Bon Jovi is touring again! In a world that needs them more than ever. (and they know it)

A viral video of Odessa, Ukraine, standing their ground with It’s My Life.
The band shared this video on their socials, and Jon has called it a humbling experience.
With “We Don’t Run”, dedicated to Ukraine, on the first show of their new tour, Bon Jovi answered.

Omaha, Nebraska, 1 April 2022

After more than 2 years Bon Jovi is touring again!
The previous tour was This House Is Not For Sale, which ran from February 2017 to October 2019.
The already socially conscious record 2020, originally scheduled for March 2020, was pushed forward to October 2020, and changed to include new poignant material, reflecting the spirit of the times.

The tour “2020” was cancelled for obvious reasons and the new tour, called “2022” has started on April 1st.
At this point I could “only” find dates for April, so it looks like they re weary  not to start too big and then have to cancel.
To minimize Covid risks, they travel in a bubble, which also reminds me of an otherwise unrelated yet entertaining movie I’m currently watching on Netflix called “The Bubble”, about a movie set (not a rock band) in a bubble.

Shortly before the tour started, an interview with Jon was published in the Charlotte Observer and it gives a behind the scenes impression of how this tour has come together.

“In light of COVID and how long it’s been since anyone’s done this,
we went into an arena for three weeks and had rehearsals, and it was the most joyous thing I may have ever done in my life, career-wise.”

Jon also shares how the setlists for these shows are created, and it’s an exciting recipe, that would have me visiting multiple shows if they came to Europe! 
The recipe is 70% hits, the songs the audience definitely wants to hear, and 30% new material and, quote, “obscure tracks”.

From that same interview in the Charlotte Observer:

“The hits take up 70%, and that leaves you with 30% for new material and obscure tracks. That’s the kind of breakdown.
(So it leaves) you with X amount of slots for your artistic,
you know, ‘listen-and-look-at-me’ moments, when it’s just about
‘I don’t care if you don’t wanna hear this song, I wanna play it.
I’m allowed one or two of those.”

And the show in Omaha on April 1st showed there is an acoustic set in the middle of the show, so that means you’re going to be hearing different versions of songs as well.
Overall this tour’s setlist promises to be very exciting!

It may seem like a given, that Bon Jovi plays lesser known material, because  indeed having varied setlists has always been one of their main features.
But the previous tour didn’t have any surprises, and in all honesty, the only tour that was actually ever set out to include “obscure” material, was The Circle tour, 2010.
So I think it was the three weeks of rehearsals that set the tone for things to be different and fresh.
Jon saying there is room to play around with the setlist is not new; even the 70-30 rule is kind of familiar to what he’s said about it in the past.
But digging deeper into the catalog- as the setlist of the first night proves they are doing – that is new.

“I’ve been blessed. I’ve released 17 albums in my career. That’s a lot of music.
You go, ‘Oh, this one would be nice to pull out again.’
And it’s not an easy task, because the audience wants hear Song X, Y and Z.
You gotta do all the obvious hits.  You’re not gonna not play ‘Livin’ On a Prayer,’ and ‘It’s My Life,’ and ‘You Give Love a Bad Name. [..]
Believe me, it’s a good problem to have.”

“Truly, it is like a very simple [process] but nonetheless a Rubik’s Cube.”

The first night the Rubik’s Cube landed with the acoustic set on top, that included We Don’t Run, dedicated to the Ukraine, and fan favorite Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night.
Four sides of the cube were both songs the audience definitely needs to hear or they’ll start rioting, as well as songs that can be moved around.  
And for everyone flipping to the bottom there was the surprise of finding Older,  an upbeat song that will nonetheless cut to the core of fear of growing older for anyone who was an adult Bon Jovi fan at the time of the original release;
And  The Radio Saved My Life Tonight and Love’s The Only Rule.

On March 23, Bon Jovi shared a viral video on their socials, showing the people of Odessa getting their city ready to defend their city, by creating barricades with sandbags.
“It’s My Life” was blasting through the speakers, there were drums on site, with someone pounding them along with the track! 

In my opinion The Radio Saved My Life Tonight and Love’s The Only Rule, must be viewed within the same context of We Don’t Run being dedicated to the Ukraine: The context of this war.

And with Bon Jovi’s anthems being so close-knit to the war in Ukraine, I’m putting my money on Save the World being played sometime in the very nearest of Bon Jovi futures.

“Maybe I can’t save the world
But as long as you believe
Maybe I could save the world”

With all things you could possibly be doing to save the world;
Make believing in Bon Jovi one of them.

Rock Star Writer

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concert setlist
Bon Jovi, Omaha, Nebraska

April 1, 2022

I ve marked the newest (2020) and the rarest (surprise!).

01. Limitless (2020)
02. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight (surprise!)
03. You Give Love A Bad Name
04. We Weren’t Born To Follow
05. It’s My Life
06. Just Older (surprise!)
07. Born To Be My Baby
08. Beautiful Drug (2020)
09. Let It Rain (2020)
10. Keep The Faith 
11. American Reckoning (2020)

Acoustic set:
12. We Don’t Run (acoustic) 

13. Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night (acoustic)

14. Who Says You Can’t Go Home
15. Lost Highway 
16. Wanted Dead or Alive 
17. Do What You Can (2020)
18. This House Is Not for Sale 
19. Have a Nice Day 
20. Livin’ on a Prayer 

21. Love’s The Only Rule (surprise!)
22. Bad Medicine 

That was it! 

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