Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi > My show reviews > FEBRUARY 13 & 14, 2013 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

My show reviews

FEBRUARY 13 & 14, 2013 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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

Bon Jovi: The anesthesia that numbs my worries


First day (February 13, 2013)
Entrance to the pre-show VIP party on February 13, 2013
I meet one of my fans!
Mobile museum with Jon's typical clothes
February 13, 2013 set list
Jon arrives at the catwalk on February 13, 2013
I meet Luca, an Italian die-hard fan
Second day (February 14, 2013)
Entrance to the pre-show VIP party on February 14, 2013
Departure for the first backstage tour
Hey! Richie just passed us by!
Pictures of the first backstage tour and soundcheck
Departure for the second backstage tour
Pictures of the second backstage tour
February 14, 2013 set list
I finally get to the catwalk after Jon on February 14, 2013
Bed Of Roses! And Jon took my hand at the beginning of the solo!
Jon sees my special sheet and points at me!

Even though Bon Jovi fans, like me, knew very well that we would not have to wait long before the new tour was announced at the end of 2012, it's always a very exciting day for us when the first tour dates are known publicly. Montreal was lucky in October 2012; we were one of the first towns to know the date of a Bon Jovi show during their Because We Can tour, that is February 13. Despite the fact that the news came from Bon Jovi's official website, I had a hard time believing that it was true... Bon Jovi in Montreal on a Wednesday? Quite unusual! But we had to expect it a little bit; the National Hockey League (NHL) was in lock-out and the Bell Centre possibly wanted to keep weekend dates in case the lock-out would end during the 2012-2013 hockey season...

Another surprise that we had was to realize that we were the first town of the tour! I will not hide the fact that I was disappointed of being at the top of the list, because the first shows of a tour are usually not extraordinary... It takes a few days for the tour crew members to get used to the stage and for the band to be at ease on a stage which often has a new design... Anyway, time passed since that day, and as a result, we were now the third town to be visited by the band. I was quite happy to see that we would not have all the surprises!

The Because We Can tour would start at a weird moment... We learned at the end of 2012, before the tour was announced, that the new album, What About Now, would be released only in March 2013. I admit not understanding the goal of starting a tour before the release of the album which the tour promotes and even worse since Jon had announced in July 2012 in Quebec City that the album was finished at that time... Anyway, the idea of not knowing the lyrics of the new songs by heart made its way through my head.

Day 1 - "Mercy mercy, what else can I say? But, Amen"

Venue: Bell Centre
Ticket: Floor, Row C, Seat 23
Pictures: Available
Videos: Available

The fan club had offered its members tickets in an exclusive presale for the February 13, 2013 show. I remember that morning of October 26 when we could start buying tickets. I had made a deal with my supervisor to work from home during the morning to maximize my chances to get tickets in the pit, that is the space between the stage and the catwalk. (I was maximizing my chances by staying at home, because my internet connection at home is a lot less used than at work at that hour of the day and it would not have been professional of me to use the office connection for that!) Indeed, from information that we had, a catwalk making a circle around a pit where fans could be in would still be there. We had no idea of the ticket prices with and without a VIP package included, because we were the first town to see their tickets go on sale. That morning, I was able to concentrate enough to work a little, I don't know how I managed that, because I was trembling from everywhere so much because I was nervous and I was looking at my watch every two minutes starting at 9ham (the tickets were on sale starting at 10ham).

At around 9h45am, I started practicing my speed at my new laptop; bad enough, my old laptop had died a few weeks earlier and I had received my new laptop in extremis at the beginning of that week! I was then surfing on the pages that allowed buying tickets on the fan club website and I was feeling the same emotions as when I had bought tickets during the previous tour when I was able to get pit tickets through the fan club. I was feeling very nervous, but I was also telling myself that everything would be all right and that I would have my tickets a minute after the beginning of the sale.

Sandra and I called each other a few minutes before the beginning of the sale to be able to coordinate the purchase of our tickets, because we always try each on our side to maximize our chances. At 10ham sharp, I saw the famous "Buy Now" button appear beside the name of the town of Montreal. I immediately clicked on it and when I clicked on a button to choose tickets, I received an error message saying that I had to be logged in to the website to access this functionality!! Big panic moment, I was already logged in!! On her side, Sandra was flipping out, because she was able to enter the site to buy tickets, but the pit tickets were already sold out! It was barely 10h01am... It was not a good sign at all, mostly with me not being able to enter the site to buy tickets! Short of ideas, I decided to go log in on Martin's computer which was just beside my laptop, knowing quite well that our chances of having pit tickets were diminishing every second. Sandra was still trying on her side to get tickets, because it happens that people release tickets from their cart when they find better ones or when someone they know gets a better pair than theirs... I had the same error message on Martin's computer! I could not understand. I was feeling like in a nightmare, but strangely, I was able to keep some of my cool!

When I came back to my laptop, I had the idea of emptying my internet cache and magically, I was able to log in correctly to the site to buy tickets! I was then able to help Sandra find tickets. Of course, there seemed to have no more pit tickets and Sandra had started looking at VIP packages. There were no longer pit tickets with a VIP package! At some point, she told me that she had tickets with the Crossroads VIP package (which was renamed Ultimate VIP Party Pack afterwards) dead center in row C of the floor (seats 23 and 24), outside the pit. It was then 10h15am, so I agreed that she bought them, because the chances of having better ones were almost null. She luckily bought them (and she was almost not able to get them, because there was a little bug with the site which didn't want to accept her credit card...), because tickets with VIP packages outside the pit on the floor quickly disappeared!

We received an email from Geneviève who had received the mandate from Maryse to buy pit tickets no matter what the price was. She had been able to buy some through the cheapest VIP package in the pit. She seemed very happy. On my part, I could not imagine paying so much money for a ticket there! To give you an idea of the prices, here is what the fan club had offered us (note that the prices of VIP packages sold by Evenko were even steeper!):

I was not too disappointed under the circumstances, because we would be in the middle of the floor in the third row after the catwalk; thus we would be well positioned when the band would be there! I owe one to Sandra who avoided a catastrophe! Good tickets are often put on sale only a few days before the show, but it's a roll of a dice to wait at this moment to get some, because there are no guarantees to get some! In short, here is what was included with our package:

Overall, it looked a lot like the VIP package that we had purchased in February 2011. I was also telling myself that we would be at the same pre-show party as Maryse and Geneviève, so it was a great consolation. Moreover, for 400$ less, it was almost worth being 3 rows farther than the catwalk... (Seriously, I still prefer by far being in the pit!) We knew well that there would be another tour date for Montreal, so we also wanted to save some money for this second show!

What comforted me in having to pay so much to be in the first rows of the floor is to see the prices with Evenko a few days later and realize with sadness for the fans who are not ready to pay as much as us that no tickets near the stage were available even with Evenko! The VIP packages seemed to cover the first rows of the red sections closest to the stage and as far as row L on the floor, after the catwalk! Those who wanted to pay only about 150$ would be very far away from the stage or a little higher in the bleachers! I now wonder where the sale of tickets is heading to with so little choice to be near the stage for a reasonable price! Although it may be a strategy to block scalpers: offer VIP packages at a higher price to exactly give people more for their money instead of doing business with scalpers and pay for absolutely nothing. Fortunately for the general public, a few days before the show, tickets which had not been sold with VIP packages were released without VIP packages, so latecomers were able to purchase some and be close to the stage.

I must admit that the preparation for this show (and for the additional show on February 14) was quite different this time around. My father passed away because of a brain tumor on January 30, and his funerals were the week preceding the shows!! Let's say that it quite killed the excitement that I usually feel! I didn't work out as much, even though I felt very in shape. A storm of strong negative emotions triggered by my father passing away got strangely mixed up with a storm of strong positive emotions surrounding the wait for Bon Jovi shows. My father would have never wanted me to ruin my shows because of my pain caused by his departure; it's in part what kept me sane in the last weeks. Moreover, I was telling myself that Jon, who is part of a very short list of men who make me feel good, would know well how to make me happy for a few hours...

I even found the energy to listen to the songs of the new album that Sandra and Maryse had found on the internet (live versions for most of them) in a loop in the car during one week before the shows without quite knowing the true lyrics. I was listening to them so often that sometimes, when I woke up in the morning, I had not one, but two of these songs in my head! Try that and tell me if you are able to do it! For me, it was happening to me for the first time!

In the morning of the February 13 show, I listened to the new songs in a loop while I was preparing Charles' luggage, my 20-month-old son who was going away for a few days to my parents-in-law who had kindly accepted to watch him. (Oh yes, it is the same boy who was in my belly at the last tour!) I also listened to these songs during the preparations leading to the show. Fortunately, I had done a list of things to do at the last tour, because I admit that I would have forgotten a little bit this time around! The plan was that I was going to go to Sandra's house in the late afternoon to get to the Bell Centre where the check-in for the VIP party would start at 4h45pm. I had told her as a joke when we made plans for the afternoon that it was routine for us to meet each other at her house to go to the Bell Centre. It is not surprising, when we know that it was the eighth time that day that we were going together to the Bell Centre for Bon Jovi since we know each other!

Montreal media also reported a rumor (because nothing is confirmed yet) that morning: Bon Jovi would be back in Montreal in the fall for at least one night! Not very surprising news, when I knew that the first show of the tour at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on February 9 had been postponed to October 25, 2013. Indeed, it was not a nice way to start a tour; on the day of this show, 101 cm of snow fell down on Connecticut and people ran the risk of getting into accidents and inflated fines if they were found on the roads. About 2000 people had still braved this huge storm to go to the arena. The band had then decided to offer them a free concert that night to compensate. They are lucky; the tickets they had will still be good for the October 25 show! Anyway, the news is not announced officially, but I will probably see the band again in Montreal in the fall of 2013!

The preparations were then progressing at a good speed. I had decided to wear a blue top a little more "glamour" than usual (I had a VIP package after all). I had also decided to wear underneath the top a customized tank top that I had made myself. I told myself that waving a banner for a few seconds during a show was maybe not ideal to reach my goal of dancing with Jon one day. I thus decided to make tank tops that I would wear throughout the whole show. Jon would have the chance to see the message throughout the whole show! The message that I wanted at the front of the tank top was: "I listened to Bed Of Roses 3876X in 1 year JON: I'd like a dance!" and at the back of the tank top, I wanted to commemorate the fact that in the few days, I will reach the 20-year mark as a Bon Jovi fan by writing: "Bon Jovi Fan Since 1993". At first, I had chosen a company who customizes shirts to make my tank tops, but unfortunately, when I received them at the end of January, two errors had been made on the message at the front of the tank tops! How ridiculous! They had written: "I listened to Bed Of Roses 3876X in 1 year JON: L'd like to dance!" instead! It was unacceptable! Despite the fact that I had called them the next day and that the woman who I talked to had told me that they would correct their mistake and would send me new tank tops within the next two days, I still had not received them. I didn't wait to receive them, I decided to make some with means that I found with sheets on which I could print and fix on tank tops with a flatiron. However, I had messed up a little bit the first tank top that I had done, so I decided to wear it underneath my blue top just in case the band would play Bed Of Roses that night... I had also bought several bracelets and I wore them for the first time that day. It is never too late to put an even more feminine touch to my clothing!

I met with Sandra at her house at around 3h30pm and we left to go downtown Montreal shortly after. On the way, we listened to the new songs again and Sandra had even printed the lyrics; I didn't doubt that she would do that, it's like her... We were so afraid to arrive just at 4h45pm, that we left early to get to the Bell Centre at 4h15pm! We parked at the Sheraton in front of the Bell Centre and we walked towards the building that I had not visited since I had been pregnant! It was weird for me to get in front of it; it seemed to me like it had been a while, but at the same time, it was so familiar to arrive at the Bell Centre for a Bon Jovi show!

We still decided to enter where the fan club had told us to go to get our tickets and everything included with our VIP package. The entrance to use was exactly the same as when we had the Evenko VIP package in February 2011. People at fan club tables (which were clearly indicated then compared to the previous times) told us that we could not get our things before 4h45pm, but we were still invited to stay in the lobby while waiting instead of going in the cold outside.

We didn't wait long until we met with Maryse and Geneviève who had just gotten there. Geneviève seemed particularly in shape! We talked about everything and the later it got, the more people were waiting in the lobby. I was hoping that we were only people who had purchased tickets through the fan club, because I was telling myself that it would become chaos quickly if people who had purchased tickets through Evenko had received the instruction to show up there as well! Anyway, the four of us were talking about everything, each of us got the latest news from the other three and we even brought up a few memories of the Have A Nice Day tour, the last tour when fan club tickets were sold only at the Bell Centre and where I had met them. We also talked about the "pre-digital" era when we had to bring several rolls of film for camera. They were more crazy than me by bringing 6-7 rolls at each show! And as Geneviève said it so well: "And then came the digital era!" You bet it made our tasks easier! We also quite laughed when Geneviève and I realized that we reacted the same way in the morning when we had heard at Salut Bonjour that the album was released since several months: "IT IS NOT RELEASED YET!!!!" It seems like we both talked to the television each in our living room...

A security guard moved the waiting line in which we were at around 4h45pm, triggering confusion among the crowd, because she completely moved us around at 180 degrees from where we were before... Since we were the second small group to get there, we were at the head of the line. I had noticed that two women who were now behind us had arrived before us. I told them to get in front of us, because I didn't want them to think that I was the dumb one who gets in front of others. One of the women smiled at me and told me that it was OK to stay in front of them, because anyway, we had our assigned tickets and it was not really worth respecting the order in which we had gotten there as much. She was quite right! Her face looked familiar to me, but I was not able to find out where I had seen her; I'm sure that I saw her somewhere, probably in a waiting line for fan club tickets!

Shortly after the waiting line was reorganized, I turned around to see the crowd behind me and I noticed one of Isabelle's friends (whose name is also Isabelle...) who was not far away from me. I looked around her before seeing Isabelle who was behind. I tried to draw her attention, but she was looking on her right when suddenly, she saw me wave at her. She said hello in turn. We had seen each other close only once, I was happy to have been able to recognize her as easily in a crowd!

Cory (I'm sorry, I don't know if it is the way she writes her name...) talked to us in English at around 4h45pm to tell us that security was not ready upstairs for us to go there and she thanked us for our patience. She was really nice and I think that she is used to crowds, because nobody seemed to get impatient. It's true that the context was a little different from during the purchase of tickets, because there was no stress! She explained to us in detail where we had to go to get our tickets and the VIP merchandise (because there were several tables depending on the package people had purchased) and she gave us some directives for those who had a backstage tour. She also mentioned to us that if we wanted to go to our cars to drop our merchandise, we had to do it before scanning our ticket, because otherwise, we could not leave the building. It was strange, because in 2011, people who were scanning the tickets were able to rescan them to let us leave. Anyway, we had time to go to our car to drop our things if we wanted to!

When security gave their OK for Cory to invite us to come to the tables, it didn't take too long for Sandra to go to the table for the Crossroads packages. (It's funny, the tables referred to the original names of the VIP packages indicated on Bon Jovi's website, but the names had been changed lately to match the names used by Evenko.) Her name was on the first page of the list, the man who was handing out the tickets didn't take too long... He gave a bag of merchandise to Sandra, without showing that he was taking one for me. I then asked him: "Don't we get two bags? There are two tickets in the envelope..." He seemed a little confused, he looked at the sheet on which the names of people were written and he saw the number 2 written beside Sandra's name. He apologized, took another bag and handed it out to me while saying: "You're my first one, bear with me..." a little embarrassed. I told him with a big smile that there were no worries, that I understood very well. He was quite nice!

Sandra and I then decided to leave to go back to Sandra's car in the Sheraton parking lot to go put down our two bags. Sandra was happy, it gave her the opportunity to smoke another cigarette! When we got back to the Bell Centre, we went to the restrooms and Sandra was taking so long to get out of there! I quickly understood why when she finally got out of there: she had received a text message from Geneviève who was asking her where we were, because she and Maryse were already upstairs at the party. Sandra had taken the time to respond to her before coming out of the restrooms! We then had our tickets scanned and we went into the elevator. There were two people with us, in addition to the elevator host who asked us if we were going to the third floor like the other two people. Good question! I answered yes by hesitating a little bit and when she saw our VIP badges around our neck, she said: "Oh, no! You are going to the fourth floor!" with a nice smile. When we got to the fan club VIP party, a host welcomed us by saying that we could put our coats in the coatroom if we wanted. We decided to keep ours. Two waiters greeted us at the door of the room by offering us something to drink from their platter. We mostly didn't want alcohol! When we stepped into the room, I saw Maryse and Geneviève who were sitting at a table for 4 on bar-like high chairs. The room looked great! Lights were lit up everywhere, the buffet was already ready and people seemed quite relaxed. There also seemed to have room for everybody, compared to the Evenko VIP party in February 2011 where we were stepping on each other's feet at some point! When we got to the table where Maryse and Geneviève were, Sandra and I sat down and when Sandra realized that there was a picture of Carey Price right above her, she told us: "Hey, I cannot stay here, I will catch bugs!" Let's say that Sandra has a chronic hatred for the Montreal Canadiens, but still, she faced her courage with both hands and she stayed sitting there underneath the picture... She still didn't talk to me about having an itchy skin because of the supposedly bugs the next day...

Maryse and Geneviève intended to leave for the backstage tour with the first group, so they were reluctant to go get some food. Since we didn't know when they would leave, I told Sandra that it may be a good idea to go get some, because they could watch our things at the table. When we got to the buffet, I saw that there were a few dishes with cold foods that didn't attract me, because it smelt quite like smoked salmon! There were also a few dishes with hot foods, such as ball-shaped potatoes, rice, broccoli in a béchamel sauce, penne in tomato sauce (I immediately thought that at least, Sandra could eat that!), pastas in which there seemed to have shrimps and at the end of the buffet, a chef was cutting pieces of meat (it looked like pork) for the people who wanted some. Sandra and I also took a few cookies (they looked amazingly similar to the Subway ones) which were on another table.

When I turned around to go back to the table where we were, a woman sitting near the cookies stopped me by asking me: "Is your last name Cyr?" Hum, someone who knows my last name just by looking at me, it's special! I smiled at her by answering positively. The woman seemed really happy to know that she was talking to the right person! She told me that she had seen my website and that everything she saw is well made and that the contents are extraordinary. I then made her a huge smile! She had seen me earlier and she was sure that I was the website's author based on the pictures she had seen of me... My god, I would never have thought that people would recognize me like that without even knowing that I would be at the same place as them and without never have contacted me! It was so flattering that she approached me, I asked her about her name. She is called Nicole and she was with her daughter who didn't know my website as much as her mother. After saying that it was a pleasure to meet them, I headed towards our table, because I was a little hungry! I was pleasantly surprised to realize that we had silverware and that waiters were serving wine or other beverages freely to people who wanted it. Sandra offered us to go get us bottles of water, but to our great consternation, we realized that the barman had removed the caps from the bottles! Our plan was to bring them in the Bell Centre as it was the case in February 2011 when bottles were available to us in a bin full of ice... The plan failed hugely! In addition to that, Geneviève's bottle of water that she had put in her purse was confiscated by the security guard downstairs! At least Sandra and I still had ours!

After eating what was in my plate, I was still hungry and I didn't want to eat my cookies yet, because I was afraid of getting hungry during the show if I didn't eat more than that. In the meantime, Maryse and Geneviève had decided to go get something to eat as well, because nobody seemed to leave for a backstage tour yet. Fortunately, because they had time to eat a lot before leaving! Anyway, I headed towards the buffet to go get more penne which were excellent and I decided to go talk to Nicole again, because I'm very bad at remembering names and I was no longer sure of her name... I took the opportunity to ask her daughter's name (Mélanie), because I was going to mention them in my review. They seemed happy to know that I would talk about them! And I told them that the review would be online in about two weeks, let's hope that I will be able to honor my commitment!

Maryse and Geneviève left for their backstage tour shortly after and a few minutes later, Mélanie came to our table and a little shy, she told me that her mother wanted to have her picture taken with me, because supposedly, she had talked about me at her workplace and that her coworkers would probably be impressed to know that she had met me. I was so flattered and a little overwhelmed by the events that I could not refuse that kind of request. I had a fan in the room and I'm not even famous! I told Mélanie that I would go see her mother in a few minutes, the time to eat what was in my plate. Sandra seemed a little amused that someone had recognized me like that and she asked me later in the evening if Nicole had recognized her as well by the description I make of her in my reviews...

I honored my commitment and I went to see Nicole shortly after. She seemed really happy that I came so fast. We decided to have our picture taken beside a picture of Jon in the room, not far away from their table. I hope that it was the kind of picture that she wanted to take with me and I hope that she is happy of the result! Nicole, if you ever see this review on my website and you would like, contact me, I would like a copy of the picture!

When I tasted my first cookie, I fell in love immediately! They were DELICIOUS! So much that I couldn't resist to the temptation to go get more! Isabelle passed beside me during this time and she asked me if I was OK while grabbing my arm gently. I told her yes and I told her that the party was 100 times better than the Evenko one in February 2011! She seemed really happy to know that and mostly, to be there. I knew that she had a backstage tour included with her VIP package, and after seeing what I saw at her table (which was just in front of ours), they had missed the first departure. She seemed to head towards where they were supposed to go for the second departure at that time when she passed beside me.

Since I was beside the table where Nicole was, while walking to my table, I decided to go talk to her again. She told me that she was always coming with her daughter and she asked me if I were coming back the following night. She was not surprised to hear my answer while saying: "Lucky you!" I then came to the conclusion that she would not be there the following night... I told her that it was my 20th concert that night and that I was going to celebrate my 20th anniversary of being a fan in the next few days. She seemed a little perplex, because I'm still young and when I told her my age, she told me that I was one year younger than Mélanie who was just coming back to the table at that moment. I don't know if I have to tell myself that I was really young when I discovered the band or if I really grew old since 1993!!

Speaking of this, Sandra told me during dinner that she was going to celebrate her 31st anniversary of being a Bon Jovi fan in July and that her parents didn't let her go see Bon Jovi in 1984 in Montreal, because they were leaving for a vacation and Sandra was a teenager at that time... We quite laughed when she realized that her passion is as old as me! I think that she was in shock of figuring it out herself!!

A woman whom we had seen earlier (I don't dare saying that she was working for the fan club or for the Bell Centre) came to talk to us at some point, Sandra and I. She asked us information about our passion for Bon Jovi, if we were in the fan club since long (I told her that I have been a fan club member for the last 18 years) and if we were in the fan club only to get good tickets. She told us that she was really impressed by the people who were there and that she was looking forward to seeing the Montreal's crowd's reaction at the show that night. After thinking about it, it would not even surprise me if she were working for the fan club, because she gave us a lot of details on the backstage tour by mentioning to us that we were going in small groups, that it lasts for about 20-30 minutes and that we still had a few minutes on stage to get our picture taken a little everywhere. She was really nice.

Maryse and Geneviève came back from their backstage tour all excited and with huge smiles. Geneviève had even picked up one of Richie's guitar pick. They had gone around backstage, had gone on stage, etc. and had taken a lot of pictures to immortalize this moment. I was telling myself that it was going to be my turn and Sandra' turn on the following night; I was already excited, just by seeing the pictures! They had also gone to see the mobile museum arranged not far from the room we were in. Sandra and I decided to go, because the mobile museum was accessible even to those who had not a backstage tour, but we still had to have a VIP badge. When we got into the room, we had a nice surprise to see a few pieces of clothing that Jon wore throughout the years and which are now famous to the eyes of great fans. I took pictures of all the clothing, such as the long leather coat that Jon wore on the pictures of the New Jersey album and that he wore during that tour, the clothes he wore when he went to Moscow at the end of the 1980s for a show that made music history, the leather jacket that he proudly wore during the Have A Nice Day tour and mostly, oh but mostly, the leather crocodile-style jacket and sleeveless shirt that he wore during the concert when they recorded the Bed Of Roses video!! What a nice wink to this evening that was starting very well! I would have liked to touch these pieces of clothing so much! With a security guard right beside, I didn't dare doing it!! But it's with amazement that I realized that these pieces of clothing were 20 years old and that they were the ones that I had seen the most often on Jon with the number of times I watched the video...

We went to the restrooms when we came back from the museum (the room where we were was close to section 206 and the museum was just passed the restrooms beside the room in front of section 207). The four of us went back to the restrooms a few minutes after going back to the room, because it was passed 7hpm and the woman who had come to talk to us had confirmed that the show was starting at 7h30pm without an opening act. I always had the pressing desire to go to the restrooms, the nerves had kicked in and I was super excited! I don't know how the conversation started between the four of us, but we realized that our friendship is weird; we don't hear about each other for several months and when there is news on Bon Jovi, we write to each other and it starts all over again! I said as a joke that our friendship is too intense and that it would be impossible to see each other every week, because our relationship is just too intense and we could not bear it! Nonsense!!

Anyway, we went down the stairs in the hallway to go back to the lower sections to be able to access the floor. We went down right beside a merchandise stand. Sandra always wants to see the available merchandise and only Maryse and I didn't buy anything. The only thing which I'm interested in is the tour program and I knew that I had received one in my VIP package merchandise, so it was worthless to buy one as well!

We bumped into Mary and Lucy near the merchandise stand! They were quite happy to see us. I had been next to them during the Montreal shows of the Have A Nice Day tour! There had also been several familiar faces at the VIP party, it was nice to see people who we knew a little bit! Geneviève made us realize how much fun it is to walk towards the stage when we have a ticket near the stage and look at people who are farther away look at us in turn... As we called it, it's the walk of triumph! haha But it's true that it's still a good feeling to walk solemnly towards the stage... I too always thought that it was something impossible to describe and hardly conceivable without experiencing it.

It was about 7h20pm when we got to our seats. Maryse and Geneviève left us, they were in the pit that night. Maryse still left a bag of merchandise with Sandra, because her friend Claudia wanted to have one, so she had planned with her to give her hers, since she would have another one the following night. Claudia was two rows farther than us, so Maryse told her that we had more chances of seeing her than her who was in the pit.

Anyway, when I turned around to face the stage, I noticed that the view of the stage was exactly what I was expecting. I was one seat away from the middle of the floor (in width), in the third row from the catwalk. The catwalk was thus very close, as I was expecting! I also saw Nicole and Mélanie who were in the first row (row A) after the catwalk, probably in seats 24 and 25, because they seemed to be one seat away from me, on my right. I was able to touch Mélanie's shoulder to tell them that we were behind them (people in row B arrived at the last minute, so it had been easy for me to reach Mélanie's shoulder); Mélanie found it quite funny to talk to me, because she and her mother had seen us when they had gotten to their seats...

I then started to get settled as usual and I realized like Sandra did that the seats seemed to have shrunk in width for the people beside us... When the butt of the person beside someone goes over about the quarter of his/her seat, it's a little hard to have room to get settled... But well, I was barely able to slide my purse around the seat of the chair as usual. It was a new purse and the strap was not quite short enough for the purse to hang underneath the seat without touching the ground. I didn't like this with the beer that could end up on the floor and flood the contents of my purse. Sandra then suggested that I make a knot in the strap but as the engineer that I am, I thought that she meant making a knot after tying it... When she told me: "Well no, take it off the seat, unhook the strap and make a knot in it afterwards to make it the size that you want!", I told myself that I would get teased again by Sandra... "Marie-Hélène, you are an engineer..." that she told me at that moment, remembering the moment in Quebec City when Sonia, a coworker, had told me the same thing using the same tone. Fortunately, I am not afraid of self-mockery!

I took out my banner about the number of times that I listened to Bed Of Roses and I slid it between the seat and the strap of my purse, because I was quite sure that we would not hear it that night... I even took the time to put drops in my eyes and apply deodorant. We are never too careful and we never smell too good at a rock show! After sitting down on my chair, I could see that the bleachers were still quite empty for the time and that there were still people doing the backstage tour, because people were still on stage getting their picture taken a little everywhere! I also saw a woman who was going through the aisles on the floor to sell the tour program. I rarely saw someone come into the show room to sell something else than food or beer and even then, they rarely come on the floor at all (anyway, it seems to me)!

The waiting was longer than I thought before the band came on stage, but at around 8hpm, I had the feeling that the song that was playing in the room was the last one. The security guards were getting a little busier around and in the pit. And then, at 8hpm sharp, the lights went off, making the crowd go crazy in the Bell Centre. Spotlights started to throw rays of light from the stage towards the crowd and sounds sounding a little like the ones of the The Circle tour started to be heard. The band members arrived in the darkness while the rays of light were still lighting up the crowd and I saw that Jon had arrived on stage, still in the dark. This entrance on stage was very sober with only light effects. It's probably the soberest one that I have seen so far! Even before a note of music was heard, Jon started singing You Give Love A Bad Name in the dark at first. It made a special effect, but the people were already up on their feet and they were screaming very loudly!

The list of song that they played was:


This set list was the same (except for the last 2 songs) as in Washington a few nights before! I was a little disappointed, because usually, we get a reorganization of the set list from town to town. But well, it's Jon's decision, it is not me who will be able to change that! Fortunately, I was a little expecting the same set list as in Washington when Geneviève had told me when returning from her backstage tour that she had seen the set list from Sunday's show...

In statistics, the show lasted exactly 2.5 hours (from 8hpm to 10h30pm), I took 18 videos (mostly of the new songs) and 3100 pictures (including those I took at the VIP party and in the mobile museum). It was also my 20th Bon Jovi concert in 20 years. Having come this far, I must admit it; there is no magic anymore, it has become usual, I anticipate Jon's gestures a lot, but I still really enjoy going! During the concert, sometimes I was thinking about my life for a few seconds and I told myself several times that I had completely forgotten it until the moment when a detail made me think about something in particular. I was plunging back immediately in the present moment which was so comforting. The band has that effect on me: make me forget my worries like anesthesia that numbs. I hope that one day, Jon (and the rest of the band of course) will know that he makes me feel so good. I also decided to share a few of my best pictures.

Sandra and I had two tall people (a man and a woman) who arrived at the last minute in front of us. Usually, I'm the one stuck with a tall man in front of me, but it was a coincidence that Sandra is the one who was stuck with both people, because they were a couple and they were kissing during the show, so they were close to one another in front of Sandra, letting me with an unblocked view of the stage, except when the woman waved her arms in the air. She was doing it a lot at first, but well, she calmed down a little at some point. My task to take pictures and make videos was complicated with her who had her arms in the air continuously. However, I told myself that at least, she seemed to know the songs!

The woman on my left (because Sandra was on my right) was going on Twitter each time a song started to write what the band was playing in real time. I didn't notice if she were singing or not during the songs, but she was not very expressive. She stayed standing still and she seemed to know the songs, even the new ones, because she was opening her cellular phone a few seconds after the beginning of the songs. One thing really pleasantly surprised me; people around me were singing the lyrics of all the songs quite loudly, even during some new songs from the album that was not released yet! I rarely see such a crowd outside the pit! I didn't complain at all, it was even pleasant to see that people were not bored behind us!

At the beginning of Lost Highway, Sandra nudged me and she told me something, I don't quite know what. But I had a little thought for the Bon Jovi show in Montreal in May 2011 when I was 8 months pregnant. Jon had made quite a face when he had seen the banner that I had made to tell him that I was so far along in my pregnancy and it was during Lost Highway!

Just before Because We Can, Jon said something like we had taken our dose of caffeine or something else (sorry, even with a video of this moment, I cannot understand what he says before "caffeine or something"). He continued: "This place is ready to go! This is where you get to take step 1, and tomorrow morning, write on your resume the words from now on, "background singer in Bon Jovi", ok?" When Because We Can started, the crowd reacted very much, even those behind the stage were clapping their hands. Speaking of those behind the stage, there were people up until the second level of red seats behind the stage! Wow! Their view was also often blocked, I don't know if they found it always funny... But well, paying 30$ for a Bon Jovi show, they cannot expect to be sitting on stage neither!

I was really happy to hear That's What The Water Made Me, a song from their new album, What About Now. It is really good live!

I had seen that the group had put Wild Is The Wind on their set list since the beginning of the tour. Before playing it, Jon said that they would play a song from the New Jersey album and I was really wondering what it was (I didn't remember that they had played it in Washington...), because it was a little too early for Bad Medicine! I had a blank, I didn't think about Wild Is The Wind at all! When the first notes that announce this song were heard from Richie's guitar, I was already enjoying myself! Wow, it had been a long time since I had heard that song in concert!

I don't get tired at all of the crowd's reaction when they recognize the first notes of It's My Life. It seems cliché for me to talk about it at each show, but it is something exceptional! It's an indescribable moment of pure happiness for us, but probably for the band members as well since they feel this wave of screams unfold on them! It must be so gratifying for artists to get such a reaction on a song that they have written!

I also thought a lot about my father during It's My Life, mostly when Jon was singing: "It's my life and it's now or never. I ain't gonna live forever. I just want to live while I'm alive..." I told myself at that moment that my father had often teased me about me going to see Bon Jovi often, but I also told myself at that precise moment that he could now be with me to see how much I enjoyed going to a Bon Jovi show and how much it made me happy... I must enjoy it fully while I'm alive, like Jon sings it so well!

I was happy to hear What About Now, even if I know it a little less than Because We Can. It's still the title of the new album... (Have I said that it was still not released yet when the show occurred?!) I told myself at that moment that I would enjoy the shows of this tour a lot more when I will have heard all the songs as they were recorded and when I will have had the time to memorize them...

I would have lived without hearing When We Were Beautiful... I was sure that this song would not survive the previous tour... I find it is too slow, too solemn and it kills the show momentum. Mostly when the song that followed was We Got It Going On! This is a song for a rock concert that brings the house down! Jon was in top shape, jumping everywhere and even going dancing on the hexagonal columns which served as a giant screen at the back of the stage. These columns were rising from the floor and were coming down from the ceiling to form a big screen when needed or to show various images in an open configuration, that is we could see a space between the top and bottom columns. However, I saw the crowd only once or twice on the giant screen formed by these hexagonal columns. The effects on the hexagonal columns were maybe beautiful from far away, but honestly, I had to force myself to look at them, because the main action occurs on stage and not on the screens! I find that it's making a little bit useless diversion to try to show a second show on the giant screen while there is one live in front of us! I quite love to see the band on the screen from time to time, not only see manly animated images that hardened the characters shown... But it is my honest opinion, I'm sure that people working at Moment Factory have a totally different one! However, I can say that I am not alone on my island about this, I heard similar comments as mine after the show...

I remember hearing echo in the Bell Centre after Jon sang and his voice resonated in the audience. In 20 years, it's the first time that I heard that. I admit that I don't quite understand, because the crowd was still quite noisy at that moment! At some point, Jon dropped his microphone stand quite hardly on stage and I heard a muffled sound of a microphone that bangs on something. It seems like I was not hearing that kind of sound in the past! I also noticed that Jon had almost always a guitar in his hands and I found it strange at some point. It seems to me that he had less often a guitar in his hands in the past...

I don't remember when, but at some point, I turned around and the row behind us was empty! An employee was cleaning a mess with a mop; I imagine that it was spilled beer. It's also the first time that I saw employees clean the floor during the show! Usually, messes pile up and at the end, the floor is really sticky! People went back to their seat quite quickly afterwards. After 20 concerts, I still see new funny things!

As I said earlier, at the first notes of We Got It Going On, I was already conquered! I adore this song in concert and Jon seems to take great pleasure in making the crowd scream in the sections beside the stage. But I think that the people behind the stage are the ones who screamed to most when Jon went to say hello and spent a good part of the song walking around on the hexagonal columns that were going up and down from time to time, allowing him to move around more easily. At some point, Jon was very high with all the columns that were the same height; he seemed on top of a wall! The party was in full swing in the Bell Centre at that moment!

When Keep The Faith started, I was happy, because I knew that the set where Jon would be at the catwalk was coming right after! I tried to take pictures of Jon with his maracas again and I was hoping to take one with his maracas being still on the picture. With the infernal rhythm that he imposes on them, it's far from being easy! A few days before the beginning of the tour, Bon Jovi had asked us to make a 15-second video of ourselves on the music of Keep The Faith while shaking maracas or any other object of our imagination. I was not quite in the mood with the passing of my father, but the evening before the deadline, I decided to do it in my basement with Charles' rattle. Martin had filmed me with my iPhone and the application that we had been asked to use. I looked really stiff with my rattle, but well, I still decided to put it online. The online videos had the chance of being displayed on the giant screen during Keep The Faith throughout the tour... The song was over and I had not seen anybody's video! I was quite disappointed, not from not being chosen, but because there were no videos at all! I just hope that it was because the videos were not ready and that we didn't do all of this for nothing!

At the end of the song, Sandra asked me if I were following her... Follow her? Follow her where? She thought that she could sneak in to go to the barricade during the few songs when Jon would be at the catwalk. The problem was that two security guards were at the end of the row, waiting there. She was a little naive to think that they would let us go, we had to pass beside them! She was insisting a lot, so I followed her, but once in the aisle on the right of our seats, I saw that a roadie was bringing Jon's microphone stand on the catwalk and my seat was one seat away from the middle. I decided to pass again in front of the people in our row to go back to my seat. Sandra stayed in the aisle, but she was not able to move forward to the barricade as I was thinking. When I saw Jon step on the catwalk a little in the shadow, I told myself that I had made the right choice! He was right in front of me! He seemed so close, it was incredible, even if I have already been directly beside him. He was there, it was not an illusion, it was not a giant screen, a television nor a movie screen. It shows when he is there for real and it is not just an image. It's difficult to describe the feeling, but my reaction is always the same: I'm always very impressed and I must look like a deer blinded by car headlights since I'm so open-mouthed with eyes wide open!

I had the feeling that he would sing Amen and when Jon briefly said a few words to us to tell us what he would sing, my intuition was correct! I was really happy to hear it live and mostly with Jon who was in front of me (instead of being behind him in the pit)! I was even able to confirm a lyric of the song that I was not sure to understand correctly! By being so close to Jon, I could see him say all the words of this lyric! Amen is a very nice song from the What About Now album which makes me think of Hallelujah. It seems like Jon did a second version of Leonard Cohen's classic. And what a performance he did as well! No kidding, I was able to make a video up until the first chorus, but afterwards, I closed my camera and I only savored the moment. I even had a big ball of emotions that went up from my guts to my throat. I felt the tears come up and I didn't hold them in. The moment didn't last long, but I really needed to shed a tear of joy after shedding so many tears of sorrow! It happens to me rarely and I feel extremely vulnerable at that moment when I cry of joy in front of Jon, but it made me feel all right! I also thought about my trip to Las Vegas next April (in two months) when I will be able to be beside Jon for a few seconds... More details to come, I don't want to spill all the beans in this review! Anyway, all these thoughts didn't help me stay calm!

After Amen, Jon invited Richie to join him at the catwalk and Jon put a guitar on his shoulder. They played another song from the new album, that is The Fighter. I didn't know the lyrics of this one at all, because I had known about this song the previous day when I had seen the set list from Washington... But it's a song that seems to be as good as Amen at first. I'm looking forward to hearing the recorded version!

At some point when Jon and Richie were at the catwalk, I put my hands near my chest and I realized that my heart was beating really fast... I told myself that even if I don't feel that excited, Jon has a real effect on me and I cannot help it, it's physiological! I was really serene at that moment, I was savoring each second, I was looking at his hands, his face, his clothes... And what to say about his chest on which I could see drops of sweat coming down through the hair that I had not noticed before! Phew, it's not surprising that my heart was beating fast! And I was able to concentrate to make big smiles when Jon and Richie were at the catwalk... In case they would have looked at me... I was in real admiration in front of them, it's the first time that I was so close while in front of them! It's crazy to think that after so many privileged moments in show during the previous tour, I don't never totally get used to being close to them... Of course, it is not as exceptional as before and I don't start screaming systematically, but they are moments that I can appreciate more now that it has happened several times...

When the first notes of Someday I'll Be Saturday Night were heard, a woman who was in the first row after the catwalk (2 rows in front of me a few seats on my left) completely flipped out! She told her friend: "Ah!!! It's my song!!!" Jon and Richie were in her face, she must have been happy!! On my part, it is not a song that I particularly like, but well, when Jon is a few feet from me, I still find all the songs good!

When they went back to the main stage, Richie left on the left while facing the stage and he took the time to touch the hands of a few people and Jon did the same on the right side while facing the stage.

When they started Army Of One, another song from What About Now, Jon saw that his cable hooked to his belt was unhooked and he started trying to draw a roadie's attention to make him come fix it, but nobody was coming. Jon seemed a little impatient, he started making circles with the cable in the air and he had to start singing a little blindly, because I imagine that he could not hear the rest of the music! We could see that he was not quite at ease to sing. A roadie came on stage to fix it, to the great happiness of Jon who gained back his confidence and started playing guitar afterwards! I quite liked Army Of One; it is really good in concert, even if the chorus is quite redundant ("never give up, never give up, never, never give up, never let up", etc.).

After We Weren't Born To Follow, Jon said a few words to announce that they would play another song from the new album. I was starting to be really tired of hearing them, even if I knew the chorus of most of them and part of the verses! Furthermore, What's Left Of Me is one the new songs that I like less and it was still the seventh one that we were hearing that night! I could not wait for them to stop playing them when What's Left Of Me ended, I was almost getting impatient at my seat! Moreover, I could not believe that we had the same set list as in Washington, increasing my frustration! Jon almost apologized for playing as many unknown songs after What's Left Of Me. I was really wondering why they had wanted to play so many, mostly if Jon felt the need to apologize discreetly! I must say that the crowd still reacted well and a few people around us were singing, but people in the bleachers were still sitting down quite often. However, Jon told us that he liked our reaction to the unknown songs, because supposedly, he could see us listen carefully to the music and the lyrics...

The band made it up to us afterwards with Jon who asked us: "Please rise for our national anthem." Well, I saw people literally getting up in the bleachers!! No doubt about it, they would play Wanted Dead Or Alive! They made us sing the first verse and the first chorus as usual. Without wanting to say something false, I think that it was one of the times when the crowd sang the loudest in Montreal!

During Who Says You Can't Go Home, I saw that several people in the pit had sheets on which I'm sure it was written: "It's alright", because people were putting them up in the air when Jon made us say them. I even saw Luca, this Italian fan who was attending his first Bon Jovi show in Montreal, putting a sheet up from the pit!

During a few songs, such as Who Says You Can't Go Home, Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars and We Weren't Born To Follow, I turned around to see the crowd's reaction behind us and I could see people in the last row up in the blue seats raise their arms as Jon was doing it on stage. I would like to be on stage so much sometimes just to be able to admire the whole crowd and not only part of the bleachers! Sorry if I repeat myself, it must be very special for the band to see this crowd effect!

Jon started Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars a cappella and slower... I was quite wondering what he was singing! It seemed like the acoustic version of Runaway that we had heard during the Crush tour in 2000, but I knew that it was not the right lyrics... I could recognize the lyrics, but I couldn't figure out the title! When the music started, Sandra and I started swinging our arms in the air to the beat, as usual. I think that Sandra even made a video with one hand, because she was holding her camera at arm's length throughout the whole song. It seemed to me like the song was lasting a long time at some point towards the end, because my arms were hurting, but I could not help but continue! The security guard who was up front near the stage and who was sitting down was looking at the crowd very amused to see that several people were swinging their arms to the beat. He had a huge smile on his face as if he wanted to make fun of us! His amusement changed into surprise when Jon triggered a crowd effect by swaying his guitar from side to side to invite us to swing our arms to the beat with him. It was simply wonderful! Not everyone was swinging their arms on the same side, but I was really under the impression that the whole Bell Centre was part of it! I was quite happy to hear this song just for that!

Then, Jon's famous "Is there a doctor in the house?" echoed in the Bell Centre; it was time for Bad Medicine. I then looked at the time, because I knew that it was the last song before the encores and it seemed to me that it was impossible that we were already at that stage of the show! Hexagonal columns showed animated images of skeletal women wearing high heels and wearing not much else. I admit that I was looking at the images and I wondered what was the deal with showing skeletal women, especially since they had very big boobs to be a skeleton! Anyway... I didn't insist to understand furthermore...

I wondered during Bad Medicine if Isabelle were holding up her banner that she shows to Jon each time she hears that song... At some point, Jon made a weird sign at someone, I don't know if it were aimed at her, but he was quite at the spot where she seemed to be... I found it so strange that there were no mixes during Bad Medicine as usual! I had the impression that something was missing when I heard the song come to an end! I really wonder why they don't do them anymore, it was putting the crowd on their feet each time!

We also witnessed quite an exceptional moment during Bad Medicine, I don't remember when in the song. Jon was on the catwalk after the little removable bridge connecting the catwalk to the main stage on the right side of the stage when he lost his balance after putting his foot too close to the edge of the catwalk. He was not able to gain back his balance and he decided to jump straight on the floor instead of falling any old how! It allowed him to shake hands with a few people in the first rows and make them all hysterical! Bodyguards came immediately near Jon to escort him to the stage where he took a little passageway and the staircase in the middle of the stage to climb back up and continue singing. At the end of Bad Medicine, Jon said goodbye to us and the band left by the staircase leading underneath the stage.

Montreal's typical "ole ole ole ole" were heard a little later than usual, but the people were singing them really loudly and it was screaming from everywhere! When the band came back on stage, I had the feeling that they would play In These Arms, because it was on the Washington set list! My intuition was good again, because that song is exactly the one that started the encores! Jon was forced to start singing despite the fact that people's screams were almost burying his voice! I don't know if they were the remainders of the crowd's enthusiasm towards the encores or the enthusiasm triggered by In These Arms!

I never get tired of hearing In These Arms in concert, it is so good! Furthermore, people were singing so loudly during the song, we could have said that it was one of their biggest hits and yet, I didn't hear it at all the shows I attended! Jon seemed to have a hard time remembering the lyrics, even during the chorus, because he was often looking down at his monitor. Unless it was a very interesting woman in the first row who had an effect on him, but I doubt it!

At the beginning of the show, I told myself that I have been following them for 20 years and that the time had passed fast... I had a similar wakeup call during In These Arms when I realized that this song is 20 years old as well! Wow! I have come a long way since then! And I also told myself that I don't understand why my sister doesn't want to come back with me, she would see that I settled down very much! I don't jump anymore, I dance at my seat, I put my arms up, I sing away and I scream just a little but I still let myself loose at appropriate times...

People also reacted well to Have A Nice Day and at the end of the song, people were screaming so much that Jon took longer before starting Livin' On A Prayer a cappella, because it was screaming too much in the Bell Centre! It was mind-blowing, we could have said that he didn't know if he had to let us scream or start the song! After his little part a cappella, he even applauded us and it seemed very sincere! Even the people behind the stage were singing at the top of their lungs with him, it was really special! It was screaming and singing so loudly during the whole song, I thought I was going to become deaf! People rarely scream and sing so loudly!

Jon did a last round on the catwalk during Livin' On A Prayer; the party was quite in full swing in the Bell Centre! All the people had their arms in the air and were singing at the top of their lungs! I made a video with one hand to be able to appreciate the moment as much as possible. I also thought about when Jon had taken both my hands despite the fact that he had his microphone in one of them at the beginning of the solo in May 2011. By seeing him just touching slightly other people's hands, I felt privileged that he took the time to take my hands one year and a half ago! There was even a woman in the pit who was holding up roses and she wanted Jon to take them so much! But he completely ignored them! With his pollen allergies, I learned a long time ago that Jon never takes flowers from people and I find it a little weird that women continue to bring some at shows they go to in hope that Jon will take them...

At the end of Livin' On A Prayer, Jon said: "We'll see you tomorrow, good night!" The band members then took a bow officially. I had a feeling with the crowd's reaction that the band would not leave yet! Anyway, I was hoping that it was not over! But Jon's face said it all; he didn't want to leave and it showed! However, he seemed dead tired and he even said as a joke that he was too old to play for so long! But it was hopeless, the crowd was crazy and he knew it well! I had never been so happy to hear the first notes of Blood On Blood in my life! We had succeeded in convincing Jon to stay a little longer!

At the end of Blood On Blood, the crowd expressed itself noisily and Jon could see well what was going on... He had a huge smile on his face, but he seemed really discouraged by the fact that he could not leave yet! He repeated to us that he was really too old for us to do that to him! But well, Jon being who he is and the Montreal's crowd being what it is, we were fortunate enough to hear I Love This Town as well! And right before starting it, Jon said: "This is only for you, Montreal!" I quite like to hear this song in concert! I got a big and nice surprise when I realized that the images of the town that were displayed on the hexagonal columns on stage were images of the most typical buildings of Montreal!! Wow!! This was a nice surprise! I took a lot of pictures at that moment, because I could not believe my eyes! The "Farine Five Roses" sign, the Place Ville Marie tower, the Stock Exchange Tower, the building where Martin was working in a few years ago on McGill College Street, the Mont Royal Cross, the Old Port Clock Tower and the Olympic Stadium tower were among the things that I recognized quickly on the columns! My evening was complete, I was fulfilled that the band had thought about something like this. It's good to think about it, it's something else to do it!

When Jon removed his earplugs after I Love This Town, I knew that the show was already over! The band took another bow, Richie took the opportunity to throw remaining guitar picks in the first rows of the pit. When the lights went off on stage, and the lights turned on in the room, Sandra could not believe that the show was over, because Jon had not even introduced the band members... And it was true! Well, Jon will have forgotten or he doesn't do it for the current tour!

Sandra left a few moments to go after an official set list, but she came back empty-handed while telling me that the security guards were a lot less cooperative than usual. I made her realize that the times when she had gotten one, she was on the other side of the catwalk! However, I saw that Isabelle was holding a copy in her hands in the pit a few minutes later, confirming my theory!

Maryse and Geneviève came to join us shortly after, at the same time that Claudia, the woman to whom Maryse had promised her VIP package merchandise, came near us, because Maryse had written to her that Sandra had it and she had mentioned where are seats were. Maryse and Geneviève seemed fulfilled of their evening in the pit, they were able to touch Richie and Jon. They had a misfortune with a stubborn security guard who didn't want to let them go to the catwalk, despite the fact that people were passing behind him and he didn't do anything to stop them. When Maryse and Geneviève saw that, they decided to go around the guard to go to the catwalk in turn! Maryse even said that she would say the same usual thing when coming back from a Bon Jovi concert to her coworkers: "I'm in love..." She seemed really happy of her evening at that moment, I was really happy for her to have had such a good time!

While heading towards section 124 to be able to go up to the street level, Sandra and I saw Luca who was walking towards us. Sandra said hello and me too when he was close enough to talk to him. I was so proud to finally meet him after all these years! A few years after becoming a fan club member in the 1990s, Luca had written to me and since then, I thought of the day when I would have the chance to see him in person! We talked to him a little, he seemed to have quite liked his concert. He's a reserved man, but SO nice! A real big fan who respects the others and who fully enjoys himself wherever he goes! He told us that he would be in the pit the following night and when we left him, we told him that we would be there as well the following night!

We left Maryse and Geneviève while walking out at the Windsor Court, because they had parked at the Bell Centre and Sandra and I had parked at the Sheraton. While walking towards René-Lévesque Boulevard, we gave each other our impressions on the show. Overall, we had the same opinion! Too many new songs, a relatively "slow" show and we were both hoping that the set list would change a little for the following night. I was personally afraid that it would be quite the same, but I was hoping it would change. Let's say that we had Valentine's Day on our side to make the set list change! We were also under the impression that the show was still not given enough time to get into its stride and we could say that there was no spontaneity at all. I hoped that the spontaneity was not killed by the visual effects created by Moment Factory, because this is what is most pleasant at a Bon Jovi show!

We got to the car quite quickly and when passing in front of a mirror in the elevator, I had the wonderful surprise to see that my hair was still as beautiful as when I had left my house during the afternoon! They rarely stay straight under the heat and the humidity of my neck! Let's say that I had not been very hot during the show, except when Jon was at the catwalk...

It took us about ten minutes to get out of the parking lot and of the square around the Bell Centre because of traffic, but afterwards, it was very quiet on the road and we were able to get back to the South Shore quite quickly to go back to Sandra's house. We had a little blonde moment (even if I have chestnut hair...) that Sandra didn't want me to talk about, but I do it anyway! We arrived at a stop sign on the road at some point right before the Champlain Bridge and Sandra stopped as she had to. However, she didn't realize that she could go immediately after stopping and since the traffic light a little farther down the road was red, she was waiting for it to become green before going forward. It's only when a car stopped in the right lane at the same stop sign and left immediately after that Sandra realized that she was at a stop sign and not at a traffic light!! And, not smarter, I didn't realize that we were only at a stop sign! We laughed so hard when we left!!! I think that we were way passed tired!!

I came back home exhausted, but happy of my evening despite all. I also resisted the temptation of watching my videos and looking at my pictures before going to bed, a first for me! I was hoping to spend a nice evening the following night, but I was anticipating that I would be tired!

Day 2 - The day when the backstage tour turned to the unexpected

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

The events around the announcement of the second Bon Jovi show of the Because We Can tour in Montreal on February 14, 2013 and the sale of fan club tickets were not as joyful as usual. Indeed, on the morning of November 2, 2012, while driving to work, a heavy truck hit me on the highway after a traffic jam caused by an accident in front of us caught me by surprise and made me put on the brakes suddenly (the heavy truck didn't have time to brake in time). Fortunately, I was not hurt except that my right side was sore, but my car was in bad shape (it was declared total loss a few days later by the insurance). Anyway, I still went to see a doctor during the afternoon and Martin and I went to pick up Charles at daycare while coming back from my appointment. I was still a little in shock by the accident and Martin decided that I would not make dinner. We then headed to a take-out restaurant and meanwhile, Sandra and Maryse had started sending emails to say that the additional show on February 14 had just been announced. The Evenko general public sale was starting the next day at noon and we were wondering if the fan club tickets would be on sale before the public general sale. We didn't wait long before figuring it out...

When the details on the fan club ticket sale were shown on Bon Jovi's website, we learned that the tickets would go on sale at 6hpm and it was then 5h30pm! A little panicked, I called Sandra to ask her if she were home and oh no! She was at the restaurant with Stéphane and they had just received their meal!! And I was still in the car with Charles waiting for Martin to come back with the take-out dinner!! While discussing with Sandra, she agreed to purchase a VIP package in the pit, no matter if it cost 900$US. After the ordeal of the accident that I had just experienced, I told myself that we only live once and I really wanted to be in the pit at least one out of the two nights in Montreal! She was convinced that she could not return home for 6hpm, so she left it to me to purchase the tickets, but she asked me to call her anyway a few minutes before 6hpm to keep her informed of the events.

We got back home at around 5h50pm and while Martin started eating with Charles, I configured my laptop for the ticket sale and I called Sandra afterwards. I was very surprised when she told me that she was back home! I don't know how she did it, but I imagine that Stéphane must still tease her a little bit on the fact that she spoiled her dinner for Bon Jovi! There was a lot less stress during the purchase of the tickets for this additional show! My laptop didn't fail on me and after trying for 30 seconds to get tickets in the pit without VIP packages, Sandra and I came to the conclusion that we were better off choosing the Heart & Dagger VIP package (which was renamed Sapphire VIP Experience afterwards) which included a ticket in the pit. Sandra and I had the chance of having in each of our purchase cart a pair of tickets for this VIP package. Since she had purchased the tickets for February 13, I decided to purchase my pair, even if the tickets were a little worse than those that she had. In two minutes, the tickets were purchased, the stress was over, and I realized bit by bit that I had just paid 900$US for only one ticket and a VIP package! I think that I didn't have any logic after hitting my head in the morning!! But I admit that being able to go on stage before the show to have my picture taken while holding Jon's microphone stand in my hands and imagine myself in front of 20 000 people, it's really priceless, MOSTLY on February 14, Valentine's Day when the band always tries to play a few special love songs during the show...

In short, this VIP package included:

On the morning of February 14, I woke up early, because Martin was going to work and I had things to do before leaving again to meet with Sandra at her house in late afternoon. I decided not to look at my pictures too much to concentrate on writing my review, because I'm always afraid of mixing both nights when there are two shows and I wait to write my review only after the second night...

During the day, I was already feeling nauseated from being tired, but adrenaline was still keeping me up. The previous night show's critics were better than what I was expecting. People had still reacted well to the great number of new songs... I also learned that Moment Factory had not been able to present all their visual effects on the previous night, because they had supposedly not had enough time to prepare everything. Knowing Jon, I don't think that he was very happy about this if it got to him! Being a perfectionist as he is, when it is not perfect from the beginning, you end up on a black list that is difficult to be removed from afterwards!

I left to meet with Sandra at her house shortly after 3hpm and as I said as a joke when I was at her house, I know two rooms in the house: the entrance and the restroom! We left when it was not even 4hpm if I remember well. There was no traffic on the Champlain Bridge, but there were a little more cars when we got Downtown! Mostly that we had to park at the Bell Centre, because the parking was free for us that night with our VIP package and I didn't take the right road to get to the parking lot on Saint-Antoine Street which is one-way... We went around the streets to go back, but let's say that we lost much time! Fortunately, we were really early.

When we arrived at the Bell Centre, I told my name to the parking lot valet who had a list of VIP names. It's always a good feeling to say that I am "VIP for the Bon Jovi show"! He gave me a ticket indicating that the parking was free and he put it on the dashboard and he invited us to follow the instructions of a valet who was placing people farther. We were guided towards a spot still quite near the entrance, to my great happiness! I parked backwards to be able to leave a lot easier at the end of the evening. It's not obvious at all to park backwards in tiny parking lot spots, but well, I admit that I was quite proud of the result!

We took the time to cross Saint-Antoine Street after coming out of the parking lot by foot, because we had seen that a picture of Jon was interlocked in a wall corner of the Bell Centre! I wanted to take a picture of it, because it was quite special to see Jon there! We were also very happy to see that the fan club was really organized this time around by putting nice signs a little everywhere to indicate where to go after coming out of the parking lot. During previous tours, it was not the case at all and it occurred to us to look for the fan club table for a few minutes! Here are pictures of a sign that was outside the Bell Centre and the picture of Jon on the Bell Centre wall:

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

We were quite on time for the check-in, that is 4h45pm and when we went in the Bell Centre by the door that gave access to the boxes like the fan club had indicated to us, we realized that there was almost nobody! I found it very strange... A couple arrived a few minutes later and the woman who was with Cory on the previous day gave them their merchandise, their tickets and their VIP passes immediately. I then stepped forward in turn afterwards with my driver's license to get our tickets and our merchandise. I saw at the same time that my name was on the list of people who had purchased a Heart & Dagger VIP package and by looking briefly at the short list, I saw that the person who would be beside us and who had an aisle seat (we had seats 2 and 3) was a woman and she had an European name. The woman at the table put a yellow bracelet around our wrist which indicated that we were allowed a backstage tour that night. The previous day, the bracelet was blue.

Sandra and I went back to the parking lot afterwards to go drop our merchandise in the car instead of dragging it all night. When we came back to the boxes entrance, she took the time to smoke a cigarette. While chatting, she told me that during her fan club trip at the beginning of the 2000s when she had gone on stage in the stage pits at the Giants Stadium, she had had a yellow bracelet as well and it had brought her luck to be on stage the night that it was not raining.

Anyway, when we entered the building, the doorman was already ready to scan the tickets and let us go to the VIP party. Right before, I saw Cory who had gone down the elevator and she had come to take care of the distribution of the tickets with VIP packages. After our tickets were scanned, a security guard asked us to open our purses to briefly inspect their contents and palpate the contents from underneath. Afterwards, we were able to go up the elevator to the fourth floor like the previous night.

We were greeted like the previous night by two waiters who were holding platters on which there were glasses of beer and wine, as real VIP. We saw that the same table that we had sat down to on the previous night was still free, so Sandra headed towards it. Why depart from a winning formula? I told Sandra that she could go get something to eat and I was going to stay at the table until she came back to keep an eye on our things. When she came back, she seemed a little disappointed, because supposedly there was a lot more meat than the previous night on the menu and she is a vegetarian. She asked me if I wanted a bottle of water and when the waiter saw her stand up, he immediately said: "Ah! I'll bring you your bottles of water!" He had come to see us shortly before to ask us if we wanted something to drink and tell us not to hesitate to go to the bar to ask something to drink to the barman. When he came back with the bottles of water (he had not removed the caps this time, yeah!), he told us that he suspected that this is what we wanted, because usually, people who don't drink alcohol want water! He was really nice!

I then headed towards the buffet in turn to go get something to eat, because we had told ourselves that we would leave with the first group for the backstage tour. I saw that there was salmon, rice, sautéed vegetables, braised beef ribs with strained sweet potatoes and 4 cheese pizza. A chef was also available to us to cut slices of marinated and grilled chicken breasts. Mmm! Can you believe me if I say that I took a little piece of salmon?? I must have hit my head, since I hate fish!! I was in the middle of taking a piece of beef when the woman who had given us our tickets when we arrived spoke to us with a microphone to tell us that the first group for the backstage tour was leaving in 5 minutes and she was inviting those who wanted to join her in that group to go meet her at the mobile museum before then. I returned to the table quickly and I told Sandra that we'd better hurry up to eat, even if it meant go get more food later. I ate what was in my plate in record time, praising the quality and taste of the food in my plate... I even liked the salmon! I was so stressed out and I didn't want to miss the first departure! I went to put my coat in the coatroom at the entrance of the room and we headed towards the mobile museum where the woman who was doing the backstage tours was distributing headphones and monitors that we could hook to our belt so we could hear her during the tour.

We left a few minutes later. We were about twelve for the tour, with the woman at the head of the line and a security guard who escorted and kept a close eye on us. I think that I approached the woman right before we left to ask what her name was, not to call her "the woman" every time I would refer to her. She kindly told me that she was called Alli. Anyway, Alli brought us to the elevators while telling us that she was starting to do backstage tours and she asked us to be patient with her, since she is not used to doing that. She was indeed quite young, but she still had a very high self-confidence. She told us at some point that she was part of the tour crew members. It was very special to be there with her when we headed towards the floor level, but underneath the bleachers behind the stage. This is where the whole crew settles in with their equipment. I was impressed by the number of people whom we ran into and mostly the equipment and tools at their disposal! There is even a little spot for them to eat, a little like a cafeteria! There is a room where a sewing machine is located to do alterations to clothes that would suffer from a little accident... It was really impressive to see the black boxes on which the description of the equipment they contained was written with "Bon Jovi" written on them as well... I felt very privileged as Alli was talking and telling us to say hello to several tour crew members whom we were running into while taking the time to say their name at the same time... It's too bad that I could not record the audio of the tour, I didn't remember much of what she was saying and still, it was really interesting!

At first, a person who approached Alli (I don't remember anymore if it were a security guard or a tour crew member) was quite surprised to learn that she was not playing a recording in our ears! When she wanted to talk to a colleague, she was taking her microphone in her hand to conceal her voice so we would not hear certain details that she was discussing with them. She had also warned us that we could possibly have to change the frequency of our monitor in case she would get information in her ear that she was interfering with a frequency already in use by other tour crew members.

We didn't have to wait long to reach the entrance of the Bell Centre section where we could access underneath the stage by a little door made of black fabric, on the right side of the stage. At some point, Sandra said: "Hey, is this Richie?!" right in time to make me see a man from behind go underneath the stage quickly by the fabric door. I had enough time to see that it was really him! After thinking about it, Sandra and I are certain that he passed right beside us and we didn't even realize it! Alli seemed a little perplex and a little embarrassed, because she knew well that it was Richie who had just gone underneath the stage; she told us to stay there a few minutes for her to have time to know what was going on.

She had had the OK earlier to do the backstage tour at that time, because the previous day, she had gotten a warning by the production that people had ended up on the stage way too late during the last backstage tour. That night, she had to make sure to begin earlier to have time to do two tours in time to avoid having the production get mad once more. (I don't know how much the production was mad, but well, she didn't seem to want to hear that once more!)

A few moments later, while we were starting to hear a guitar (we could barely see on stage at that moment, but there seemed to have people who were setting up the instruments), Alli told us that it was the first time it happened, but Richie was starting the soundcheck and we could not go underneath the stage at that moment. She invited us to follow her to go around the floor to see the stage at least. When we were heading towards the back of the floor, we realized that Richie was on stage playing guitar. People around us, Sandra and I included, reacted vividly to see him there! It was not expected at all and usually, backstage tours are not done during a soundcheck!! A woman who was doing her 20th backstage tour (if I remember correctly) told Alli that indeed, she saw that for the first time!! A man in his fifties completely flipped out! He asked Alli, like a child who really wants a gift for Christmas, if it were possible to talk to her contacts to make it possible for him to get his tattoo autographed (I hope that I understood well his request) by Richie. He even added: "It would mean so much to me, please, it's my biggest dream!" Alli, not quite knowing what to do, told him that unfortunately, she had little (or not at all) interaction with the band and she didn't know who to talk to to realize the man's dream. I had never seen a man make such a request and felt that he really wanted it to happen! I was feeling almost bad for him! A boy, maybe a young teenager, it's hard to say, who was with his mother (probably), also seemed very impressed!

We stayed there, not far away from the stage, during a few minutes. Sandra, I and a few other people started taking pictures. I could not even believe the chance that we had and Alli repeated to us several times that we were very lucky! I even told Sandra at that moment: "My review is going to be so long with all that..." Alli also explained to us that the technical crew still had a very hard time making the new technology used during the tour work. She never referred to Moment Factory, but let's say that it was clear, she was talking about uncompleted visual effects... To defend everyone, she said that the tour still needed to get into its stride and what we had seen the previous night was still not the final product. Among others, she told us that the spotlights were supposed to move and they could come down and go up with cables during the show, but they had to attach them for the show from the previous night because of technical problems. The tour crew members were precisely busy working on them. She told us that they were hoping for them to work for the show that night. We saw all the spotlights go down together along cables at some point, so I imagine that they had fixed the problem from the previous night...

Since the soundcheck continued, Alli decided to bring us at the sound console farther on the floor. When I turned around to face the stage, I immediately noticed that all the seats in the Bell Centre were empty and that I was seeing that for the first time! I felt like in the Access All Areas video that Bon Jovi had made during the New Jersey tour and in which we could see soundchecks and empty arenas from time to time.

Afterwards, we moved forward to get closer to the stage on the left side, but Alli told us to stay far enough from the stage to avoid interfering with the soundcheck. It showed that she was trying to buy time... Suddenly, I realized that Hugh was now on stage and playing bass! And a little later, Tico arrived and sat down at the drums! Oh wow! We were beside the hockey benches where seats had been placed for the show and I started staring at the stage and I felt a big ball of emotions going up my body. I had paid to get a backstage tour for the first time and I could see the band members arrive one after the other in a lot more relaxed environment than during a show! We could see them all natural and I could not believe that I was there! Surely, the thought of seeing Jon arrive on stage crossed my mind and it made the ball of emotions bigger! I shed a tear at that moment, while repeating to myself the chance that I had to be there, even if Jon would probably not show up. I could feel the excitement among the twelve people or so who surrounded me; we all seemed to want to pinch ourselves to find out if we were dreaming or not.

Sandra asked Alli if we could get a little bit closer to the stage. She said to wait a few moments giving her time to check, but unfortunately, the production told her in her ear that it was better if we stayed far away. After a few minutes, Alli told us that unfortunately, the soundcheck was taking longer than expected and we had to go back up to the VIP party, because we could not stay there. Anyway, from what she told us, Jon was still not even at the Bell Centre and they were waiting for him to finish the soundcheck, so it would take too long. The bottom line is probably that she didn't want to find herself managing twelve people or so who could quite well become hysterical to see Jon arrive on stage! She then led us towards an entrance of another section of the Bell Centre on the left side of the stage. We were then right beside the stage and we all stopped a few moments to watch Tico, Hugh and Richie play, without Alli intervening. We took a few pictures, Hugh waved at us with both his hands in the air at some point, we were even lucky enough to have Richie wave at us; he seemed focused (or not happy to see us there)! Shortly after, the security guard who escorted us insisted on us moving forward, because our time near the stage was over. He had to insist, because we were not moving at all!

Here are thus a few pictures that I took during this short incomplete but still very special backstage tour:

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The black fabric door that Richie used is on the left of the man who is coming towards us.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Richie drinking water and talking to a tour crew member.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The stage seen from the sound console without anybody on neither the floor nor the bleachers.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

There is so much equipment above the stage and there was indeed a giant screen at the top!

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Richie playing guitar on stage in a very relaxed way.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Hey! Hugh is also there now while Richie is talking with someone who takes care of his guitars.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

When we were on the left side of the stage before Hugh saw us and waved at us.

First backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Richie waving at us. Sorry, it didn't last long and my picture is not clear!

We went back up to the fourth floor and Alli told us that there would be another backstage tour at 6h30pm and that we could go underneath and on the stage at that moment. We then went to bring back our headphones and our monitors and we went back into the room where the VIP party was. While we were in the hallway of the Bell Centre, we could hear the soundcheck and Sandra made me realize that Richie was playing Bed Of Roses! I was very happy to hear the typical notes of this song that I listened to so much!

Maryse and Geneviève arrived shortly after we had come back into the room where the VIP party was; they seemed happy of the experience that we had just had! We took the time to eat correctly because it was still quite early. I ran into Alli while heading towards the buffet and I thanked her for the shortened tour and I told her that my father had passed away two weeks ago (she then told me: "Oh, so sorry about that!") and that the chance that we had had was really the cherry on the sundae! She seemed really happy that I liked the experience. I told her that I really wanted to go underneath the stage and go on stage, so I would join her later for another backstage tour.

I took a bigger piece of salmon (oh yes, I must have hit my head or the soundcheck had done that effect on me!) and beef with several small slices of pizza. When I headed towards the table, I saw the man in his fifties who had wanted to meet Richie; he was over the phone and from his face, he could still not believe our luck!

Sandra went to the restrooms at some point and she came back all excited while telling us that the soundcheck was not over and she was now hearing Jon sing! It seems like they were playing Born To Be My Baby. I then had high expectations to hear all the songs that I had missed the previous night!

The four of us had so much fun during dinner, I'm sure that we have disturbed some people at some point! I think that the time I laughed the most is when Maryse told us that she had started to say the joke of "Pete and Repeat are on a boat, Pete falls into the water, who is still there?" to her daughter. It seems like her daughter answers, each time, "Captain Hook"!!!! I laughed so much, just writing it still makes me roll on the floor laughing!

At some point, Geneviève also told us about incidents with some chemistry students (she is a CÉGEP teacher) who show her everything they know. She told us that she often tries to lower her frustration because of her students who don't always understand the principles by figurative images of the situation so they can finally understand the principles she teaches. I admit that I would not always want to be a teacher, because I would get frustrated sometimes too!

At around 6h20pm, Sandra made me realize that we had to get ready if we didn't want to miss the next backstage tour. We headed towards the mobile museum and Alli was there, but she was quite relaxed and she told us that she was still waiting for the OK to leave with the group who was really big for the tour! We had the time to go to the restrooms and come back in the room where the mobile museum was. Alli then distributed the headphones and the monitors to us once again and we formed a line at the entrance of the museum in the meantime. I don't know how many we were, but let's say that even Alli said at some point: "My god, this is a large group!" When we came out of the museum, she said that it was Jon's fault if we had to wait so long before being able to leave... I smiled while telling Sandra that it was the first time that someone I know said that and it was true! (I learned afterwards that Jon had been late for the soundcheck because of the recording of his interview at the TV show called Tout le monde en parle at Radio-Canada in late afternoon.) Anyway, we had to take 3 different elevators to have the whole group end up downstairs, it can give an idea of how large the group was... And the elevators could contain a lot of people at once!

We passed again in front of the little improvised cafeteria, the room where the sewing machine was, etc. and we arrived at the black boxes that we had seen earlier. A tour crew member (I think that his name is Andy) was at a console that was used to control the cameras and to record all the shows. Alli then asked him if he were available to explain to us a little what surrounded him. He then told us that they were systematically recording every concert for archiving purposes and also to have material in case the band would decide to make a DVD or put live songs on special CDs. He showed us everything, he even introduced us to other crew members; it's crazy how all this equipment seems complex! Yet, I'm used to seeing equipment racks at work with the 10-meter antenna that we have to control to communicate with satellites, but well, seeing the same kind of equipment backstage of a Bon Jovi show, it's enough to really impress me!

We arrived quite quickly afterwards to the place where we could access underneath the stage and where we had stopped earlier. This was it, we would be able to see underneath the stage and go on it! Alli told us that on stage, we had to be very careful not to touch the instruments and that the only things that we were allowed to touch were Jon's microphone stand and his maracas. I think that she was afraid to get into trouble with the large group that we were!

We thus entered by the black fabric door that Richie had used earlier and we saw the spot where people take care of David (of course, he was not there!) and then, we saw the room where Jon's guitars were located. It looked like a little apartment underneath the stage with a lot of rooms that would close with a black fabric curtain. The space was also much optimized; we could have said that all the little black boxes and the other boxes had their spot! And it was quite high for me to pass in the "door frames" without hitting my head on the ceiling.

We saw on our left a little staircase by which the band members can climb on stage; it was the same kind of staircase as the one located at the back of the pit to allow Jon to climb on the catwalk.

I also saw a set list from the previous night, so I decided to take a picture of it, because I still had not found one yet on the internet. We saw a second staircase, maybe a little larger than the previous one, which gave an on-stage access. This is the one that Alli told us to use to climb on stage. We looked around us before going up; it was really impressing to see the amount of things in such a small space! The band members really have little dressing rooms for each of them (anyway, I was under the impression that they each had one!) underneath the stage!

I left the honor of climbing the staircase to go on stage to Sandra before I did the same. When I arrived on stage, I realized that there were already a lot of people at their seat in the Bell Centre! What a view I had then! Wow! The stage is really larger than I would have thought with all the music instruments! Only two people were getting their picture taken while holding Jon's microphone stand, so we decided to stay close to be the next ones. Sandra was the first one to get closer, I took a few pictures of her with my camera and then, I let all my things on the floor to go get my picture taken beside it as well. There was not much lighting in the arena, so the pictures were a little dark and Sandra had to use the flash for my picture. When I grabbed the microphone stand, I saw that it was worn out at the top; it has been repainted a few times! I was expecting it based on Maryse and Geneviève's feedback from the previous night and based on pictures that I took during the The Circle tour. Jon's microphone was not there as I was expecting. I don't even imagine the number of women who would think about kissing it if it were available! I also realized that Jon and I are probably the same height or almost, because the end of the stand was quite near my mouth when I was standing straight!

Then, we gave way to other people while I took pictures of the Bell Centre seen from the stage. I could only imagine the buzz that the band must feel when the room is all packed with people singing at the top of their lungs! I took pictures of all the music instruments. David's keyboards are impressive in size!

Richie has two large round traps underneath his microphone, I think that it was ventilation. And what about his console containing pedals and guitar connections on the floor! I had not imagined that it was that big! I stayed standing still beside all this equipment, totally amazed!

There was a waiting line to have our picture taken with Jon's maracas which were near the drums, but people were respectful and didn't take too long to take their pictures. I had such a feeling when I took them in my hands and shook them a little! It's weird, it sounded hollow, but it was still really the sound they make during Keep The Faith! I thought there were more marbles in the maracas than this, they seemed almost empty! Sandra dared taking the skinless wood tambourine which was beside the drums, but someone warned her quite quickly that she was not allowed to touch that! It's been a long time since I saw Jon play that little instrument during a show, unless it is for Tico for some songs...

Several people were looking at us from the bleachers and some had a puzzled look. I guess that not most people know that they can pay to get a backstage tour when being a fan club member and when paying a lot of money!

A thing that I didn't think of doing and that I would have quite liked to do is a round on the catwalk! I must admit that I was so impressed to be on stage and look at the public that it didn't cross my mind at all! We went back down shortly after Alli told us that we had to think about continuing our tour underneath the stage. Sandra had asked her a few moments earlier if we could have Richie's guitar picks. Sandra had thought of taking one from Richie's microphone stand, but I told her that it was not a good idea! Alli told us that Richie usually keeps a pot from which people can get some themselves, but she didn't know if he had left some in the pot that night. When going back down underneath the stage, I saw Matt enter in the space where Richie's guitars were stored (and where his stage dressing room is) and Alli joined him. Sandra and I almost screamed: "Hi Matt!", but he barely looked at us. He seemed a little preoccupied... They talked together far away from us, I guess that Alli asked him if she had the time to do another tour despite the fact that it was late and I heard Matt say: "No way! The band goes on stage at 8!" I don't remember what time it was anymore, but it must have been a little over 7hpm at that time... While waiting for her to get her things settled with Matt, I saw another sound console underneath the stage. Alli had told us a few moments earlier what it was, but I don't remember anymore... It was maybe to control some lights on stage, I don't know... I also saw white towels that were very well folded above my eyes on my right. I decided to take a picture of them, because they were located in a weird spot!

Matt left and we were able to go into Richie's "dressing room". I didn't think he was bringing so many guitars at every show! Alli even told us that there was one that was worth a million dollars! Wow! Sandra and I didn't see guitar picks in his dressing room, so we will not have souvenirs from our tour other than pictures that we took!

While going our way towards the right, we finally came out from underneath the stage and we found ourselves at the pit entrance, but farther than the security guards. Sandra and I took pictures, because we rarely see the crowd at that angle and mostly, we are rarely there! I then told myself that it is very easy for the band to get out of the stage and go in their official dressing rooms at the end of the show without being seen from people too much! When I raised my eyes, I realized that people in the bleachers were looking at us with a puzzled look like they were trying to understand how we had ended up doing such a tour! We went back to the elevators quite quickly to be able to return our headphones and monitors and get ready for the show, because it was already over 7h15pm if I remember well!

Here are a few pictures from my complete backstage and on-stage tour:

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The small cafeteria is set up against a wall on which all the shows that occurred at the Bell Centre are written on with the date. Bon Jovi is there quite a few times!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Andy explaining to us what it takes to record the shows.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Other recording equipment... It's just a small overview of what was there...

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

A banner on the backstage ceiling welcoming Bon Jovi!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Jon's guitars underneath the stage.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Another part of Jon's dressing room underneath the stage (I guess, it was the largest one).

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The main staircase that allows climbing on stage.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Me taking a relaxed pose while holding Jon's microphone stand!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The view that the band has of the Bell Centre from the stage. The stage is very high!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Guitars on stage, probably the ones belonging to Bob Bandiera.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

One of the two keyboards belonging to David.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Tico's drums.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Where Richie is on stage. It's really crazy to see the things that he has at his disposal!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Me holding Jon's maracas!

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

A console with a lot of computer hardware underneath the stage.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

Alli and Matt talking together in Richie's dressing room underneath the stage. Matt is 6'3" and he is standing underneath the stage.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

A few of Richie's guitars underneath the stage.

Second backstage tour before the Bon Jovi show at the Bell Centre, Quebec, Canada (February 14, 2013)

The pit entrance seen from farther than the security guards.

We joined Maryse and Geneviève at the VIP party and we went down after a last stop to the restrooms. We left them at the bottom of section 124 when we arrived on the floor, because they were going straight to go in the middle section of the floor (they were in the third row, one seat to the right of where we were the previous night) and we were heading towards the left to reach the pit completely up front.

When I got into the pit, I felt at ease, really where I belonged, as if I were there every week. It's such a nice place... So many memories and so much hope at the same time... It's an indescribable feeling and if it were only me, I would be there at every Bon Jovi show! A security guard told us that we were in the right pit, as I was expecting, because we were in pit 2. Pit 1 was on the left while facing the stage. Quite a lot of people were already in there. I saw Isabelle from far away with her friend Isabelle who were able to get tickets in the second row of the pit at the last minute when Evenko released pit tickets without VIP packages, so they didn't have to empty their bank account to be there.

When I turned around to face the stage, I saw another group of people on stage doing the backstage tour! I wondered by what kind of miracle they could have ended up there at that time, because Matt had been very categorical earlier!! They were more than lucky or some women had cried of deception upstairs and the crew tour members had felt sorry for them!

I saw a woman sell tour programs in the pit! I didn't even think that sellers could end up there! I still recognized a few faces, I didn't see Luca until a little later, but I told myself that it would be better to go talk to him after the show, because it was still quite late and I hadn't finished my preparations yet. A security guard came to talk to us a little after we arrived in the pit. After asking us which language we used, he told us that he was coming to tell us security rules and I immediately said that we were not in the pit for the first time. It was hopeless, he had a job to do and he did it! He informed us about not going into the aisle during the show and respecting their directives. He told us about the rope that they would stretch when Jon would be at the catwalk and he forbade us to go over or under it. He also told us that the production had warned them that Jon could do something special for Valentine's Day, by singing among others more songs at the catwalk and maybe another surprise. I immediately thought of Jon coming down in the pit, but well, no staircase allowing him to come down from the main stage was available, so I didn't hope too much based on what the security guard had just said...

I then took off my red top to reveal my customized tank top that I had made especially for the occasion. My head was saying that I looked a little stupid to have written a message for Jon on a tank top, but my heart was telling me that if it were what I had to do, it was what I had to do! I put on more deodorant and I put drops in my eyes. I took out my banner about Bed Of Roses, the little sheet on which a message for Jon was written, my bottle of water from the VIP party, my camera and I put my cellular phone in my right back pocket to avoid having my small purse around my neck all evening and run the risk that Jon would have a hard time reading the message on my tank top because of the strap of my small purse. I then attached my large purse to my seat for it to be underneath the seat without touching the ground. I also asked Sandra if she knew how I could keep my VIP badge on me without having it around my neck. Still another "engineer" moment, she helped me attach it to my belt.

Martin had sent me a text message that I only saw when I put my iPhone in my back pocket. He had seen me on stage earlier. I spotted him quite quickly in the bleachers, he was in section 102 row L, right on our left near the stage. Sandra also saw him when he started waving with his arms. Shortly before 8hpm, clock ticks were heard; it was the beginning of AC/DC song called Hells Bells. I told myself that the band would go on stage very soon and it would be a good idea for the band to decide one day to use clock ticks right before going on stage! But unlike what I was thinking, the lights didn't go off after Hells Bells... It was now over 8hpm and the background music was still playing. I don't say that people were starting to be impatient in the pit, but people had seen well the previous night that the band had come on stage at 8hpm sharp. The excitement was at its peak in the pit. Suddenly, the lights went off, I was then sending a text message to a friend who wanted to know where I was.

The show introduction was a little different near the stage, because the spotlights were passing right on us or right beside. It was really special, we could have said that we were covered with light! These same spotlights blinded us a few times during the show, because some of my pictures didn't turn out correctly because of them! But well, the lights seemed to come from the moving spotlights that Alli had talked to us about earlier, so it was a good sign that the problem that had afflicted them the previous night was probably fixed!

The band members arrived one by one by the staircase that I had stepped on earlier. It made me feel weird to realize that I had used the same staircase! I think that David arrived first followed by the other ones and by Richie before Jon arrived in the dark. We could see everything from where we were. I had the feeling that they would still start with You Give Love A Bad Name, but I was hoping that all the songs that we had heard during the soundcheck and that Sandra had reported to us after a trip to the restrooms would be played! I think that Jon hadn't finished saying yet: "Shot through the heart, and you're to blame" that there was already an overflow of screams in the Bell Centre. Being closer, sometimes it is better to feel the crowd's reaction behind us! At the first notes of music and when I saw the spotlight turn on and shine on Jon, I was already in heaven from being there, so close to the stage! My god, I like being there, despite the fact that I often have a taller person in front of me. It was still the case that evening, I think that the two tallest women living in Quebec were in front of me and they didn't seem to have high heels on! However, it was not so bad, because I could still see Jon well at his microphone stand. After all, I had to look up and a little on my left to see the stage. The only criticism that I made to myself was to realize that Jon was wearing the exact same "Captain America" leather jacket that he wore in Quebec City in 2012... I quite like seeing different shirts/jackets at each show; it's my personal choice...

The list of songs played was:


The set list was shorter by one song compared to the previous night, but wow! It was WAY better! During both nights, I heard quite all the songs that I wanted to hear! Long live Valentine's Day!

In statistics, I took 12 videos (including 2 videos taken during the soundcheck), 2296 pictures (without counting the pictures taken before and during the backstage tours, I took 2056 pictures including the official set list at the end and pictures of the view I had of the stage before the show once I got in the pit). The show started a little after 8h05pm and it ended at 10h35pm, that is quite the same duration as the previous night. After seeing the official set list at the end of the concert, I realized that the numerous encores were all included right away by Jon, even if they pretended leaving after Livin' On A Prayer. It cuts on the magic to see the set list like that and realize that the last two songs were not "audibles", but planned songs! I noticed the same thing by seeing the set list from the previous night. I was certain that the songs after Livin' On A Prayer were not necessarily planned and the decision to play them or not depended on the crowd's reaction... Once again, I decided to share with you my best pictures of that night.

At the beginning of the concert, I saw the man in his fifties who was with us during the first backstage tour (during the soundcheck). He was in the first row on our side. I then told myself that I don't understand why someone would pay so much money to be in the first row to bring a folding chair home... The other privileges, apart from not having anyone in front of them, are no longer worth the price to pay for this VIP package, in my opinion... And even though nobody is in front of them, the people in the first row are stuck with seeing the camera that films the band on stage pass in front of them, blocking their view several times. Precisely, Andy had told us that there are three cameras that film: one on stage and two others at the catwalk that are controlled remotely from where he is backstage.

I also decided at the beginning of the show that at the price I had paid for my ticket and my VIP package, I was really not going to take as many pictures and make as many videos as usual and spend the concert behind my LCD screen. I thus resisted the temptation of continually turning on my camera and I was able to enjoy it more than usual. This is what is reflected in the smaller number of pictures taken and half of the videos that I made. I'm really satisfied of my evening even if I have less concrete memories!

I quite like the way Because We Can starts live; we only hear the drums banging, unlike the recorded version where the song starts with Jon singing the chorus right away. Jon made us clap in our hands to the beat given by the drums. The previous night, I was too busy making a video to do it, but that night, I decided to let go and have more fun than usual.

Jon talked to Montreal's crowd right before That's What The Water Made Me. He started by welcoming us, people from Montreal, making the people go hysterical in the Bell Centre. "Good evening Montreal, welcome to round number 2" he said exactly. He continued by asking if there were people who had come the previous night. With the wave of screams that followed, he quickly got his answer. Let's say that it was screaming a lot in the pit! He continued by saying: "We'll change things up a little bit!" Then, he mumbled something and he talked about spanking us or I don't know what, because people were screaming too much near me for me to understand anything! He talked about the What About Now album and he said: "We'll be playing some new stuff, we'll be playing some old stuff and we're going to be playing some sweet Valentine's stuff." He then stopped talking to make a discouraged face by the screams that the girls had let out, because he knew well that he could still not get away from playing love songs! And he finally introduced the title of the song that would follow, That's What The Water Made Me. It was as good as the previous night, I really love that one in concert!

My goal that night was to bring Jon's attention on my tank top. Not easy with a woman who was more than 6 feet tall in front of me! But well, I had a weird feeling during That's What The Water Made Me that Jon saw it, because he frowned while looking a little below than our faces in my direction and he stayed a little longer than usual (when he looks at someone) in this position. I'm not sure that this is what he was looking at, but well, a woman can hope, mostly that the woman in front of me wasn't blocking Jon's view for him to see what was written on my tank top! Anyway, I had put the bottom of my tank top in my jeans (something that I never do usually) and I was trying to stretch the fabric of the tank top as much as possible by arching my back slightly backwards while standing the tallest possible so Jon could read the message as many times as he could or wanted. When I was not using my camera, I was holding it in one of my hands instead of letting it hang on the front of my tank top and hide the message.

At the beginning of the show, I saw that there was a giant screen at the back of the stage showing images of the band on stage. I was then no longer sure if this screen had been there or not the previous night. I had the feeling that there was no giant screen, but well, we never know! If it were new, people probably told the band that it was almost unconceivable to have no screens at all when the hexagonal columns were not being used...

I didn't necessarily want to talk about it openly, but I cannot help it... A woman in the second row of pit 1 (on our left) made me raise my eyebrows throughout the show. She was quite old, but she dressed as a real bimbo (not to use another word). In fact, I would not even wear these clothes publicly. She was wearing a spangled shirt that she had buttoned up using only one or two buttons, showing a part of her chest on the upper part and a good part of her abdomen which was not muscled and that showed a little belly on the lower part. She was wearing shorts that were so short that if they were a skirt, we would have seen her underwear... Additionally to all that, at the beginning of the show, she was wearing 3-inch high heels that she took off afterwards, because I saw her bare foot at some point during the show. She was almost never singing, but she waved her arms quite a lot. I don't want to make a judgement, but let's say that she should maybe get a little more dressed at her age, because I'm sure that she didn't need to be dressed like that to draw attention on her. Sorry if this person will read this review on the internet and will recognize herself, I don't think that I will change my mind about this!

When I heard the first guitar notes of the beginning of Superman Tonight, I was really happy to hear it. The surprises were starting, the set list was already different from the previous night! I was already spending a superb evening and the show was starting!

After having played a few songs, Jon talked to the crowd on his right (on my left) and asked them to stand up, because they were at a rock concert and not in their living room watching television. It's hard for me to say if he were kidding or if he were serious and it really annoyed him. He hadn't done it the previous night and while talking to Martin after the show, he is convinced that Jon saw that everyone except him (almost) was seated in his section. He was himself discouraged by that! I must admit that at some point, I think it was during one of the songs from What About Now, I turned around towards the section where Martin was and he was then standing still and the others were seated for real! I was so proud of my husband and I told myself that I had shown him the good manners at a Bon Jovi show! Thank you honey, you made me even prouder of you!!

Jon turned around in the dark after Superman Tonight and I had the feeling that they would play It's My Life. The crowd got up at once when they heard Richie start the song. It had been a long time since I had not sung and moved my arms so much during this song. I was sure that I would hear it, but well, this one has something special...

Jon was in shape, he was smiling a lot at the people in the pit, but things seemed to frustrate him terribly from time to time, it was really unique... It's really the first time that I saw him so frustrated more than once during the same show! Among others, he gave the finger to someone in the pit during What About Now; I admit not having understood the gesture at all at that moment and Jon seemed really angry when he did it! I learned a few days later that the old bimbo described earlier was so drunk that she could not stop sitting down on the seat located on the right of her seat (she had officially seat 2 and she was sitting down on seat 1), forcing the woman on her right to be in the aisle. A security guard supposedly came to tell her that she had to go back in the row and when she explained to him why she could not go back because of the drunk woman, the guard harshly pushed her back into the row. Jon saw everything! The woman who got pushed is a fan from Switzerland who follows the band a little everywhere in Europe and in North America. So, when Jon saw the guard push her, he gave him the finger and then, he turned towards the woman and made her a big smile that she unfortunately didn't see... Therefore, Jon defended one of his fans! It's the first time that I hear such a story!

Another episode of frustration happened during Army Of One after coming back from the catwalk (if I remember correctly); he completely stopped singing at some point to leave the stage and do something before coming back. He seemed really pissed! He came back a few moments later and the show went on without him, while he went fixing what was wrong... The last episode of frustration we witnessed will be described a little later.

When Born To Be My Baby started, in a fraction of a second, I screamed even before completely realizing that this song was indeed starting. I was so happy to hear it, I cannot believe that they had not played it yet on the tour! It is so good in show!! I quite unwound with the "na na na na, na na na, na na na, na" at the end!

The people in the Bell Centre stood up on their feet once more at the first notes of We Got It Going On, an indispensable song since the Lost Highway tour in 2007. Jon went to say hello again to the people on the sides of the stage, making several of them go hysterical and he headed towards the hexagonal columns at the back of the stage to go give a good dancing show to the people behind the stage. After the show, Martin admitted to me that he had told himself at that moment that it would not have been funny to see Jon fall from these columns, because it seems like they are not as wide as we may think when Jon spreads his legs on them. But well, I get reassured by telling myself that the higher he is, the more careful he must be and the last thing he wants is to fall from the stage...

When Keep The Faith began, I wondered how the first part of the show could have passed so fast! They were already at the last song before the songs at the catwalk! Sandra wanted me to understand that we had to try to sneak in the back immediately, but nobody was moving from their seat in the pit and the security guards were not quite in a hurry to bring the ropes to contain us probably because of that... I still took my banner which was on my chair and I put it in the front of my jeans. I knew that as soon as Jon would pass on our side at the back of the pit to climb on the catwalk, I had to hope for a miracle to be near the catwalk. We were two rows away from the catwalk and one seat away from the main aisle, where the ropes were stretched. I told myself that I had two choices: 1) stay at my seat and hope to be able to slide down with the people who were near the aisle or 2) pass over the chairs behind me. I stared at mine a few moments and I told myself that since they were all tied together, I wasn't running the risk of hurting myself by putting my feet on the seats to walk on them and get to the back... I took my courage with both hands when I didn't hear Jon sing anymore and when Richie and the others were playing an instrumental end to Keep The Faith. At some point, I was staring at the back of the pit and I turned around to face the stage. I saw the band members continue to play and I almost lost my patience: "Come on! Stop playing, it's not worth it anymore, we just want to go to the catwalk!!" As if I could control when they were going to stop playing!!

The lights went off, the security guards were now pulling strongly on the ropes, the people around me were all facing the back of the pit, I saw bodyguards walk by and Jon followed. As soon as he passed (I was so focused that I didn't even see him go up the staircase!), the girls at the back of the pit moved backwards to the catwalk and I was able to put my foot on my seat, go over the other row behind me and then, I didn't think about simply putting my foot on the seat of the closest chair in the fifth row. I put my foot on the ground, so I lost a second to step over the seat in the fifth row and then, the one in the sixth row! Grrr!! I will probably have a bruise on my thigh, because it rubbed quite hard on the metal back of the chair! It was the smallest of my worries at that moment, I could see that there was still a little free space at the catwalk, but in a fraction of a second, two women arrived and spread their elbows in width on the catwalk, keeping quite some space in width for themselves. I sneaked in between them and I started pushing on them on the side with my shoulders, but they offered resistance, obviously. They were a lot smaller than me, so they had a hard time keeping their spot. At some point, I let go, because I could see that they could have hurt themselves by wanting to push me back at all costs. One of them then told me: "Sorry, we were there first!" Fortunate for them that I had decided to let go, because otherwise, I think that I would have told them: "Sorry, I'm stronger!" and I would have really pushed them away (or rather tickled them to have them lower their arms! haha). I felt like I was stronger than them, but well, I told myself that it was not worth insisting, I could touch Jon more easily with them in front of me who would not be able to raise their arms very high anyway. Jon often touches the highest hands to avoid stretching too much forward... I then found myself behind (or beside, depending on the angle) the security guard who was holding the rope on our side. I tried to position myself beside the rope a little farther, but the tall woman who was in front of me during the concert was there and she had quite the intention of not letting me go there, so I returned to where I was, between the girls and the security guard. I saw that Sandra was right on my left, we were one beside the other. The girls in front of us seemed to be unhappy to get pushed, but we weren't the ones pushing them, the pressure came from behind. If I had been obnoxious, I would have told them that it was the price to pay to be the first ones at the catwalk; they had to expect getting pushed a little while everyone got in place...

When I heard the first notes of (You Want To) Make A Memory, I was still trying to see how I could position myself optimally, so I missed the first lyrics... I told myself that Sandra had to be happy to hear it (even before realizing that Sandra was beside me)! I'm not sure that it is during that song on the catwalk, but at some point, I felt either a camera or an arm rest on my left shoulder and I heard Sandra tell me: "It's just me, Marie, who just leaned on your shoulder!" The bottom line is it's ok, I would have lent my shoulder to whomever wanted to film at the condition that the person understood that I could have moved quickly if the occasion to touch Jon were to happen!

During the solo of (You Want To) Make A Memory or at the end of the song, I don't quite remember anymore, Jon moved from the middle to go see the people around a little bit. Several people on my left were able to touch his leg and one hand and I felt that I was touching his shoe with my hand at some point. I think that I was able to touch his hand very briefly, but thinking back on it, I touched the side of his hand (which was cold) and somebody else's hand (which was hot). Jon's hands are always quite cold during a show... A woman in the first row after the catwalk really stretched forward and Jon saw her, so he bended forward in turn to go take her hand. I'm not sure if he gave her a guitar pick or if he just took her hand, but anyway, she had a very beautiful moment with Jon! She was flipping out afterwards, I saw her scream: "OH MY GOD!!" and she shed a tear or two afterwards. She seemed overwhelmed (in a positive way)!

When Jon was walking a little bit on the catwalk with his guitar, we often saw his butt prominently (!!), I even saw Sandra taking a picture! But when he passed really beside us, I looked at his butt and I told myself that I was so close that if he farted, we would know it for sure! You now know what can go through my mind sometimes...

When (You Want To) Make A Memory ended, Jon turned around to face the stage, looked at the other band members and notified something to them, I don't quite know what. I had a feeling that they would continue with Bed Of Roses and I got a part of my answer when Jon said: "This is a song I wrote a LOOONG time ago..." The first notes at the piano that followed confirmed my intuition once more! I was already flipping out, Jon gave his guitar to a tour crew member who was on the other side of the catwalk towards the rest of the floor, and he grabbed his microphone as he usually does to start singing. I then screamed with everything I had: "Jon, S'IL VOUS PLAIT!!!" while realizing when I screamed that he doesn't speak French!! I then said: "Jon, PLEASE!!" to catch his attention, I was so close to him! At the same time, I unfolded my banner that I had already taken out of my jeans and I positioned it correctly in my hands to be able to show it high at the moment when he would turn around. I never looked at Jon as intensely as during the song, singing every word with him, savoring each moment and I was praying for him to turn around... But he didn't turn around before the beginning of the solo. Without hesitating, as soon as I saw that he was turning around towards me, I got up on tip-toe, I raised both my arms in the air above my head and I spread my hands for him to see my banner. He was looking in our direction, he looked at me, I quickly lowered my arms down just in time to be able to take his hand correctly (he was holding his hand out towards us), the girl in front of me didn't quite know what to do anymore, I think that she tried to move to the right when she saw that Jon and I were holding hands, I got a huge smile from Jon and he let go of my hand right as I was telling myself: "No, he won't pull me up this time either!" Everything happened so fast, it seemed to last a long time between the time when he turned around and I took his hand, but I know that probably just a second or two elapsed. Deep down inside, I dare hope that he preferred my hand to any other because of my banner; he must have just had the time to see "Bed Of Roses" written at the top of my banner before I lowered it down.

Jon then headed towards the opposite side from me to go sit down on the catwalk in front of people who were in the left part of the floor. I then saw Luca who was next to the catwalk on my right, not far away from Jon. Jon sang a while there, he stood up and he came back to the middle of the catwalk to sing the last choruses of the song. I was so happy, I had gotten a hold of myself a little bit, so I was able to make a video of the end of the song, because the pressure was over, my song had been played, he had taken my hand despite the fact that he hadn't pulled me up towards him and I was very satisfied despite of it all.

Then, Jon took his guitar back and he invited Richie to join him at the catwalk, a thing that he did quite quickly, because I saw him walk on the catwalk on the left of the stage a few seconds later. Jon was playing a few notes at the guitar and it was obvious that they would play I'll Be There For You. When the first notes were heard, I immediately thought about Maryse and Geneviève who were in the third row in front of Jon and Richie. I was not able to see them, but at some point, I saw Maryse; she was almost in front of me and I briefly saw Geneviève on her left afterwards. They both had a huge smile on their face and I saw Maryse take a few pictures, a smile still on her lips. The band made us sing the "oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh oooh" of the end of the song, as usual. It seems to me that this moment lasted a really long time, and it was so beautiful to hear...

Jon and Richie went back to the main stage afterwards, I'm not sure that I put my arm forward to touch him once again, I was still too much in my own little world. We also went back to our respective seats in the pit. I must say that everything happened calmly; we were very disciplined and very docile!

It still took me a few minutes to go back to the rhythm of the show after returning to my seat, so I have not been very aware of Army Of One, even if I remember that they played it!

Unlike the previous night, when Jon said that they would play another song that was called What's Left Of Me (that he renamed for this moment Does Anybody Want What's Left Of Me while introducing it to us), I appreciated hearing it more. Let's say that we were hearing only the fifth song from the What About Now album instead of the seventh one like the previous night, so maybe I appreciated it more and I was less tired because of that!

I don't quite remember when I saw that, but Alli, the woman who had entertained us during the backstage tour, went around in the pit at some point and she was taking pictures with a nice professional camera. I concluded that in her spare time, she entertains people during backstage tours, but her main role in the tour is official photographer! I had noticed a woman who looked like her the previous night with a camera as well, but I was a little too far away to know if it were really her. I got my answer that night!

The band made us rise for their national anthem, Wanted Dead Or Alive. Jon also invited us to sing the first verse and the first chorus, like the previous night. I cannot help but make a video of this part of the song when all the people in the Bell Centre sing at once. Since I wanted to see the stage without having to look through my camera, I decided to make the video while putting my camera closer to my neck. I however forgot that the camera's microphone is located on the top, so we hear me sing really loudly (and really badly!) on the video! Oops!

During Wanted Dead Or Alive I think (from the pictures I took), I saw Richie take carefully something on stage with his thumb and index finger. It was a bra!!! He showed it to everybody, triggering a big reaction in the crowd! It had been a long time since I had not seen a bra being thrown on stage! Richie seemed amused, I think that Jon saw it as well and Richie went to put it at the bottom of Tico's drums... Towards the end of the show during the encores, I also saw a teddy bear land on stage, but the band members didn't take it off the floor or they did it while I was not looking.

Right before Who Says You Can't Go Home, Jon said: "It's starting to sound better than New Jersey!" He wanted to tell us that we were a very good crowd!! The crowd's reaction was electrifying, being told that we sing louder than in their native state, it is flattering! I was so happy that I didn't take a chance and I took out my iPhone to write the sentence that he had just said. I took notes on my iPhone during a Bon Jovi show for the first time!

During Who Says You Can't Go Home, the people were raising their arms a lot during the "it's alright", even the ones in the bleachers. I turned around on my left at some point and I saw that Luca was holding up his "Italy is here" banner during the "it's alright" while his right neighbor was holding up an Italian flag at the same time.

The band played Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars as usual, without starting with a part a cappella like he had done the previous night. Sandra and I raised our arms at the beginning of the song and I immediately felt that my arms were sore, so I told her that my arms were already exhausted! I was still able to swing my arms until the end of the song, but I was really lacking energy! We also had a hard time synchronizing ourselves in the pit, because some people had started swinging their arms on the left and others, on the right. However, everything got fixed when Jon showed us the right side by swaying his guitar. Towards the end of the song, Jon invited the whole Bell Centre to do the same thing as us and I turned around long enough to be able to really admire the whole Bell Centre, even the last row of the blue seats completely at the back of the room. It was so incredible to see the crowd swinging their arms, there must not have been a lot of people with their arms down at that moment! Even the ones up high behind the stage were doing it!

Bad Medicine made the people go crazy in the Bell Centre. I admit that it is the first tour where I notice such an enthusiastic reaction during Bad Medicine! The same skeletal women were displayed on a few hexagonal columns and I starting thinking back on what Geneviève had told Maryse the previous night when she saw the images and I told myself at that moment that it is true that it's impossible for skeletons to have breasts! I had then a huge smile on my face while thinking back on the dinner when we had laughed so much!

Jon said his usual goodbyes after Bad Medicine and the band went down the stairs at the back of the stage. I found it very strange that two blue spotlights on each side of the stage remained on. It seems to me that the previous night, it was total darkness on stage while people were screaming and singing the "ole ole ole ole" at the top of their lungs. The tradition continued with Montreal's crowd starting to sing them quite quickly that night! Suddenly, the hexagonal columns erected at the back of the stage and images of a concrete wall started to be displayed on them. Concrete blocks were sometimes detaching from the wall, creating a nice effect. And then, more and more concrete pieces were detaching and falling until the wall collapsed completely at the same time as the hexagonal columns were retracting to the ceiling and to the floor. I don't know if it were the desired effect, but it really looked like the fall of the Berlin wall! I admit that the effect was really beautiful! The band then came back on stage, making the Bell Centre go crazy.

The crowd continued going crazy while Runaway's typical synthesizer notes were heard! Sandra flipped out beside me and the crowd vividly reacted as well! We had not heard it the previous night and I think that Montreal's crowd wanted to hear it!

During the encores, my back was hurting so much from standing up for so long in the last two previous nights that I started putting my hand on my back, like people who feel the need to support their back to relieve the pain. That's something, at 32 years of age, to have so much back pain!

I sang really loudly during Have A Nice Day. This song helps liberating accumulated frustrations very well, I don't quite know why, but singing at the top of my lungs makes me let off steam during this song!

Jon then got settled at the microphone and I told myself that he would start Livin' On A Prayer, already!! People sang so loudly when Jon raised both his arms in the air to let us sing, it was probably as loud as the previous night. Jon could simply not believe it!

When the music started playing and Jon started jumping up and down on stage, I could not resist doing the same. Several people in the pit jumped to the rhythm of the song, it was really extraordinary and it made me think about my teens when I was continually jumping at a Bon Jovi show! I told myself at that moment that it had been a long time since I had not jumped like that!

At some point, several people started going in the pit aisle and Sandra made me notice that we should maybe get ready for Jon's round on the catwalk. At the same time she said that, I looked at the few people who were in the aisle and I immediately saw a security guard come and order them to go back to their seat. I then told Sandra that if she wanted to try, she could, but I think that she would have had to turn around quick fast! Security was right to send back the people in the aisle, because Jon didn't do a last round on the catwalk during the solo; he wisely stayed on stage.

I got nauseated at the end of Livin' On A Prayer from singing so loudly! I was exhausted, but I was giving everything I had while the band was still on stage. I didn't care at all about not being able to talk or walk the next day, the important thing was the present moment! The crowd was almost screaming the lyrics, it was deafening!

When Livin' On A Prayer ended, I quickly took out from my left back pocket the little white sheet that I had folded in four before the show and on which I had written "I'll meet you in Vegas!" (OK, I'm giving away the surprise of my concert in Las Vegas in April 2013...) When I unfolded the sheet and took it in my hands, I saw that Jon was looking in our direction, so I put the sheet right under my chin and by chance, the two tall women in front of me didn't block me at all at that moment. Jon immediately saw my sheet, I saw that he was reading it and when he finished, he looked at me and he pointed at me for probably a second and he closed one eye as if he were trying to aim at me. I then knew that he had seen it well and I didn't expect such a reaction, so I froze a little bit. I remember that I had made a smile when I had put my sheet prominently, but at that moment, I simply pointed at Jon the same way as he was pointing at me with one eye closed as well! Afterwards, I saw that Sandra was making a video, so I was delighted by the idea of being able to see Jon's gesture again when he pointed at me!

With all this interaction with Jon, I almost missed the band's final bow, because when I realized that my camera was still closed, the band members were coming together to bow! Thank god that my camera opens quickly!!

The band pretended to leave for real, by looking at the crowd and waving at several people. However, when Jon turned his back on us to go down the stairs, he started making gestures with his hands which were behind his back. I don't know if he were waving goodbye or making the "louder" sign by lifting his fingers up, but he was subtly telling us that he would come back.

The band made the crowd go totally wild by coming back on stage and when Jon took his electric guitar, I had the nice surprise to realize that I would hear I'll Sleep When I'm Dead! At the beginning of the song, Jon invited all the people to clap their hands, with arms in the air. At that moment, even the people behind the stage up until the people in the last row of the blue seats at the back of the room had their arms in the air. I was really impressed once again, I will never get used to seeing that!

I hadn't realized at the beginning of the song when Jon started playing guitar that it was not working until a roadie brought another one to Jon on stage. Jon started fooling around like "no, I will not give you my guitar", keeping his guitar close to him, like a kid who doesn't want to share his toy. It was really funny, the roadie didn't quite know what to do! Jon finally took the new guitar and gave the other one to the roadie. When he started playing, he realized that it was not working either! He tried to turn it on with the buttons on the guitar, without success. He then started laughing, a little discouraged and he completely stopped singing! He looked backstage at the bottom of the staircase to draw a roadie's attention. Right before the solo, Jon seemed really tired of having a guitar that was not working, because he does a part of the solo, so he then went to put his guitar on the stage near Tico's drums. He seemed really frustrated! Richie then came closer to him, gently put a hand on his shoulder to make Jon look at him and he took off the strap of his guitar to present it to Jon. We could have said that he was saying: "Here Jon, take mine, it's not a big deal, I want to lend it to you, it is not worth getting frustrated for that!" It was such a funny moment; Richie, the guitar player, who wants to give his guitar to Jon... HA HA The same roadie as previously then appeared on stage with the same guitar as at the beginning and when Jon put it around his neck, he booted in the air in the roadie's direction as if he wanted to boot him. The roadie took the guitar that Jon had put near the drums and he went down the stairs at the back of the stage. Jon was smiling at that moment, but we could see that he was far from being happy (he had rather the face of someone who was saying "what an incompetent, I cannot believe it")! Fortunately, Richie smiled at Jon at that moment, because I'm not sure that he would have become happy again so quickly! And oh miracle, the guitar was now working, right on time to do the solo with Richie!

Jon talked to us a little while right before playing I Love This Town, because he didn't seem to believe the power of the screams he was hearing. He thanked us to always welcome them like that after all these years. He told us that somebody had asked him earlier that day why he thinks that Québec loves Bon Jovi so much. And Jon answered: "Well, I think that it's because they thought we were French. They just changed the accent and "Bon Jevi" (he said it really like a person from France would talk)." He continued by saying that he had not a single French bone in his body. And he finished by saying: "You are in my heart and I simply want to thank you very much." He said a few words after that, but people were screaming so much around me that the video that I made of this moment doesn't allow me to know exactly what he said. Without a big surprise after such a speech, the band played I Love This Town.

During I Love This Town, I noticed the same boy/teenager who had been with us during the backstage tour in the afternoon and he was now in the aisle, supported by his mother behind him. He was holding up at arm's length a sign on which it was written: "Tico's #1 Fan need drumsticks please!!" He held it at arm's length throughout the whole song and the security guards didn't disturb him. I was really hoping that Tico would see it! His mother supported him throughout the song, I even felt that the people who had the aisle seats were encouraging him to move forward even more. I was really under the impression that everyone wanted him to have the drumsticks! At the end of the song, the band officially took another bow, some people tried to draw Tico's attention on the boy's sign and at some point, Tico pointed at him with his finger and he told him: "Yeah, you'll get them" or something like that. Anyway, this is what it meant. I was so happy for him! Tico didn't give him the drumsticks right away, I imagine that he told a tour crew member to bring them to him after the lights were turned back on. I didn't see the end of the story...

Sandra and I gathered our things when the lights turned on; I was so exhausted physically and emotionally, it was incredible! I saw that Luca was alone, so I headed towards him and I told him that I was coming to introduce myself, because the previous night, I hadn't told him who I was when I had talked to him. While shaking his hand, I told him my name and he immediately answered: "Yeah, I know who you are, don't worry!" It was my turn to be flattered for him to know who I was! Sandra came to join me and I then asked Luca how he had found his first concerts in Montreal. He told me, while shaking his head from left to right: "My god, the crowd here is crazy. It screamed so much, it was louder than New Jersey!" He seemed really impressed! He was leaving town the next day to go to Toronto on a trip organized by the fan club and go to both Bon Jovi concerts there during the following weekend.

Maryse and Geneviève moved up to the first row after the catwalk and they talked to us a little while we were leaning against the catwalk. Sandra went hunting down the official set list, because she had asked the security guard who had explained to us the rules to follow before the show if he could bring a set list at the end of the show, but we hadn't seen the guard at the end of the concert... It was not a hard task for her, because someone showed up with a pile of set lists in his hands and several people gathered near him to take a copy, like Sandra. I then took a few pictures of the set list to remember the songs easily.

It's with regret that I left the pit a few seconds later. It was over and I could not believe that the last two days had passed so fast! Martin came to join us on the floor, because this is where I had told him to meet me. Maryse and Geneviève also came to join us. We chatted a little bit and we headed towards the Bell Centre parking lot afterwards. We left Maryse and Geneviève when we arrived at my car in the parking lot and we left shortly after. We got jammed a little bit in traffic, but overall, we came back to the South Shore quite quickly.

We are now two days after the Valentine's Day show, my neck and my arms are still quite sore, my back still hurts and I'm still quite tired, but I have all my voice except a few times when it breaks here and there. I'm so happy of my two concerts, but I don't think I would have been able to do more in the following days. I'm exhausted after experiencing the whole span of emotions in the last week. I already miss being treated as a VIP, because this is how I felt during these two days: like a very important person. I would like to thank the fan club for treating us so well, for feeding us well (in food and in memories) and for being able to meet so many wonderful people who work with Bon Jovi. I'm really under the impression to have had a lot for my money!

What helps me recuperate from these shows is the fact that I will see the band again in Las Vegas in April, after the album is released! A few days away from my 20th anniversary of the beginning of my passion for Bon Jovi (February 21), I can say that my passion is really here to stay! I also feel as if I had fallen in love this week... The Bon Jovi band members always know how to make me forget my normal life, like good anesthesia that numbs my worries.

Copyright © February 16, 2013 Marie-Hélène Cyr

Return to the top of the page