Those who know me at all know two things: I love live music. And I love Bon Jovi. I’d seen the band perform live three times — in Los Angeles, in Boston, and in New Orleans at Jazz Fest in 2009 — before Saturday night.
Just days before, tickets for the band’s April 19 concert at Staples Center during their “Because We Can” Tour went on sale. My friend and I decided that after all these years of seeing the band perform from the so-called nosebleeds, it was time to splurge and get ridiculously good seats. So at 10 a.m. on November 27 we were online ready to take advantage of the fan pre-sale. Not gonna lie – we payed a pretty penny – but we ended up with 6th row seats and are counting down the days until we can rock out with the band again!
Ironically, the day we purchased the tickets, I got an email from Jane Emery, editor of the LA’s the Place, with the subject “Congratulations you have won tix to Bon Jovi!” Now, let me say — I rarely take the time to enter giveaways much less win them, but when a friend told me that they were giving away tickets to a private Bon Jovi concert, I was all in.
Just as I was about to reply to Jane’s email with the information she requested, I got another email from her stating that because she hadn’t heard back from me yet, she had to offer up the tickets to the next person. My heart skipped a beat. “Damn! The one time I’m not attached to my phone, there’s an unexpected time-sensitive email! And for Bon Jovi!”
I emailed Jane back with my sincere disappointment on missing out on the opportunity and did what I’d normally be too bashful to do — I let her know that if by chance the marketing person had any extra tickets, I would love love love to go! As they say, you don’t ask, you don’t get. I truly never expected her to actually ask, much less deliver. But 24 hours later, she wrote me back — “Great news! You’re all set! You’ll be hearing from the marketing people with ticket info. Enjoy the show!”
I was stunned, truly. And can’t say enough about how appreciative I was that Jane extended herself on my behalf to make this happen. So, there it was — that following Saturday December 1 I’d be seeing Bon Jovi perform at this year’s “GRAMMY Artists Revealed” concert at Paramount Studios. The series was created by The Recording Academy in partnership with MasterCard to provide music fans with a unique opportunity to see artists perform in an intimate setting. (The concert was also streamed live for Mastercard holders.)
Saturday morning came and the forecast was dismal. Rain all night. In LA. Come on! Didn’t matter — my friend and I weren’t going to let anything rain on our Bon Jovi parade, so we did what all the other fans in attendance did too — wore a hooded jacket, took advantage of the free ponchos being handed out at the check in, and prepared to get soaked.
Huddled with other adoring fans on Paramount’s backlot, our “Priceless” pass gave us access to the section closest to the stage. About six people back, it was a nice appetizer to April! The band performed most of their legendary classics in which fist-pumping and rocking out is just simply required — “Living on a Prayer,” “Bad Medicine,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” — and many of their newer favorites — “Lost Highway,” “Born to Be My Baby,” “I’ll Sleep While I’m Dead.”
With perhaps just a couple thousand in attendance, it was truly an intimate setting to see such an uber popular, adored rock legend perform. Drenched, shaking rain out of his locks, and splashing through the puddles on stage in a tribal-like dance, I had expected Jon might say a word of two about his home state of New Jersey — hardest hit by recent Superstorm Sandy — especially with the rain that night being a fitting backdrop, but he didn’t. Bon Jovi has been active in fundraising efforts however, and will be participating in a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12.
The encore brought in the holiday spirit with a rendition of “Run Run Rudolph” that I’d actually heard him perform live in Boston years ago — tried and true — although my favorite Bon Jovi Christmas song is hands-down his version of “Please Come Home for Christmas.”
Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaigns have always been entertaining. But for me and my friend, Saturday night’s concert was genuinely a Priceless night. Of course, like clockwork, as soon as the set was over, the rain stopped and the moon came out. My friend even joked, “Well, we are on a movie studio lot – they could have brought in the rain machines!”
For dates and more info on Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can” Tour, click here.
Here’s a little video with highlights from the night. Apologies in advance for some poor audio (blame iPhone) and if you can hear my horrendous singing in the background!
Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/editor who covers travel, lifestyle, culture, music/arts, food, wellness, and more. She calls Los Angeles home when she's there, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. She loves cooking, gardening, live music, hiking with her three rescue dogs, and rustic luxury. Follow her on instagram/twitter @lindsaytaub and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email email@example.com. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com and www.voyagevixens.com .***