefully. I noticed that my nervousness was cut in half by knowing that I had a document telling me what not to forget to do! I was then able to put all my energy in getting ready instead of always thinking about the thing that I was going to forget to do!

Sandra and I had planned to meet at her home around 4h30pm from where we would leave for the Bell Centre by car. With the free parking at the Bell Centre included in our VIP packages, we would have been crazy not to take it! Throughout the day, I put myself in the mood of the show by watching special TV shows about Bon Jovi presented on Musimax and by going to the fan club message board to show my joy of seeing my idols again in Montreal along with the other fans who were going to the show! I was surprised to feel a huge serenity that took control over my body with still isolated periods of watery eyes while watching the TV shows on Musimax (due to pregnancy hormones maybe?). I had to keep the baby quiet and free of adrenaline as long as possible not to pay for my excitement later during the day or during the weekend! Moreover, I ate multiple protein-based snacks to make sure I would have enough energy to keep myself on my feet during the few hours I would be with my idols! I even tried to repeat the culinary delight that was the grilled turkey sandwich at Chili's in the United States for lunch. It was not completely the same thing obviously, but let's say that I now link grilled turkey sandwiches to a prelude to a Bon Jovi show!

We had been told that the shows would be extraordinary, because for the first time, Bon Jovi would come on stage earlier, since there were no opening acts. I had a hard time imagining that a band of this magnitude would not have an opening act, but well, after official and repetitive emails from Evenko throughout the whole week before the show, I got used to the idea! In reality, that's a good thing that there were no opening acts! I would not have to wait an hour with Sandra in the Bell Centre's hallway for the opening act to end!

The weather was wonderful outside in the afternoon, maybe was it a sign that the band had arrived in the city? I had a hard time believing that we were in mid-February with 7 degrees Celsius and the sun heating the melting snow.

I left to meet with Sandra at her home at 4hpm. We waited for her boyfriend to arrive before we left for the Bell Centre; it was about 4h45pm when we left aboard my car. Sandra had had the brilliant idea of burning a CD containing the three new songs of the Greatest Hits for which I had not had the time to learn the lyrics yet; she had even printed out the lyrics, because she was in the same situation! Anyway, it was a first for me to go to the Bell Centre behind the wheel, but I knew that I was in good hands to arrive safely, because Sandra works in front of the Bell Centre and she knows the small streets that save time! What a chance, because we arrived at the suites parking lot located on Saint-Antoine West Street around 5h40pm after being caught in a traffic jam caused by buses heading towards Bonaventure. The parking lot was already showing full, but we had received instructions to go to that parking lot and mention that we were VIP; our name was supposed to be on the VIP guest list. Indeed, when we entered the parking lot after explaining to the man who was controlling the traffic in front of the parking lot that we were on the VIP list, we talked to a nice woman. She asked me my name, since I was the one who had purchased the tickets. When I said my name, she said: "Oh, yes, I saw that name earlier!" A few seconds later, she gave us a parking ticket to put on the car dashboard and we followed indications given by "parking lot ushers" to finally arrive at a free spot located in B-203. (Hey, I had to remember it, it is now engraved in my head!)

We took everything we needed for the concert with us and we headed towards the National Bank suites entrance and we quickly noticed that there were already a lot of people in the lobby! The check-in was barely starting, it must have been 5h50pm at that moment (I remember that it was not 6hpm yet...). I had to go pick up the ticket I had bought through the fan club for Martin, so we went outside and we headed towards the Bell Centre ticket office on de la Gauchetière West Street (sorry, on the Canadiens-de-Montréal Avenue) based on the fan club's indications received by email. We were supposed to see a tent with the fan club name on it outside beside the ticket office, but apart from a sea of people who were waiting at the entrance and for the Cage aux Sports, there were no tents. Another fan club member was wondering where the tent was. Her friend went inside the Bell Centre to see if the tent were there or not. When she came back outside with her tickets, we figured out that the fan club was inside the Bell Centre! I very much suspected that they would not put the fan club staff outside where it was very windy for a few hours!

I had no problems getting my fan club ticket by presenting an ID card and by signing on a sheet beside my name. My envelope (41) was waiting for me with the right ticket! We were the only people at that moment to get our tickets; I must say that the fan club is very well organized for the current tour, because I have not waited more than 5 minutes to get my tickets! Thinking back on it afterwards, the guy who handed me my ticket looked strangely like the guy who had handed me my tickets in New Jersey last May... I now wonder if he were the same guy!

We went back to the suites entrance to proceed with our check-in for the VIP party we were entitled to with our VIP packages. Geneviève and Maryse arrived at the same time as us; Geneviève had called Sandra when we were going down the stairs leading from the Bell Centre's main entrance to Saint-Antoine West Street to tell us that they were in the parking lot. We got our 4 show tickets very quickly after showing an ID card. We also received a VIP pass with a lanyard to hang it around our neck. Geneviève was very excited when she arrived; it was nice to see that! The party was happening in a suites room on the seventh floor. Before going up in the elevator escorted by some Bell Centre's staff, we got our picture taken by the "paparazzi" who was on site to take pictures worthy of red carpets in great events. We still had our coats on, but we were already quite excited to be there! A woman scanned our show tickets before going to the party using the elevator.

When we arrived at the room, we saw that there were already a lot of people there! I don't know how many, but there were more than a hundred people. The room was very small for the number of people. We left our coats at the cloakroom; I had put on a black vest in case I would be cold at the party, because I was only wearing a tank top, but there were no chances of being cold in that room! Maryse, Geneviève and Sandra were also wearing sleeveless tops and they had the same comment! When we went into the room, we noticed that people were sitting at tables and were eating hors-d'oeuvres while sipping drinks (with or without alcohol). We were not expecting this kind of party; anyway, I was expecting a party where people would be standing up and eating appetizers served by waiters who would go around the room.

We went around the room and we noticed that it would be difficult for us to find chairs to sit on! We saw that the buffet was not served yet, but the desserts and fruits were already out. We decided to go to the restroom before the buffet was served. There was precisely a restroom at the back of the room for the news reporters who are usually there (from what I could understand, we were in the news reporters' room...), but there was a waiting line, because there was only one toilet for the whole gang! We then decided to return to the suites lobby where there was also a single toilet based on one Bell Centre's employee's indications at the VIP party. We then had to take the elevator again, have our tickets rescanned to go to this restroom which was much less crowded. The woman who was scanning the tickets at the entrance seemed irritated by the fact that we wanted to go to this restroom, but well, she just had to press on a button on her device to let us out! When we came back to the elevator, we decided to have our picture taken once again by the "paparazzi" since we no longer had our coats on. The "paparazzi" seemed amused by us and it was her pleasure to take other pictures, to her colleague's great despair who reminded her that we had already had our picture taken!

When we got back to the VIP party, we asked one person from the staff to find out if it were possible to sit somewhere. He then guided us to a table for 8 people where 4 chairs were available one next to the other. We then sat down and we waited for the waiting line for the buffet, which was now served, to be a little shorter. Geneviève and Maryse had stopped at McDonald's on their way to the Bell Centre, so they invited us to go first, Sandra and I, since we had not eaten. We saw the desserts and cookies before the main courses and they were very tempting! I took a cookie and Sandra helped herself to the cantaloupes!

The buffet was modest, but everything that I tried tasted good: chicken breasts, raviolis in a tomato sauce, green beans (which had finally garlic in them... beurk!), Greek potatoes and pork fillet (sliced in front of us by a nice chef) which we could put a brown sauce on. I kindly asked the chef if it were possible to have a few small well-cooked pork slices, because as I told him, I was pregnant and I did not want to take any chances. I had seen that the middle of the fillets in front of him was not cooked thoroughly... He cut me the ends of the available fillets, giving me a reasonable portion of pork.

Waiters were going from table to table to serve wine. Obviously, I did not take some, neither did Sandra because it gives her hot flashes, Geneviève was also pregnant, so it was out of the question for her and Maryse was breastfeeding! Another waiter brought us "lighter" things such as Perrier for me, water for Sandra and soft drinks for Maryse and Geneviève.

I gulped my dinner and my cookie, because I was hungry and it was nice to eat a little. Martin was supposed to call me to indicate to me that he was in the lobby so I could go give him his ticket. I did not want to have to leave my plate half empty, because the waiters were removing them quickly! Fortunately, he called me when it was almost 7hpm. I was starting to be anxious for him to call me, because the show was supposed to start at 7h30pm and he had told me that he would go eat after picking up his ticket! Fortunately, at the VIP party, Bell Centre's employees told us that the band was warming up and they were scheduled to take the stage at 8hpm only. I then went down to the lobby and I gave Martin his ticket rapidly, because he was in a hurry as well. The woman who was scanning the tickets was really wondering what was going on! The woman who was in the elevator too, because she did not have the time to go back up in the elevator with other people before I came back to her to go up again!

When I got back to the VIP party, I decided to go get myself dessert, that is a piece of pecan pie and pieces of honeydew melon. All the desserts seemed tasty! When I got back to the table, I noticed that I no longer had my exclusive bracelet made of a guitar string used by Jon or Richie during the The Circle tour that I had bought on Bon Jovi's site! I told myself that I had to have lost it when I took off my coat earlier during the evening, so I went to see the clerks at the cloakroom. Indeed, my bracelet was there, on the table beside the clerks! Phew! I quickly put it away in my purse, because it broke in a way that could not be repaired on site!

The VIP party allowed the four of us to catch up with each other. It had been a long time since I had seen Maryse and mostly Geneviève! We had a lot of fun! We made fun of the background music from time to time a little, because they had indicated to us that we would hear Bon Jovi music, but we heard songs from AC/DC and Poison as well during the party... Hmm, where did these songs come from??

The more the time passed by at the party, the more the Bell Centre's employees were discouraged, because there was clearly not enough room for everyone! I even heard an employee tell another one who was carrying a chair further away: "They don't stop on coming in, I'm freaking out!" We were clearly too many people for the size of the room and people were eating right beside the room entrance!

We received sheets of paper to answer multiple choices questions to have a chance of winning an autographed item from the band or Jon, I don't remember what it was! A tour crew member asked the questions only in English, because his French was not as good as his Spanish from what he said! Some questions were not obvious, but I think that we did well anyway! I did not know, among others, that all band members except one (probably Tico who was born in New York City rather than in New Jersey) were delivered by the same physician! Neither did I know that the letters "AP" on Jon's acoustic guitar meant something else than a guitar brand! We figured out by the proposed choices that these letters must be the initials of the guitar teacher who showed Jon how to play... We handed our sheets over after writing our name on them so they could associate the sheet with the person who had filled it out during the draw.

A little later into the party, people started coming back to the tables with an official little briefcase of the tour containing big pictures autographed by the band members. (We learned that the band had just signed them, it was freshly out from the oven!) We quickly figured out that these people had VIP packages which were a little more expensive than ours (1000$ for each purchased package). Honestly I do not think that it is worth paying so much to be in the circle and have a few autographed pictures! Each minute of the show costs a lot!

Around 7h30pm, I told the girls that even if they had told that the show would start just at 8hpm, we had to think about leaving! We got up to go get our coats back from the cloakroom which was crowded. We then decided to go wait in the waiting line for the room's single toilet; at least ten people were already waiting. We were a little reluctant to leave right away, because they had not done the draw to win the autographed item!

An employee came to tell us shortly after in the waiting line: "The show will start soon. If I were you, I would go down and go to the Bell Centre's restrooms, because you might be late!" We then explained to her that we were waiting for the draw to be done, she advised us to find out from the band's crew members about what was going on. We learned, when we went back to the room entrance, that we could have written our seat number on our sheet and that someone could have come to give us the autographed item during the show... Hmm, thanks a lot for telling us after having handed our sheets over! I was frankly not impressed!

In short, we left the room to take the elevator. (Well, I think that we took the elevator??) I simply remember that an employee showed us where to go to get back inside the "normal" Bell Centre. We quickly saw the restrooms on the floor beneath the main hallway and there was no waiting line! When we got to the restrooms, we heard someone say something to the crowd with people who started screaming. NO!!! The show was about to start and we were in the restrooms! We did not waste time, we were almost running to go to the restrooms! When we got out, we noticed that the show was not started yet. I learned afterwards from Martin that it was the PA announcer who gave the basic rules to follow for everything to go smoothly during the show (no laser pointers, not allowed to make videos, not allowed to smoke, locate the emergency exits, etc.).

We went down by section 124 which gives access to the floor and we walked rapidly towards our seats. Maryse and Geneviève went to the left to go to their seats in the central part of the floor and before they left us, we wished ourselves a very good show. Sandra and I went to the right aisle since we had seats 37 and 38 in the first row of the floor, so completely on the right when looking towards the stage.

When we got to our seats, we quickly noticed that we would have a great view after all, even if we were 6 seats on the right side a little sideways compared to the other rows of the floor. In fact, they had put these seats sideways so they would follow the curve of the catwalk forming the circle. We were really at the barricade! Woohoo!

I took out my fan club laminates and I hooked them with my VIP pass to have them around my neck during the show. I prepared myself quickly by putting the strap of my large purse around the seat, by putting my bottle of water underneath my seat as usual and by taking out my digital camera that I put around my neck. I then took out my 2 banners related to Bed Of Roses and I started attaching them together with safety pins that I had brought for the occasion. I was then very nervous, my hands were trembling! I put my banners in my jeans in the front to be ready to show them at the first notes of Bed Of Roses.

I had the time to see Geneviève and Maryse directly in the middle of the first row at the barricade. I took a few pictures of them to immortalize this moment and Geneviève took some of me as well! They seemed to be really excited or rather hectic to be there and I understand them!

One of the Bell Centre's security guards seemed to take himself for someone else at some point. He was wandering about between the barricade and the catwalk and he stopped in front of Sandra and told her to go back to her seat... Hmm, sorry?? Sandra told him using a nasty tone that our seats were there and that we had the full right to be there! Come on, it takes a lot of nerve to say that to people in the first row! Let's say that we did not know where the two women on the left of Sandra came from, because we had the first two seats of the little sideways section in row A... I suspect that the same security guard had told these women that they could be at the barricade; they must have had a seat behind us in the first "straight" row of the floor. My suspicions are based on the fact that at the end of the show, the same security guard came to see both women to ask them if they had enjoyed their show...

Speaking of neighbor, Sandra was on my left and beside me, there was a woman who did not even seem to enjoy herself during the show. At some point, I turned my head towards her during the show, she had crossed her arms on the barricade and she was watching the show, motionless... Hmm, you are in the first row of the floor, it seems to me that there are rules to follow in the first row! Haha To her defence, she seemed to know the lyrics of the most known songs, because I could see her lips move from time to time in my blind spot. She wrote SMS using her cellular phone during the show as well. The couple behind me was quite old and the man and the woman seemed really happy to be there; such a contrast with my right neighbor!

In short, it was almost 8hpm when I felt like the volume of the background music had increased. I then told Sandra that it had to be the last song (unfortunately it was not This Is Our House...) before the show. Shortly after, the lights went off, making people go crazy in the Bell Centre. We saw the giant screen go down from the top of the stage to hide the stage completely. The show introduction was slightly different from 2010. It was the same kind of techno music, but neither were there any words written in circle nor band members walking in a tunnel. We could simply see their shadow on the giant screen. The colors of the images displayed on the giant screen were also different; instead of being in shades of blue like in 2010, they were in black and orange/yellow, the official colors of the Greatest Hits.

I saw a few band members arrive on stage, because we could see the stage a little from where we were. When the members started playing, people screamed at the other end of the floor completely and there were a lot of lights there... Usually, it is totally black there when the show starts. People started looking towards the back of the floor and I then recognized the first notes of Last Man Standing. We quickly figured out why all these people had screamed; Jon prepared himself to start the show at the other end of the floor on a little platform like in 2005! Wow, what a surprise that was, he was doing that for the first time in 6 years!

I don't know why, but I did not really feel like being at a Bon Jovi show with Jon so far away, even if I were able to see him well by using the zoom on my digital camera. It seemed like I had not had enough time to relax at my seat before the show started and I was afraid of losing my spot at the barricade, so I was not feeling excitement but rather stress!

I remember paying attention to the lyrics: "Take your seats now folks, it's show time. Hey Patrick hit the lights" right before the solo. It seems to me like Jon did not say the name "Patrick" and it surprised me! Would it be that Patrick is no longer part of the organization and Jon directly called out to the person who turns on the lights usually? If it is the case, it is really nice on his part for having done this little change!

When Last Man Standing was about to end after the last lyrics, Jon stepped down from the platform and judging by the crowd's screams at the back of the floor and the lights which seemed to follow Jon, I quickly figured out that he was coming on our side (right side of the floor when looking towards the stage) to go back to the main stage! Sandra squeezed herself in to have an enviable spot when Jon would pass by. I tried to get closer, but there were still four people on my right before the aisle on the edge of the ice boards and I noticed the floor chairs with their metal back when I tried to get closer. With my pregnant belly, the last thing I wanted was to be pushed forward by a woman who would be too enthusiastic and have my belly crash on the metal back of one of the chairs! I then stayed back a little, but I had a nice view when Jon passed beside us! He was grabbing hands with people while coming towards us; he was so close to us, it was incredible!

After Jon got to the main stage, Sandra came back to her seat and she screamed at me: "He grabbed my hand and looked at me in the eyes!!!" When she said that, she took my left hand softly in both her hands and she told me: "Like that!" She seemed really happy... I was able to get the germs from Jon's hands a little on my left hand! Haha

I noticed that there were a lot of people at the back of the circle with professional cameras; they seemed like news reporters. I got my answer after two or three songs; they were escorted by security and they left! Oh yes, they were working for the media!

The list of songs played was:


The show lasted from 8hpm until 10h45pm, with fewer songs than what we had gotten in March 2010. I took 3110 pictures in all, not only of Bon Jovi. There were a lot of people who I wanted to take pictures of, such as Maryse, Geneviève and Isabelle, a fan met through my website last year who had her first experience in the circle. I had told her that I would try taking pictures of her! Moreover, half of my pictures are bad, because I don't know why, but the lighting was bad from where we were. It seemed like we were just too far away to be in the stage lights; my camera always wanted to use the flash which I did not use and there was a white veil on stage which prevented from taking clear pictures! Grrr! I still made 26 videos in all, some are quite long, because instead of taking blurry pictures, I thought I would rather have clear videos! Speaking of pictures, I decided to share my best ones with you.

When You Give Love A Bad Name started, people went crazy in the Bell Centre! I was finally back with Montreal's great crowd with deafening screams of some 20 872 people (based on the official numbers) who was attending the concert! There is really nothing like Montreal's crowd!! I surprised myself at some point by looking behind me to admire the Bell Centre in its entire splendor and I told myself that it was really smaller than an American stadium! But well, I was still impressed to see the Bell Centre; there seemed to be not a single free seat in the crowd, both in the higher sections and behind the stage!

During You Give Love A Bad Name, I told myself: "Ah shoot, my bladder is already full!" I had gone to the restroom too fast... Moreover, my jeans were putting pressure on my belly, so throughout the show, I had to try to concentrate on the show and not on my full bladder which was filling up more and more... It is not easy to concentrate on something else but come on, I did not want to go to the restroom during the show! I have only one thing to say: having a full bladder for 2h45 had something to do with distracting me a little! Moreover, I was a lot less in shape than usual... Or I was rather afraid of traumatizing the baby! I almost felt guilty of screaming at first because of the baby! I got used to it quite fast, but it seemed like I was constantly holding back not to scream too much, because I felt weird if I screamed for too long... Maybe it was my blood pressure which was a little low and at each small effort, my body let me know about it... The last thing I wanted was to feel faint, so I was quieter than usual! However, I noticed that I had no problems singing at the top of my lungs, so I made the most of it!

Also, my legs seemed heavy; sometimes, I told myself that fortunately, I had the barricade to lean myself against! It also seemed like I was not there totally at 100%, as if I were a passive spectator... It was a weird impression. I probably did not enjoy the show as much as I would have liked to because of all this, but there were also two other annoyances which unfortunately made the show my third least favorite one I have seen during the tour: first, there was the DARN CAMERA POST which was passing over and over again in our section of the row!! It was hooked to an arm on the catwalk right in front of us and it would go from left to right and from right to left using wheels. Since we were at the end of the row, we ALWAYS had it in the face! Sometimes, it even stopped right in front of us for a few seconds before going back and passing by our face a few seconds later! The second annoyance was a security guard who had his mind set in walking kilometers during his evening between the catwalk and the barricade. He did not stop on passing in front of us, often when the camera post was not blocking our view! I told myself at that moment: "Ah... I didn't remember this detail! The best spot is really at the back of the circle!" In the circle, there is no post that moves to block our view (unless we are in the first row of the circle...) and no security guard to block our view directly. However, I must admit that it was nice not having anybody directly in front of us! There was quite a big gap between the last row of the circle and the first row of the floor so that a 6 feet tall man in the circle would not have blocked my view.

Being at the barricade and having enough room before the people in front of us offered an excellent advantage! It was very easy to make videos, because I could put my forearms on the barricade and I could look at the stage at the same time without looking in the camera, as long as I did not move too much and the subject to make a video of did not move too much neither! It was the same thing for the pictures; I did not hide anyone behind me when I took pictures, because I took them with my forearm on the barricade or by putting my camera in front of my eyes. I always consider people behind me. Taking thousands of pictures could be very irritating to people behind me, because they could not see half of the show! However, I noticed a little bruise on one of my forearms the next day and it hurt when I touched a specific spot on both forearms. Hmm, maybe I pressed them a little too strongly on the barricade!

We had a lot of room to move where we were! There was enough space between our seat and the barricade, I had to step backwards to go drink water at my seat from time to time. I was not losing my spot at the barricade neither when I was going drinking. It was nice to have that much space, unlike the other rows of the floor where the seats are really close to the row in front! I was also a lot less hot than the other times where I was on the floor. Good for me, because I still felt that my hands were a little swollen during the show and if it had been hotter, I could have had sudden blood pressure drops! However, Sandra was sweating, she was sometimes fanning herself with her VIP pass! Having that much space also allowed me to step backwards to raise my hands in the air when the song played called for it! The last thing I wanted was to hit someone with my enthusiasm!

I was very distracted during the show... I was looking everywhere, like for example at Maryse and Geneviève, because I was trying to see what they were doing. I was also trying to locate Isabelle in the circle. Fortunately, she had told me what she would wear, because I was not well positioned to see her correctly; from where we were, we were at the same level as the fifth row of the circle, the row which Isabelle was in. Moreover, a man located behind her and in the other pit (the circle contains 2 pits, Isabelle was in the left one) did not stop on taking pictures with both his arms stretched in front of him, hiding Isabelle's face each time I wanted to take a picture of her!

I noticed two monitors on which the song lyrics were scrolling up located at the barricade beneath Geneviève and Maryse! I knew that there were some on the main stage, but I had no idea that there were some there as well! It was fun, we could follow the lyrics on these monitors! I also wondered at the beginning of the show how the band members would go to the catwalk. There was a big gap between the main stage and the catwalk as such... The idea of them only walking in the circle to go to the catwalk even crossed my mind because of how perplex I was!

It was the first time I saw Jon being so eloquent throughout the show about the Montreal's welcome. Between songs, he often made a comment on this and he seemed so sincere! He did not stop on looking at the other band members and smiling at us when he heard us scream. Usually, he settles for a few shy and polite comments, but that evening, he did not stop on saying how much he liked coming to Montreal and how extraordinary we were as a crowd! It was like it had been 10 years since the band had come to Montreal! He specified at some point that he could not believe that the band would do five concerts in Montreal during the same tour, that our faithfulness touched him enormously, etc. It was heart-warming to hear that!

Sandra was not too happy to hear When We Were Beautiful. As far as I'm concerned, I preferred hearing this than Work For The Working Man. (Hey, I was able to bail myself out of it that night for the first time during the tour! Woohoo!)

It's My Life triggered another wave of deafening screams in the Bell Centre. Each time, I tell myself that it is almost impossible that the sound made by the screams of more than 20 000 people could be that loud! News reporters even mentioned in the newspapers the next day how sensitive ears had to have ear plugs to prevent them from exploding!

Sandra went completely crazy when she heard the first notes of Runaway! I must admit that her voice was particularly in shape that night, judging by what I recall and what I can hear in my videos! As far as I'm concerned, Runaway is always fun to hear, but at the same time, the song is from another era and it always feels weird listening to the song's music, even if the lyrics are still relevant nearly 30 years after they were written!

I don't remember after which song anymore, but we were screaming so loudly that Jon said something like: "Keep some energy for the rest of the evening, we're here for a looooong time tonight!" He even added that it was the beginning of the weekend and he could not think of a better place to spend the evening!

We Got It Going On always has the same effect on me; I really adore this song in concert! It is full of energy, Jon jumps everywhere, he always seems in top shape and he gives an eyeful to the people near the stage and all around!! He climbed on the different panels of the giant screen at the back of the stage again. I'm always as impressed to see him do that, because it is very high compared to the main stage and he stands on the last panel on the left!

When Bad Medicine started, I started singing at the top of my lungs and taking a few pictures. Just before the second chorus, I told myself: "Ah that's true!!! I wanted to make a video of Richie doing his "You got a little but it's never enough"!!!" In record time, I was able to open up the camera, press on the record button just in time to make a video of Richie's typical moves during this part of the song! Yeah, I had finally succeeded! I then took the opportunity to make a video of Isabelle who was in the circle and who was now holding the banner she had told me she would try to show to Jon during this song.

On the same day before the concert, I had gone to write my wish list for both shows in Montreal on the fan club message board. What a nice joy I felt when I heard Bob Bandiera start the first notes of Pretty Woman in the middle of Bad Medicine! Wow, I had put it on my list and I had not heard it yet in concert! Sometimes, they play just a little part of it, but that night, I think that they played it all! I was filled with joy! Jon made the comment that the mix had to be appropriate for the 20 000 women who were attending! OK, he knows how to please us, what do you want me to tell you? A charmer in his entire splendor!

The excitement reached a new level when the first notes of Lay Your Hands On Me were heard which Richie would sing while Jon would go change his clothes and get ready to go to the catwalk. I took the opportunity to sing at the top of my lungs and sway my hands in the air like Richie had asked at the beginning of the song. In fact, he had said that he needed help for this song, we gave it to him! I looked at Maryse and Geneviève more and more and they seemed more than hectic, it was crazy! Security guards were busy in the circle as well while they tried to contain all the women who already wanted to gather en masse at the catwalk. The guards never want women to go to the catwalk right away, because Jon would not have enough space to walk freely. I also saw a man with white hair walk between the catwalk and the barricade in front of us with a guitar in his hands (or a microphone stand) if I remember correctly. He went to sit down on a chair which had been placed for him just on the right of Maryse and Geneviève. Seated, he did not block anybody's view.

The lights went off after Lay Your Hands On Me; I then started making a video in the dark where shadows were being seen in front of the circle. I saw Jon coming towards us in the shadow, he was wearing a yellow shirt. He then climbed the stairs at the back of the circle to go on the catwalk. A few moments later, I saw Matt Bongiovi (Jon's brother) walk in front of us, he went to sit down beside the man with the white hair. I found it strange that Matt was on this side of the catwalk. It seems to me that usually, he was staying near the stairs to keep an eye on the crowd in the circle. He had a very active role, even sitting down! Among others, he warned a woman who was at the catwalk on my left to remove her soft drink from the catwalk! I admit that it was not the brightest idea to bring her soft drink there, because it could have spilled over and made the catwalk super slippery! Mostly that the catwalk was made of plexiglass which was very slick, compared to the rough catwalk used for shows in stadiums. Matt still walked often between the catwalk and the barricade during the time when the band was on the catwalk. He also warned a woman to remove her banner that she had put over the barricade to show it to Jon. It was quite long and it seemed to hide the lyrics monitors! When Matt was walking in front of us, we were trying, Sandra and I, to catch his attention. Sandra even stretched her arm to say hello, but he seemed very focused, serious and mostly busy in his work, so he probably did not see that we were there to try to catch his attention! I understand him as well!

As soon as I heard the first notes of (You Want To) Make A Memory, I told myself that Sandra would go crazy... I did not have to wait long to find out when I heard screams on my left. Maryse then had a huge smile across her face and she was singing. Geneviève seemed as flabbergasted of seeing Jon so close; they were just in front of him!! They were so much swooned when the band was at the catwalk! I took a few pictures to show them how happy they seemed to be there. (They did not seem to, it showed that they were!)

I looked towards the stage for a moment and I noticed that people had put a little bridge between the main stage and the catwalk. The mystery of the gap between the main stage and the catwalk was then solved in my head! They were probably just waiting for Jon to walk by there before putting the bridge. Since people can leave the circle from there as well, it explains why they do not always keep the little bridge there, because people would probably have to bend forward to come out of the circle...

The baby moved a lot in my belly during (You Want To) Make A Memory, I do not know if it is because of the song's bass sounds or because he felt his mother's excitement. I also felt him a lot during Livin' On A Prayer. I have to believe that he already has his favorite songs! I was apprehensive about the baby moving a lot up to the point where it would hurt, but he still stayed still throughout the show. I must admit that I was not completely paying attention to his moves neither!

I had told myself that I would make a video of What Do You Got? that evening, because it would be the only show which I would attend where I would be in front of Jon when he would be at the catwalk. I was very happy when Jon said that they would play a song from the Greatest Hits which we had surely had the chance of hearing on the radio and I recognized the first notes of What Do You Got? However, I had mixed feelings, because I told myself that the chances of me hearing Bed Of Roses that evening were vanishing each time a new song was starting at the catwalk... What Do You Got? is really good live and people seemed to know the lyrics pretty well!

Afterwards, Richie, David and Tico headed towards the catwalk to join Jon. Only David passed on our side, we saw him close to us! When the band started Squeezebox, I was really wondering what this song was. Sandra was screaming like a maniac and she knew the lyrics! It is then when she told me that it was a song that Poison did... I'm such a big Poison fan (hmm... not really!), it was normal for me not to know it! I then took the opportunity to make a video and take pictures of the band at the catwalk. I was leaning forward often by sticking my butt out to take pictures of the band at the catwalk so I would not have my view blocked by anyone at the barricade. It was also very practical to take pictures of Maryse and Geneviève who still had their eyes on Jon! I also took a few pictures of Matt at the same time!

At the end of Someday I'll Be Saturday Night, Tico headed back to the main stage by walking on the left side of the floor on the catwalk and David ran once again to go back to the stage on the right side with his accordion in his arms. I will never understand why he is in such a rush to go back to the stage! It is not like the rest of the band would start the other song without him!

Jon started singing the beginning of Who Says You Can't Go Home like he always does live by saying some "It's alright!" before walking back towards the main stage on our side, his guitar on his shoulder. He did not take a lot of his time to grab people's hands, but we had the chance of seeing him close enough to us once again! This song had had a special meaning for me in New Jersey, but I must admit that it had a special meaning in Montreal as well that night. Bon Jovi was "home", and I was very happy to be there!

I wondered at some point during the show how come I was not more emotional than that! With my tears coming down freely in the days prior to the weekend when listening to Bon Jovi, I would have expected to choke a few times, but no. My contact lenses were awesome once again; I had not even put drops in my eyes before the concert like I usually do and I saw the whole show without them causing me any problems! It is probably another reason why I did not cry! I am not able to cry with this in my eyes!

I had spent time doing my manicure on the previous day and the day of the show. I noticed in the middle of the concert that I had a big chip of nail polish which had been removed from my right thumb; I was not really happy! I don't know when it happened, but I wanted to have perfect nails and it was quite ruined! I know that it is an insignificant detail, but well...

I was very happy to hear I'll Sleep When I'm Dead again; Jon knows how to get the crowd started very well during this song by asking us to clap our hands to the drum beat. I turned around during that time to notice that even the people in the blue seats completely in the highest sections were clapping their hands and the people behind the stage as well, as far as the highest sections. I'm always enormously impressed to see that!

When No Apologies started, another new song of the Greatest Hits, I told myself: "OK, but I don't know the lyrics of this song at all except the chorus!" Well, we cannot always be perfect at a Bon Jovi show!

I don't remember when exactly anymore, but I surprised myself by looking at the barricade at some point and grabbing it with both my hands while telling myself: "Hey, I am at the barricade. Look at that!" (I was talking to myself!) I told myself that I had to enjoy it, because not everybody has this chance of being there. I know that several people would have paid a lot of money to be there, despite all the inconveniences that the first row of the floor can have!

I do not particularly like Keep The Faith in concert, but I take great pleasure in taking pictures of Jon and hoping that I could have a clear picture of his face, his hands and his maracas afterwards! It is a personal challenge, but to be able to achieve it (because the rhythm his maracas have is quite impressive!), it takes patience, a lot of pictures and a tremendous amount of chance!

The band then left the stage to announce the beginning of the encores. The crowd went crazy in the Bell Centre, it was insane! The "ole ole ole ole" were heard very loudly, I contented myself with clapping my hands and screaming. When the band came back (as if it were not predictable!), the decibel level increased even more in the Bell Centre, if it is possible! When I heard David start playing piano, I told myself: "Oh well, I've seen it all!! Dry County!!" It had been a long time since I had heard this song in concert!!! I'm not sure that they had played it in Montreal since the 1990's!

When I saw Jon come back on stage, I told myself: "WOW! Look at how handsome he is!!" He was wearing a short-sleeved red shirt and I must admit that I have rarely seen him as handsome in his clothes! I then thought: "This shirt should be illegal because it makes no sense how hot he is!" He was also very photogenic with this shirt! Anyway, I took an awful lot of pictures and they turned out very well!

I started being really emotional during Dry County (this emotion came back a little later during Livin' On A Prayer). I really thought I would choke, but I was able to take over to control myself. I adore this song, the lyrics are quite eloquent towards the climate changes and the path that the society which we live in is taking. Even if this song is 20 years old, it could have easily been written today. In short, apart from this brief moment of intense emotions, I just had a huge smile on my face throughout the concert and I savored it by telling myself often that I was lucky to have seen the band so often in the past year. It was as if I were attending something I knew and this situation made me very happy. Until the frustration caused by the camera post came back to haunt me!! But I was able to put myself back in this wellness state quite rapidly!

Towards the end of Dry County, which usually lasts for at least ten minutes, I noticed a few security guards who were hanging out in the gap between the barricade and the catwalk. One of them made a sign to the others with four of his fingers. I figured out from it that they had just learned that four songs were remaining to the show. I told myself at that moment that the show had passed so quickly once again!

At some point during the encores, I saw that someone in the circle had shown a banner to Jon and he then said in the microphone: "But, I love you too!!" Jon rarely interacts directly in the microphone regarding a banner, it surprised me!

We were fortunate enough to be able to sing the whole first verse of Wanted Dead Or Alive with the band only playing the melody. It is always super to hear the crowd sing so loudly and I cannot help but make a video of this moment of the show, even if we can hear me sing off-key tremendously! I quite make people who watch my videos laugh, but come on, nobody could ask me to stay quiet during Wanted Dead Or Alive!

We witnessed a quite funny moment when I Love This Town started. Jon always starts the song by saying: "I always knew that I like this place" (these are the first lyrics of the song which are said without music). However, after having said that, the few guitar notes that Richie usually does alone before the other instruments join were not heard... Jon then turned around towards Richie who did not have his guitar on his shoulder yet; he was LATE!! Jon turned this into a joke by asking Richie if he were then ready when he slanged his guitar over his shoulder! He even pretended as if he were a teacher in a class who imposes a discipline by knocking on his acoustic guitar to call his "students" to order! I adore these spontaneous moments in concert, because I know that they are not planned and Jon always turns them into a joke instead of getting frustrated! I Love This Town is also always special to hear, from the nature of the lyrics! I'm under the impression that Jon always sings from the bottom of his heart during this song!

I think that it is towards the end of I Love This Town, anyway, it is during the encores, that I saw Gilda, a fan club member who always wears a fluorescent yellow shirt and who brings a fluorescent yellow carton sign on which it is written: "Montreal loves Bon Jovi". She was at the back of the circle. I tried to take a picture of her, but she did not show it long enough for me to be able to take a good picture! I also saw Caro at some point. Caro is another fan club member who is always or almost always with Gilda at shows. I knew that she was in the circle too. It is fun to recognize people with whom we talk on the internet when we have the chance of seeing them in person!

The More Things Change is by far the new song of the Greatest Hits that I love hearing the most live! It has a particular style that I quite like! I dare hope that they will still keep it on the live set list for a little while! I did not know the lyrics of this one neither, apart from the chorus! Bad fan that I am!

When Livin' On A Prayer started, I told myself: "That's it! It's the fourth song since I saw the security guards do their sign!" I hoped that we would know how to convince Jon to go over the time that he had planned for the concert by singing a real unplanned encore after Livin' On A Prayer! Jon surprised more than one person when he decided to walk around on the catwalk one last time during Livin' On A Prayer! He was not used to doing that! He took the opportunity to touch as many hands as possible while passing by, mostly for the people in the circle, but I saw that he was able to touch the hand of someone who was in the first row of the floor as well! When he arrived near us, I surprised myself by wanting to climb a little at the barricade to stretch myself forward as much as I could with my belly without pressing myself too hard on the metal plate neither! Sandra stretched herself a lot too, but Jon did not reach for our hands when he passed in front of us.

I noticed at the end of the song that the giant screen used during hockey games was completely retracted in the Bell Centre's roof (I don't remember what gave me the idea of looking so high like that!) and I noticed that the banners displaying the Canadiens' retired hockey jerseys were rolled up as well. I took a few pictures, because I was impressed to see this detail! However, I almost missed the band's final bow during that time! Earlier, I talked about being quite distracted during this show, this is another example!!

When we started applauding the band a little louder after their final bow, I saw Maryse's famous banner on which it is written: "Stay just a little longer" on the giant screen completely above the main stage. I then turned my head to see it live! I really thought that they would stay a little longer to surprise us, but no, Jon had decided that the show was ending then. All the band members left by going down the stairs at the back of the stage and despite our round of applause, the background music of the Bell Centre started playing again and the lights turned on... Sandra seemed in shock that we were not able to convince them!

We grabbed our things pretty fast to join Maryse and Geneviève to get their first impressions. I also called Martin, because we were stuck behind people who were not moving from where they were in the first row and they were blocking the way! Martin was on the other side of the floor, but despite his ticket in row J, he had a very nice seat, because he seemed to be just a little behind the level of the first row in the middle. He had seat 14, so he was in the aisle and since the first rows are put forward because of the catwalk shape, he had a very nice seat!

When we went up the stairs in section 124 to get out of there, I decided to unbutton my jeans, because I could simply not stand it anymore! I told myself that I would wear another pair of jeans the next day so I would not have to go to the restroom for the whole concert!

We walked the five of us together up to the Bell Centre's underground parking lot, because Maryse and Geneviève were parked almost at the same place as us. It probably took us a good half an hour to get out of the parking lot, because everyone was trying to get out at the same time on Saint-Antoine West Street. This is what I don't like about underground parking lots, it is very practical to go back to the car, but they make you lose time when getting out!!

We got back to the South Shore in no time after getting out of the parking lot, because Sandra knew small streets which made us beat the traffic on bigger streets around the Bell Centre! We went to drop Sandra at the park and ride of the public transportation in Brossard, because Martin had brought his car there as well before coming to the Bell Centre by bus.

We still went to bed at around 1ham, after taking the time to relax and hydrate ourselves once again back home. We also had to let our rage settle down because of our right neighbor's car shelter which had not resisted to the strong winds of the evening; it was now piled in a corner of our left neighbor's front yard after going across our front yard and throwing down our only two trees! What a story!!

Day 2 - Jon's hair is very soft!

Venue: Bell Centre
Ticket: Circle Pit 1, Row D, Seat 2
Pictures: Available
Videos: Available

When the fan club tickets for the show on February 19 went on sale a few days after those for February 18, I had told myself that I would be disappointed not to get tickets in the circle. I had been very nervous the whole morning (the tickets were put on sale starting at noon one Saturday), which it boded well; the more nervous I am for ticket purchasing, the luckier I usually am. We, Sandra, Martin and I, had arranged to try each on our side to maximize our chances. I succeeded by a tremendous chance in getting 2 fan club tickets next to each other in the circle! I was happy and mostly proud of myself, because in all, the ticket purchasing process took one minute according to the time in my confirmation email (more than ten steps are required to buy fan club tickets online)! To this day, I still wonder how I managed to be so fast! It was as if a special energy (or simply a big willingness and an enormous determination) took over me to allow me to get these tickets! Judging by the piercing scream that Sandra made over the phone when I told her that I had tickets, I think that she was as happy as me! I was trembling so much, I had a hard time typing Sandra's name to send her a copy of the confirmation email!

On February 19, I woke up early because of the car shelter story, not even because I could not wait for the second concert of the weekend! I was also very mixed up with my week days. I don't know why, I thought we were Sunday... I woke up, because I was very hungry and I felt very dehydrated despite the fact that I must have drunk 3.5 litres of water on the previous day based on my calculations. To my pleasant surprise, I was not as sore as I thought I would be. I was as sore as usual after a Bon Jovi concert, no more. I had a weak pressure in my head, as if I were flushed in all the sinuses that we have in the face, but my legs had hold on for the first night! I was hoping it would stay like that all day long! I felt strong emotions when I watched my videos from the previous night when I connected my digital camera to the television. I'm always emotional after the fact!

I rehydrated myself and I ate a lot of protein-based foods once again to ensure I would still have energy for the big day that was already started! I decided to concentrate on writing my review instead of looking at the 3000 pictures that I had taken the night before. Good strategy, because I think that it would have taken me all day to look at them and sort them!!

I got ready and I went to meet with Sandra at her house around 3h45pm. She had decided to take the car once again to go to the Bell Centre, since I feared taking the bus because of my experience in March 2010 when I had had a hard time standing up in the bus after the concert while coming back to the South Shore. Being pregnant, I have less balance, so Sandra decided not to take any chances and go by car so it would be easier for me! Her boyfriend was coming with us that night, because Sandra had bought him a single ticket on the floor through the fan club.

We got to Montreal a lot faster than the previous day, because there was no traffic at all! We parked at the Sheraton Hotel in front of the Bell Centre and we walked all the way up to the Bell Centre to go get our fan club tickets. It was so cold compared to the previous day, and I had decided not to put on a vest over my tank top before putting my coat on at home! I was so cold, it was not even funny! With the windshield factor, I don't know what the temperature was, but I had preferred the previous day's temperature! At least, it was not snowing, it would have been worse!

We got our tickets at the same place as the previous day without waiting a lot longer. The people at the fan club table were once again very nice. I saw that a person from the fan club staff was not very happy to learn that a man had been able to buy 10 tickets through the fan club for the show that night! The limit is supposed to be two tickets only per member! When we got out with our tickets, the fan club staff was about to investigate and file an official report on the "incident". I would have never tried, because we are exposed to being banned from the fan club if we try dirty tricks to get more tickets!

We had decided to go eat at Bâton Rouge beside the Bell Centre, because it was only 4h45pm... We changed our mind fast when we saw that the waiting line to go in the restaurant was stretching all the way up to outside the restaurant! It was only 4h45pm!!! We then headed towards the Sheraton Hotel where Sandra told us that there was a restaurant nearby where she had already eaten at. The restaurant was called "Cibo et Vino" and the menu was still quite diversified. I ate an American (all-dressed) pizza, because I did not want to take the chance of eating pasta which would give me heartburn afterwards!

We ate in record time once again. I'm note sure it was 5h30pm when we got the bill, and the doors at the Bell Centre did not open until 6h30pm... With the cold outside, it was out of the question to go wait outside! We then decided to hang out a little in the restaurant at our table and then, we headed towards the Sheraton Hotel once again where we decided to go back to the car in the parking lot to kill time! At 6h35pm, we decided to head towards the Bell Centre. Fortunately, we did not wait too long before getting in despite the crowd who had gathered at the entrance! There were so many people inside, it was really crazy! We had a hard time making our way through to go further where the restrooms were located. Sandra stopped at a merchandise stand to buy a necklace she had seen the previous night.

Despite the waiting line at the women's restrooms, we were moving forward very rapidly. I then took the time to concentrate so I would not have to go at the beginning of the concert! I had drunk a little less water in the afternoon compared to the previous day, so I told myself that I would be able to enjoy my evening a little bit more this time.

We went down to the floor, I don't remember what time it was exactly anymore, but it was later than 7hpm. I was under the impression that the show would not start before 8hpm like the previous night, despite what our tickets said (7h30pm). We left Sandra's boyfriend at his seat in row E of the floor on the left before heading towards the left entrance of the circle.

Sandra was getting more and more hectic as we were showing our tickets to security guards who had no choice but to let us pass, because we were going in the circle! When we got to our seats, I slightly looked up to see Jon's white microphone stand in the middle of the stage and I told myself: "Phew, I had forgotten how close we are to the stage in the fourth row!!" For those who have never experienced this, it is even better than what you can imagine. We are completely under the impression to be a stage extension! We had seats 1 and 2. The circle in arenas always contains 2 pits and the seats are always numbered starting at 1 from the main aisle between both pits. We were then next to the main aisle in the left pit when looking at the stage. I let Sandra have the seat directly beside the aisle since she would be able to make her way more easily to go to the catwalk when the time would come. I did not want to put the baby in danger that night neither by taking the chance of having a woman push me after wanting to get out of the row a little too fast! Sandra was already freaking out to know where we were! I must admit that I made up with the joy of being in the circle immediately when I sat down on my seat!!

We slowly got ready to face the show which we would attend in the following minutes. I hooked my large purse so it would hang beneath the seat, I put my coat on the back of the chair and I put my bottle of water beneath the seat where nobody would see it. I put my fan club laminates and my VIP pass from the previous night around my neck, I got my digital camera ready before putting it around my neck as well and I took out both my banners related to Bed Of Roses from my large purse to put them folded on my seat underneath the strap of my large purse. I told myself that it was useless to have them on me throughout the show, since if they were to play it, it would be when they would be at the catwalk. I would then have the time to take them during Lay Your Hands On Me before Jon came to the catwalk. They were still attached together by safety pins that I had not removed since the previous night. I stayed seated on my seat to spare my legs as much as possible.

Shortly after we arrived, a woman arrived alone and went to sit down on the seat on my left. A few minutes later, I saw that she hesitated a moment before talking to me in English. She asked me if it were possible for us to allow her to get closer to the aisle if Jon ever went in the circle. Her request made me smile so much, because she had the same reaction as me last year when I was in seat 3 on the other side of the aisle and when I had asked the same exact question to Mercedes and Sébastien!! While making her a big smile, I told her that I would do everything in my power so she could touch Jon, because other people had done the same thing for me last year and I understood what she meant. She seemed so happy to hear that! However, I told her that Jon had not come down in the circle on the previous night, so I advised her not to get her hopes up too much neither for him to come down that night. She seemed a little disappointed... To prevent an incident, I mentioned to her that I was pregnant and that I would appreciate if she did not push me to get out of the row. I reassured her by saying that it was not my intention to block her neither, but I just wanted to inform her to be careful. When she understood me, she made a surprised face and she told me in English: "Oh my god! I understand! Thanks for telling me though, but don't worry, I won't push you I swear!!" I was happy to have told her to avoid a bad surprise!

Sandra saw Mary and Lucy arrive in the circle; they were in the same row as us, but a little further. Sandra started talking to them while I saw Caro and Gilda on the other side of the aisle in the circle. I was just waiting for Caro to turn around to wave at her. At some point, she was near Sandra, so I looked at her and I waved at her to say hi. She seemed to wonder who I was! She came closer and went into the row in front of me and she then had a big question mark on her forehead! I told her: "I am Marie-Hélène!" Her face immediately lighted up, we introduced ourselves officially, she apologized for not recognizing me. We can meet a lot of people on the internet, but sometimes when we see them in person, we don't immediately realize who they are without introducing ourselves to each other officially!

A tour crew member walked in the circle before the show and said something along the lines: "Jon might try something tonight, sing a song and come down in the circle. I repeat, "might", so we ask for your full cooperation and please, don't step in the aisle if you are told not to or he won't come down!" He seemed really nice and wanted Jon to really come down for us all. I thought it was very fair of him to inform us in advance like that, since Jon had not come down in the circle on a regular basis since a few months already and he had not come down the previous night. Let's say that the adrenaline pumped a little bit more in my veins and Sandra's eyes were now filled up with hope! She precisely asked a security guard if she could go to the back of the circle near the catwalk by the main aisle while Jon would be on the catwalk and he told her that ropes would prevent her from doing that. She turned her head and told me: "No ropes are going to prevent me from going there, I swear to you! What is this?!" If I remember well, she said the same thing to the guard who told her that if she did it, she would risk having marks on her pants or scratches on her legs. Once again, she did not seem impressed by the guard's threats and she was ready to suffer even if it meant that she would be able to go to the back of the circle! I don't know why, but I was confident that chance would be on my side and would allow me to be at the right place when the band would be on the catwalk. I was in no shape to jump over the seats to go to the catwalk no matter what!

We saw a very formal couple who had tickets in the row in front of us arrive. The man was wearing a suit and the woman was wearing very classy clothes to attend a rock concert! Let's say that they made a contrast with the rest of the crowd around them! I saw them sitting down often during the show and when they were standing up, they did not seem to sing much. They seemed to look around them often and be surprised by the way that we were singing at the top of our lungs. I really wonder what brings a couple to imagine that the crowd would be quiet at a Bon Jovi show! Also, I saw that my neighbor in front of me would be a 6 feet tall man once again! I was a little discouraged, but in fact, he was well positioned, because he was barely blocking my view. Phew!

I took the opportunity at some point to put drops in my eyes (even if I had put some before leaving the restaurant), because my left contact lens was starting to misbehave and it was really not the moment! I was just hoping that I would not have to go back to the restrooms to fix my makeup! With my usual chance when I try to put drops while having nothing to wipe the liquid that falls out of the eye, I was able to limit the damage by putting the drops directly in the eye! Woohoo!

I surprised myself by rubbing my hands together several times before the show started. I don't know why, we could have said that I was very nervous. I could not stop on telling myself that the evening would be very interesting and mostly, would live up to my expectations. I had to take deep breaths to calm me down a little, I was starting to freak out on my seat!

At some point, I recognized one of the songs of the background music that had played the previous night, so I told myself that it had to be one of the last songs; it was then 7h55pm. I told my left neighbor that it was probably the last or next-to-last song before the show started, based on what I had heard the previous night. She seemed surprised that I knew that, but I explained to her that the band always plays a background music track to give a cue to the roadies who get the stage ready that it is almost time for the band to take the stage! Another song started afterwards, it was probably 8h01pm. The lights went off even before the song ended, so I had guessed right! The giant screen, which was really above our heads, we were barely seeing what was displayed on it, started lowering down slowly while showing the same introduction as the previous night. I turned around quickly, lights did not seem to turn on at the other end of the floor like the previous night. Anyway, when the band does two shows in two nights in the same city, it is extremely rare to see the same song being played first. I was convinced that Jon would be on the main stage from the beginning. When the screen was completely lowered down to hide the stage, Sandra leaned forward to see the band members' legs appear. We saw shadows arrive and when I heard the first notes, something got triggered in my head immediately and I told myself: "MY GOD, IT'S HAPPY NOW!!!!!" It was on my wish list that I had published on the fan club message board on the previous day at the same time as Bed Of Roses and Pretty Woman. I was really freaking out! They don't play this one very often at all!! I was already fulfilled and I knew that I would spend a very nice evening! By the way, I did not have to go to the restroom for the whole show, I even forgot about my pregnancy during most part of the concert! In fact, I barely felt the baby move, I was really happy to be able to enjoy it fully!!

When Jon arrived to sing Happy Now, I looked at him and I told myself that once again, it was just a question of being closer that was making me really appreciate the fact that I was there! In my mind, I was still a teenager, ready to experience a rock concert to its full value! I did not think for a moment that it was my sixth show of the tour and my 17th Bon Jovi show in 18 years. In my mind, I was attending a unique concert that had never existed and that would never exist again afterwards! I was really in the present moment, ready to gulp the band's entire energy without negative thoughts! I told myself at that moment that the 425$ that my ticket had cost me were already worth it!!

The list of songs played was:


The show lasted from 8hpm to 10h35pm, with much fewer songs than we had had in March 2010 and the previous night. I suspect that Jon was not in very good shape vocally that night; he seemed sick. He was spitting on the stage often and he did not seem in top shape. It is true that Richie caught a virus during the previous week and it had probably spread among the band members afterwards! Jon was still able to sing during two and a half hours, but well, it is still a very short show for Montreal! I took 4703 pictures and made 18 videos in all. I can say with confidence that my pictures taken on February 19 are much more beautiful than the ones from the previous night! I remember looking at the picture counter on my digital camera not even one hour after the beginning of the concert to see that I had already taken 1700 pictures!! I could not believe it and it was almost impossible! I was on fire taking pictures and still, I closed my digital camera often to clap my hands and sing at the top of my lungs! I also screamed enormously during the show, the energy that I had to give back to the band was just crazy! I decided to share once again my most beautiful pictures with you.

I could also make videos without using the zoom and without missing anything on stage. Moreover, when I used the zoom at its minimum, I could allow myself to take the camera in my hands, center the image, lower the camera to my chest level and look at the show without making a bad video, because I had enough space between both people in front of me to make videos without any problems.

You Give Love A Bad Name triggered people in the Bell Centre to go crazy again, just like the previous night. I then thought about my friend Diane who was there that night and I told myself that she was probably having a nice evening! During You Give Love A Bad Name, I was singing and I was looking at Jon and Richie back and forth when suddenly, I got emotional! I almost had to stop singing to regain control over myself. I told myself: "Come on, what is happening? Yesterday, I was not like that!!" I remember choking once more not long afterwards. I must have been beautiful to see, with my lower lip that wanted to tremble and my serious look usually leading to tears! In short, I told myself at the beginning of the concert: "Too bad, tonight, I will enjoy it, I don't have other concerts before two and a half months! No need to keep some energy!"

We were so close to the middle of the stage that I had the spotlight that was on Jon on stage directly in my eyes. So, when Jon headed a little towards us on stage, I could no longer see him at all, because I was blinded by the spotlight! I then cannot know if Jon looked at me or not during the show, because I absolutely could not see anything! I did not take any chances, I made a huge smile each time!

I decided to record a little part of Born To Be My Baby, because from what I recall, I have not recorded that one often! I have to believe that the song doesn't inspire me to make videos! I thought about the baby for a fraction of a second while singing: "You were born to be my baby..." at the beginning. It is too bad that it is so upbeat and it is about spouses instead of kids, because it could have been a nice song to sing to the baby after his birth!

When I heard the notes of the song following We Weren't Born To Follow, I told myself: "Oh wow, it's impossible!! I got to be hallucinating!!" I had heard the first notes of The Radio Saved My Life Tonight. I'm not sure, but I think that prior to this song, Jon did a little speech to tell the story of how he had to beg a DJ to make him play his song on the radio. (Or was it just before Runaway? I really don't remember anymore!) In short, when the song started, I heard a wave of piercing screams coming from girls who were with Caro on the other side of the aisle. I'm under the impression that they had tried to make the band understand, either via internet or during the previous night's show with their numerous signs, that they wanted to hear it. Personally, I adore this song and even more when I hear it in concert!

Honestly, I don't quite remember hearing Lost Highway! I know that I did not lose consciousness, but well, this song really doesn't make history in my head each time I hear it and I often take the opportunity to look elsewhere... The song that followed, The More Things Change, on the contrary, caught my full attention! I adore it!! I had not learned the lyrics during the previous night, but it did not matter, I only sang during the chorus! In fact, I'm almost ashamed to admit that there were songs for which I did not know the lyrics!

It's My Life made the crowd in the Bell Centre go crazier than the previous night for the same song in my opinion. It seems like a song that really brings people together and I felt like everybody was standing up for this one, because even the people behind the stage were swaying their arms in the air to show their joy of hearing it! There are classics which light will never fade and It's My Life is part of this list of essentials live!

Surprise surprise, I decided not to make a full video of We Got It Going On! I made a video of the beginning obviously, but it was useless to make a video while Jon was behind the stage on the panels of the giant screen, because I was too low compared to him and Tico was blocking my view a lot with his drums!

When Bad Medicine started, I told myself: "Oh boy, there is not much left before the part at the catwalk!" I started being nervous! Hot Legs was a good mix, but I would have liked to hear another song that I had still not had the chance of hearing during the mix Bad Medicine/rock classic, because they had played Hot Legs in Montreal in March 2010 if I remember well...

When Lay Your Hands On Me started, I was already no longer listening nor looking at what was occurring on stage after Jon left the main stage to let Richie be at the main microphone. Sandra looked at me and she went hurtling off towards the back of the circle. I saw her afterwards; she was the first one leaned against the catwalk on the left when looking at the stage. The woman on my left had understood that the part at the catwalk was coming up, like several other women in other rows. The women were stepping over the chairs to head towards the back of the circle as quickly as possible. The men and I stayed at our seats, but I had already started to slowly head towards the aisle where security guards were already pulling on the black ropes which prevented us from going in the aisle. Pit 1 where I was located was now almost empty, whereas pit 2 was still relatively full, because usually, security guards don't let the people go to the catwalk as long as Jon is not there and he always arrives from the right side of the circle.

I was able to squeeze myself in along the rope up to the row behind me where I was very well positioned. Obviously, before leaving my seat, I took my banners which were on my seat and I started unfolding them slowly to put one of their corners in the front of my jeans, getting ready to take them out of there when Jon would be on the catwalk. It was so ironic and funny, I was still singing Lay Your Hands On Me and I was swaying my arms in the air like Richie was then asking us to do, but I was turning my back on him completely and I was singing towards the Bell Centre's crowd! It was really special to sing like that with my back turned on the stage when everyone could see me! I felt very much at ease to do so as well, that's the problem! And I was really singing at the top of my lungs with pleasure too!

When the lights finally went off after Lay Your Hands On Me, the excitement was really at its maximum! I saw Jon with his beautiful blue vest coming in the shadow towards the stairs which would take him to the catwalk. He took the time to touch somebody's hand before stepping on the catwalk. Jon was then really close to me, I still cannot believe it! I had forgotten what the feeling of being so close to the catwalk was! When the lights turned on, I saw that there was still room in front of me for me to go further back in the circle and closer and closer to the stairs. Finally, the security guard who was holding the rope on which I had leaned against and my left neighbor who had squeezed herself in previously before I got closer separated me from the stairs leading to the catwalk! I told myself that it had been a good idea to wait instead of running to the back of the circle, because there were a lot of girls completely at the back of the circle and personally, I still had a lot of room to move around compared to them! It was also more secure for my belly to have so much space!

I then recognized Living In Sin that was starting! Oh boy, another song that I have not heard often live! I decided to take my banners attached together in my hands immediately to be ready when Jon would turn around for the first time towards us in the circle. I told myself that he ought to see my banners right away in case they would play Bed Of Roses for him to be aware in advance of my intentions. It took time for Jon to finally turn around, I think that Living In Sin was ending! As soon as he looked in my direction, I calmly put my banners up so he would be able to read them by putting them beside me in the aisle and I caught his attention with my gesture. He took the time to read everything that was written on both my banners (it was written: "Bed Of Roses 3876 X in 1 year" on one and the other was saying: "Is it my turn to be a B.O.R. girl yet?"). When he finished reading everything, he took the time to look at me and nod to me a little! Everything happened so slowly in my head! I remember being very calm, I made a little smile only (not a big smile, maybe I should have...), I was still very excited to see that he was paying attention to me!! He did a weird face while looking at my banners again before turning around. Thinking back on it, I think that he seemed to wonder where he had seen the banner "Bed Of Roses 3876 X in 1 year"... Anyway, I was under the impression that he was thinking very hard to try to make a connection with the past when he saw the banner for the first time in New Jersey!! I was so proud of myself, I folded my banners slightly to keep on holding them a little in my hands. I then hooked them to the inside of my left arm not to lose them instead of putting them in my jeans!

I was so happy to be that close to the catwalk, I told myself: "My god, if they were to start playing Bed Of Roses, I think that my heart stops!" Indeed, I was one big step away from the catwalk stairs, it would have been so easy for Jon to give me a sign for me to pass under the rope and climb up the stairs. I could already see myself there! A woman can dream!

After Living In Sin, my chances of hearing Bed Of Roses vanished when Jon asked Richie to join him at the catwalk. Richie arrived so fast beside Jon. In my opinion, I was too captivated by Jon to notice that his request had already been made a few seconds earlier! Usually, Jon is alone at the catwalk when they play Bed Of Roses so he can move freely on the catwalk without taking the chance of tripping over an instrument or another band member! When I'll Be There For You started, I was so captivated that I had forgotten that I wanted to hear Bed Of Roses!! I know that it is a very strange thing to say, but it is the truth. I was singing at the top of my lungs and at the same time, I became really emotional when I looked back and forth at Jon and Richie who were so close to me! They have already been closer to me than that, but I don't know why, it was different this time! Richie turned around at some point to look at the people in the circle a little bit, I did not think of waving or smiling at him! I choked at some point during I'll Be There For You with my lips that were trembling and my difficulty in continuing to sing! I could not have savored the present moment more than that, I'm sure of it! My heart was now filled up with serenity and exquisite happiness which made me extremely happy.

Tico and David joined Jon and Richie afterwards. I clearly saw Tico arrive, because he was on the same side as me, but I only saw David when he arrived at his microphone. When they started playing an amazing acoustic version of Blood On Blood, I started singing the lyrics even before I recognized the song! Tico looked towards me at some point, he must have been looking at people in the circle like Richie had done. I think that I smiled at him and I tried to wave my hand at him, but he turned around before I could finish my gesture!

A woman who was right in the middle of the first row of the floor had a sheet on which she was asking Jon if it were possible to get a picture of her and him. I figured out the goal of the message quite fast when she started taking out copies of pictures printed on 8.5 x 11 sheets on which I was able to see that she already had her picture taken with all band members except Jon! She even caught Tico's attention by showing him a picture of her and him and by waving a pen to indicate that she wanted him to sign the picture! Some people have a really weird idea in bringing pictures to sign when they know very well that the band members play music at the catwalk! I have never seen the members sign anything during a show! Some performers do it, but not Bon Jovi or they must do it very rarely!!

Another woman on the floor a little further from me also showed a little sheet of paper (or a carton?) on which something that fit on several lines was written. As if Jon were to take the time to read a handwritten paragraph like that! The text was so dense, I really wonder what this woman had thought by bringing this! Anyway it seemed to be quite a message!

A woman located on the right of the woman with the carton seemed really impressed to see the band members so closely. She constantly had both her hands together and by the face that she was making, she was crying her eyes out. I'm always touched when I witness that kind of reaction. It is definitely not something that should be laughed at, because for some people, the band means a lot more than music. I'm part of this category!

I remember seeing Jon and/or Richie (I don't remember if Richie did it anymore) throw guitar picks at the people on the floor and one of the two even handed out his guitar pick directly to somebody in particular in the circle when the band was at the catwalk. I'm under the impression that it had been a long time since I had seen this.

The band members except Jon went back to the main stage at the end of Someday I'll Be Saturday Night right before Jon started Who Says You Can't Go Home a cappella like the previous night. It was crazy to see all the women in the circle go back to their seat at the same time as Jon went back to the main stage. Security guards cannot say that we were not docile! Haha We better had to return to our seats to miss as little as possible of the show which now was going to occur at the main stage! When she came back in the row, Sandra told me that she had been able to touch Tico and Richie (if I remember correctly...). She was really happy!

I don't remember when exactly anymore, but I noticed that it was very hard for us to see what was happening on the giant screens around the stage because we were so close. I will never complain about that! However, I was able to solve the mystery of the giant screen which could separate into several dozens of smaller screens! I suspected it, but cables that could stretch or fold on themselves allowed the small screens to hold together one against the others. I remember having stared at these cables at some point while repeating to myself once again that this technology was very sophisticated!

I sat down a few times while I took sips of water. I was not hot enough to sweat once again, it was great! It is true that I did not jump once, but I danced quite a lot and with all the screams and the fact that I was singing at the top of my lungs, I'm really impressed by the fact that I was not hotter than this! Good for me, I had less chance of having my blood pressure drop!

When Work For The Working Man started, I looked at Sandra to be able to get her reaction and when she recognized it, she told me: "Ah shoot! Wait until I talk to Martin!! It's his fault!!" On the previous night, Martin had referred to this song by saying that they had not played it that night! I could have lived without it as well, but well, it's life, we must accept what the band gives us! Haha Sandra did not stay "angry" for very long, because the band continued with Runaway! Close or near, once again, it is not a song which I am particularly fond of honestly! It is from a whole other era with David's synthesizer!

I don't remember during which song anymore, but I noticed that there was a boy about 10 years old behind us and he really seemed to enjoy himself with his mother. He was dancing freely in the aisle, he was jumping everywhere and he seemed to know the lyrics of the songs on top of that! Wow, we call this having a passion at a very young age in life! It was beautiful to see! I also saw Sandra's boyfriend who was now at the barricade when I turned around. I waved my hand at him before facing back the stage.

When Have A Nice Day finished, the notes that followed made an echo in me of a melody that I am particularly fond of. I immediately recognized the song, but it seemed like it took time for me to realize what it meant! Sandra looked at me at the same time as I figured out everything: LOVE'S THE ONLY RULE!!! I immediately had a special thought for Isabelle who was in the bleachers for this show and I told myself: "Ah, she must be so disappointed that they did not play it last night!! She was in the circle then!" A few moments later, security guards brought a little staircase which they installed near the stage in the circle main aisle. Jon was going to come down in the circle!! I know that it had been a while since the band had played this song live. I don't know if Jon had a bad experience while going down in the circle during a show or what, but still, it was the surprise of the evening! I told my left neighbor: "That's it! He's going to come down in the circle. They put a staircase!" I had told her before the show that when Jon had gone down in the circle, a little staircase had been placed near the stage to allow him to go down. She opened her eyes very wide, flabbergasted. Sandra had already made room for me beside her by getting out of the row. I then went to her left in the aisle and I made little room for my left neighbor so she would be able to be partially in the aisle. Jon made a speech about love that seemed to last forever, I could not wait for him to start singing the song!

The same man who had informed us before the show started that Jon might maybe come down walked around in the aisle at that moment. He told us: "You gotta go back in the rows, otherwise, Jon is not going to come down! Please, go back to your seats!" He seemed sincere and he said it with an authoritative tone, without sounding arrogant, so we obeyed. He walked by a few times during the song to make sure that we were staying in the rows.

I looked around me, my eyes met with Caro's eyes on the other side of the aisle who was as hectic as me and Sandra. She gesticulated to ask me to take pictures. I shrugged to let her know: "Well, I will try, but I am pretty excited too!" In my mind, I was going to make a video with one hand without preventing me from touching Jon if I had the chance once again!

When Jon started doing the first "oh oh ooooh oh", I started making a video, but he was not coming down in the circle. I wondered if he were fooling around with us or what, but he seemed to want to remain on stage. I continued making the video, because I still had room left on my memory card and I had another one at my disposal in case I would need it later in the evening. At the end of the song, when the second "oh oh ooooh oh" started, he walked slowly towards the edge of the stage near the stairs. I told myself: "That's it, he will come down!" Women were very hectic in the circle, we could have cut the energy that prevailed with a knife. We gathered en masse quickly but calmly in the aisle. Jon went down the stairs one by one and within a few seconds, he was in the circle with us. Jon made a first woman in the second row in front of me sing the "oh oh ooooh oh" and then, he gave her a kiss on the cheek very close to the mouth. I was still filming, I told myself at that moment that if the woman went on YouTube in a couple of days, she would be very happy to know that I had a video of this moment!

Without changing sides in the aisle, Jon came closer to us, he started making other "oh oh ooooh oh" in front of me. I remember that I was singing this time, I was not as open-mouthed as a year ago. I was able to touch his right arm very quickly and then, his right shoulder with my right hand, because I was filming with my left hand. When I put my hand on his shoulder, I immediately thought: "The famous blue vest from last March! My god, it's a nice fabric after all, a little elastic I would say..." In reality, I don't know what it was made of, but well, I can also say that Jon's body is quite strong there; there is no fat there! To my great surprise, I was able to only touch him without wanting to grab him like the previous time. Jon then headed towards the other side of the aisle to go make some of Caro's friends sing! I told myself that I could not be in a better position to make a video of it all and moreover, Jon was too far away from me to keep my hand on him. When he stepped back to continue going towards the back of the circle, he was still within my reach. I then looked at the back of his head, because he had his back turned on me and I told myself in a fraction of a second: "Ah that's true! I wanted to touch his hair last time!" I stretched my right arm and I softly put my hand on his sublime hair. His hair was wet from sweat, but I did not care; I had dreamed about putting my hand on this famous hair which makes women crazy for so long! I then thought: "Oh my god, I cannot believe how soft his hair is!! The rumor is true!!" I continued my gesture without closing my hand to stroke his back slightly once again. I then saw that he was about to head towards Caro to sing with her! He was back on the other side of the aisle, so out of my reach once again.

Jon then crossed the aisle to end up just in front of Sandra, but he was continuing his way towards the back of the circle instead of facing her. She then decided to give him a little kiss on the cheek near the ear! When I saw Sandra made her gesture, I told myself: "Ah, it would be nice to do so one day as well!" Jon was so close to both of us, it was crazy! I could see the imperfections of his face skin! Matt was in the circle near Jon and he was keeping a very close eye on the people's reaction while Jon continued walking. Everything was happening in slow motion again, but I felt like I was more in control of my emotions and I could now appreciate the moment to its true worth by hearing everything and seeing everything, unlike last March when everything had seemed to be in a dream. Obviously, Jon took the time to make the little boy behind us sing and he gave him a high five afterwards. Jon is always very happy to give attention to his young fans! The boy seemed flabbergasted to see his idol so closely.

Sandra turned her head towards me afterwards and she told me: "I gave him a kiss!" I'm not sure she had realized that I was making a video, but I told myself that she would be very happy if we saw her gesture on the video! When Jon was very close to me, I did not look in the camera to be able to look at him correctly, so I did not know what I was filming during these few seconds. I hoped to have a good video anyway! Matt then had to make a few women who were blocking Jon from walking move so he would be able to climb up the stairs at the back of the circle to go on the catwalk which would allow him to go back to the stage.

I saw that Caro was crying her eyes out on the other side of the aisle and someone in front of her was comforting her. After the embrace between both women ended, I saw that Caro was still in shock, so I decided to cross the aisle to go take her by the shoulders with my left arm to continue comforting her. I then told her that I had made a video. I don't even know if she heard me, she really seemed flabbergasted! I then returned to my seat. I let my camera hang around my neck and I don't know why, but I put my right hand near my nose during a fraction of a second. I smelled a subtle perfume on my hand which unfortunately did not last long. I told myself that it was probably the smell of the shampoo that Jon uses, but I have no idea which shampoo it was! In short, apart from his hands, I have touched him three times during a concert (let's be clear, I'm talking about his arms, his foot, his back, his shoulders and his hair here) and I have told myself three times that he smells really good for someone who is as sweaty!!!

Jon came back on stage by going to the left of the circle. The band left after the song ended to indicate that the encores would start. I asked my left neighbor if she had been able to touch Jon, she smiled at me and she nodded positively! I was really happy for her!

Screams flooded the Bell Centre, it was really deafening!! I thought I would go deaf at some point! When the band members came back on stage, people continued on screaming to show their joy to the band! Jon arrived wearing a short-sleeved blue shirt which revealed once again the curves of the top of his body sculpted firmly by his physical workout sessions. Phew, this man is really in shape! I was expecting a ballad to start the encores, but they decided to play I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. There is nothing better than starting the encores with a beautiful upbeat song! In the middle of the song, I don't know how all of this started, but the band did another mix with three different songs!! Wow, it was a first for me to see two mixes with two different songs during the same show! Jon seemed to enjoy himself handsomely on stage while singing songs from the Rolling Stones!

I saw Jon (or Richie?) throw another guitar pick towards us in the circle at some point during the encores. I don't know where the guitar pick fell down, but some people in the rows in front of me looked down on the floor for a few seconds to locate it. I'm not sure that someone found it! If the pick had been thrown just a little further, I would have had a good chance of catching it!

Jon let us sing the first verse of Wanted Dead Or Alive once again, he did not even tell us beforehand: "You know this one..." He simply started singing: "It's all the same..." and he said: "Sing it!" We answered his call without additional explanations! It was great, Jon seemed to savor the moment as much as me. It is simply awesome to live such an experience!

When Livin' On A Prayer started, I told myself: "Oh no, not yet!! It's only 10h20pm!!" I could not believe that the show was coming to an end and I told myself that they had played much fewer songs than for a usual Montreal show. Jon seemed tired and he was spitting more and more on stage in the shadow. I took my cellular phone and I called Martin without trying to talk to him for two reasons: first, I know that he quite likes Livin' On A Prayer and I have already called him in the past during this song when he was home and second, I wanted to give him an idea of how the concert was progressing.

Little insignificant detail, when Jon took his microphone stand in his hands to raise it in the air to let us sing a part of Livin' On A Prayer, I noticed a fluorescent green label near the base of the stand... I cannot believe that I remember such detail and mostly, who is the person who forgot to remove this from there??

Jon did not go around on the catwalk towards the end as he had done the previous night, but he still went to see the people on the sides of the stage while staying on stage. When he was on my left, I saw a woman stepping forward on the floor to come and show him a sign made of paper or carton on which a message destined to him was written. I had the time to see that he read it and smiled at the woman. I did not see what was written on it!

I also saw that since a few minutes already, Caro's friends had a sign on which it was written: "Happy early birthday" which was made for Jon. It is Jon's birthday on March 2, I thought they were a little early to wish him a happy birthday, but well, it is true that it was appropriate if they were not going to other shows! I also saw a woman in pit 2 on the other side of the aisle with a sign on which it was written: "See you in Vancouver". Phew, it takes motivation to go so far to see the band!!

When Livin' On A Prayer ended, the band took their final bow. I did not get to take beautiful pictures, because a big spotlight pointed directly towards me, hiding Jon completely! Oh well, it will be better next time! People were screaming so much in the Bell Centre, I saw very well that Jon was about to be convinced by our screams! The band members went down the stairs at the back of the stage, but Jon hesitated before leaving. He looked at us, it was clear, they would stay for at least another unplanned song! Jon made a sign to the other members for them to come back on stage. People went crazy in the Bell Centre! Yeah, we had been able to get the band back after Livin' On A Prayer, a thing that the band members have not done often during the current tour except in Montreal in March 2010!! The band members did a little quick "meeting" before we heard the first notes of Keep The Faith. Jon quickly took his maracas and he had a big smile on his face!

I learned that this encore was not planned when I saw that Richie did not have his guitar! The person who usually brings his guitars to him was not ready!! Richie then fooled around on stage a little bit while waiting by clapping his hands to the beat! It was really funny to see! Fortunately, Keep The Faith contains very little guitar at the beginning!! Richie got his guitar back a few seconds afterwards.

After Keep The Faith, Jon said final words to thank us once again and all the band members then went down the stairs at the back of the stage. The lights turned on quite quickly afterwards. We gathered our things, but Sandra was waiting to see if she could get an official set list after going to a security guard with her request. We then waited a little and to Sandra's great pleasure, the guard came back with a folded copy of the set list; Sandra was very happy, because the guard had told her that the only copy he had had been taken away from him... I took a few pictures of the sheet to have a proof that Keep The Faith was not planned!

Then, security guards told us that it was time for us to leave, the tour roadies had already started dismantling the stage! The chairs in the circle were a little scattered because of the back and forth movements caused by the band members being at the catwalk. Sandra and I went back to her boyfriend who was waiting for us patiently. When we headed towards a section which allowed us to go up to leave the Bell Centre, I noticed folding chairs where the hockey player benches are usually located. I found it special to see they put seats there, but well, it is also logical to want to put as many good seats as possible in the arena!

We headed towards the Sheraton Hotel after making our way through the dense crowd who was trying to leave the Bell Centre all at once. We left the parking lot very rapidly unlike the previous night, to our great happiness! I would even say that there was still not much traffic on René-Lévesque Street! We took the same little streets as the previous night to go back to Champlain Bridge to go back to the South Shore. I never thought we would get back to Sandra's as quickly, it was barely later than 11hpm!

When I got back home, I told the adventures about the circle to Martin and I insisted on watching the famous video when Jon was in the circle before going to bed. I was very happy to know that I had everything correctly and I told myself that I would make some women happy by putting it on YouTube!

The next morning, I woke up early once again, but this time, it was not because of the car shelter but rather because I had plenty of nice memories in my head. I slept very well, but it comes a time when my stomach screams for food after such a busy day and I had to get up to eat! I was more in shape after the second show than the previous day! I was really happy to know that the fact that I was pregnant did not prevent me from fully enjoying the second show mostly!

I end this review light-heartedly, with a slightly aching body from being tired and because of the physical effort induced by both shows and with the baby kicking. To my nice surprise, my back doesn't hurt at all despite my belly and the fact that I stood up for several hours! It is a little hard getting back to reality, because for a few hours, I really forgot that I had a life outside of Bon Jovi and it was good for me not to think about my work and all the preparations around the pregnancy during the weekend! I now think about the last Bon Jovi concert of my The Circle tour that is coming up in Montreal in a couple of weeks. My only and unique wish right now is to stay in enough shape throughout my pregnancy not to be confined to my seat for the entire show at the beginning of May! Living the experience of going to a Bon Jovi show while being 35 weeks pregnant will certainly be unique, mostly from the fifth row of the circle in the aisle once again!

Copyright © February 21, 2011 Marie-Hélène Cyr

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