LAKE GENEVA, Wis. – After a two-year hiatus, Bon Jovi has
visited Wisconsin three times in the past five months. And unlike
two years ago when Bon Jovi was at Summerfest and the group did not
play “Livin’ On a Prayer,” this time the band
played hit after hit.

On a beautiful night, under the stars, Bon Jovi opened with
“Bounce,” the title track from the group’s latest
CD, then went right into “You Give Love a Bad Name” as
the crowd roared with cheers that put to shame the crowd on hand
the previous week for the Dave Matthews Band.

As is typical for a Bon Jovi concert, the show was about more
than just one person. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi looked like he may
be having more fun out there than ever before. This is likely
because he isn’t playing to make money (since he has already
made millions). Instead, he looks like he is out there to play
because he loves to — and he knows the fans love the show as
well.

“Livin’ On A Prayer” was still the
audience’s favorite song, as Jon started with a slow
rendition of the first verse before kicking it into high gear as
the crowd went wild and joined in the excitement.

Drummer Tico Torres was as strong as ever, keeping the beat
moving and the show going. He also impressed some in the crowd with
his ability to smoke while playing with both hands and not missing
a beat.

As usual, guitarist Richie Sambora also played flawlessly, and
once again (as in Milwaukee and Madison), sang an impressive solo
of “I’ll Be There For You,” which the crowd loved
and, like almost every song during the evening, participated in at
every chance they could.

There were only two disappointments in the show. The first was
that the band did not play “Always” in any of the three
recent Wisconsin concerts. The second was that, during the encore,
to everyone’s amazement, the band played “Bad
Medicine” — it would have been the perfect ending to
the evening. However, the group decided to break into
“Shout” afterward, which lost some of the excitement
since it is not a Bon Jovi original and thus reminded the crowd of
something a cover band would do — not a rock-n-roll
legend.

To the band’s credit though, this was the only non-Bon
Jovi song played, a pleasant change from the Madison concert. The
band also stuck to one encore, which is to its credit. The band
members went out, played their hearts out, came back for a solid
4-song encore, and took their bows. That’s the secret —
wow the crowd and then leave while they are still wanting more.

Bon Jovi showed why it is not just another ‘80s band
touring and trying to make a comeback. No comeback is necessary,
with other timeless hits including “Wanted Dead or
Alive,” “Bed of Roses” and “Blaze of
Glory,” as well as recent hits like “It’s My
Life” and “Everyday,” the band truly has shown
how timeless it is in the rock ‘n’ roll world.