I wasn’t going to put a photo with little bear Puux here. Because in my honest opinion tribute bands have gone through their share of goofy receptions.
But then I saw that I had also posted last month’s Guns N’ Roses story with a photo from little bear Puux!
Who was I kidding: Me, making a photo of you with my bear, is my the highest regards.
I ditched the idea of using the one single photo I had taken of the band without Puux (during Wanted Dead or Alive, with Oliver Henrich on acoustic guitar as well) and went for this one where a bright light shines around Oliver Henrich’s head.
And since Bon Jovi never feels any shame around deliberately creating a religious experience, in particular during the performance of Lay Your Hands On Me, where Bon Jovi goes aaaallllll in, on his self-proclaimed “Jonny’s Church of Rock n Roll”;
I thought a little reference to the savior never hurt any rock star.
So Oliver Henrich in the light, with little bear Puux as his disciple, it is.
And this is where the mood changes.
This is where you and me, are gonna get super serious about that we need to collectively review our appreciation, of what we, the world, and probably the musicians themselves, call tribute bands.
When in my opinion there are VERY good reasons not to call them that.
Do we call an orchestra a Bach cover band or a Mozart Tribute?
No we don’t, do we?
And why not?
Because we ACKNOWLEDGE (pardon my capitals) that writing music, a symphony, is one thing;
And performance is another.
We acknowledge that musicians, an orchestra, just like actors, perform other people’s work (yes), but their performance in itself is art.
And the tribute scene at least in the Netherlands, isn’t. It sees itself as a party scene, which it maybe is, I don’t know. Maybe other, less serious tribute bands, are party bands.
Don’t ask me.
All I m saying is that I know Bounce, and others, have far outgrown that.
And next to that there are tribute bands that can’t possibly qualify as a party band because the original was way too niche for that. Like for example the Lou Reed tribute band I saw last month.
Before I go into the Bounce setlist and performance, and come up with even half of something that resembles a review here, and not to hammer my point home, but yes!
To bring it home, and close this conversation once and for all, I want to share with you a concert Bounce did in 2014.
They rewrote Bon Jovi songs for orchestra, (talk interpreting as an art form!) and performed in a club, packed deep into the balconies, to a crowd of absolutely ecstatic Bon Jovi fans!
Or maybe better: Bounce fans.
In Germany Bounce fans travel hundreds of miles to see them, and they were particularly hellbent to see this show!
Bounce & Orchestra | A Symphonic Rock Night
| Live at Zeche | Bochum 2014 🇩🇪
So I thought that was definitely required before I can even begin to touch on what I saw today;
Bounce are artists in their own right, with a deep understanding of their craft, their message, and the music they perform.
Can I have an Amen!
bounce in groesbeek:
Welcome to Olli’s church of rock n’roll.
Bounce are what I would call, the ideal cover band for the real fan.
Everyone will have a great time, but the real fan?
Will have an unforgettable time!
Knowing this, I looked forward to having the rarities being tossed around like “Hey, heys!” in Lost Highway, but!
Groesbeek was going to be a 1 hour show!
And at a festival that sends you reminders to come early so that you can claim your favorite standing table with your friends.
A festival that urges you to buy your tokens early, and then you click it and the minimum amount is 25 tokens!
Well, I was no longer so sure.
To me, a tribute festival looked like the anti-rarities occasion.
You wanna hit them with that chorus sooner rather than later.
And preferably one they know!
So would German band Bounce really, on their only concert here in the Netherlands of this entire year (I have the impression the pandemic nearly killed their international calendar), dare to bring their trademark setlist?
Their shows in Germany can last up to three hours, and have the layered timeline and musical variety of a 2010 The Circle, Bon Jovi concert;
And. Then. SOME!
The setlists of full Bounce concerts rock so hard, that just seeing those titles all lined up like that, is enough to make any fan wonder who they have to bribe to hear such a piece from the heavens.
I asked the setlist from the tribute party, and got it, so I have the list here of what was played.
It has a ton of coded and perhaps classified information on it, so I m not going to share it (and I m terrible with puzzles, so their secrets are definitely safe with me), but I can see the track list.
There was absolutely no time to ask if they had diverged from it, and there was loud music playing when I asked for the list that was taped to the floor. So that made for uncomfortable communication.
It seems to be incomplete on at least one account;
Unexpectedly really, because I thought they would have stuck to it, and there are no audibles (songs to choose from) on it.
But they played Lost Highway, and Lost Highway is not on the list.
They m.f.-ing did it man!!
They actually, I kid you not, used those 60 minutes of stage time to open with We got it going on, which I absolutely LOVE!
But I imagine it will ring few bells, for a tribute festival visitor.
Then we had
You Give Love A Bad Name
Have A Nice Day
Which makes sense because I can imagine the audience needing some reassurance they were in the right tent, and that there’d actually be songs they could belt along!
Then we get Keep the Faith’s album opener I Believe, oh dear….
One for the fans, one for the fans..
Fans who never get to hear this at Bon Jovi concerts, so who are of course VERY excited to hear this with drums banging, guitars howling, and a lead singer who drops to his knees, just like Jon Bon Jovi on the Keep the Faith tour!
I mean, Jon Bon Jovi also did that on the Crossroad/These Days Tour, but I always got the impression that it got turned into an act.
But I like to think Keep The Faith Tour Jon, dropping down to his knees was a genuine seeker in need of guidance.
Things were not going well for the band in terms of Keep the Faith ticket sales, which made for a tour where Jon literally threw in ALL he had. Probably the best tour they ever did.
After Believe, the maracas come out!
Which can only mean one thing, it’s time for the Keep The Faith album song everybody DOES know;
Keep the Faith.
Opening with the famous bass chords, by a bass player on “whose side of the stage” I’d definitely be on!
I recently learned people who chose Richie’s side of the stage, called themselves “Darksiders”, so now I am in the habit of identifying on “which side of the stage” I want to be on.
An identity choice I didn’t even know existed, until recently.
Maybe this is a good moment to point out that all this time, we are watching 5 professional musicians, and an on-stage WALL with I think 8 different guitars (Oliver’s and guitarist Jens Roesel’s).
Bear in mind that just like in Bon Jovi, the lead guitarist Jens Roesel (Jay), is not just one hell of a guitar player;
He also sings.
Keyboard player, Sven Martin/ Jojo, like David Bryan; Also sings.
And also like David, who is an acclaimed Broadway musical writer, Jojo was the one who rewrote the material together with Oliver Henrich, for the orchestra performance
Bass player, Tom Mueller: Also sings.
And drummer Markus Hoffmeister is definitely as strong a drummer as Tico Torres. And who knows maybe Markus, can do those cheeky baritone voiced songs or additions Tico does about once a decade 😉 Who knows!
But this is one hell of a band and, just like in Bon Jovi, its members are multi talented and they have invested in their equipment to get it right. No to get it, perfect.
Including the famous talk box;
An instrument that reached worldwide fame (and was probably saved from getting extinct, the moment the 70s rock artists have all passed away) when Bon Jovi started using it for Livin’ on a prayer.
Had they not done that, the talk box’s life would now be tied to Peter Frampton’s.
Bounce is a tribute band with all the bells, whistles, and wow wow pedals, and they know how to wield it.
But mostly of course, it is the standard of excellence from its musicians, that make Bounce what it is.
It’s not what you have, it’s how you use it, and all that.
If Bon Jovi would be in need of new musicians, of a backup musician in case something happens on tour;
Or if they would take the leap of finding a new band member?
I have no doubt in my mind Bounce would be able to supply a drummer, a keyboard player, a bass player, a guitarist, and yes, even a lead singer.
Although that is of a whole different category, because the life of the band Bon Jovi, has historically been tied to its founder and singer Jon Bon Jovi.
But coming back on my point made earlier, if we are willing to start seeing performing as separate to the writing of the music;
Then performing in a band, in a play, that already existed, is not such a big leap.
Just like Queen is still touring, with Adam Lambart as lead singer.
I can see I drifted off.
But I hope it illustrates that the level of skill, instruments, and performance power of Bounce, is no small feat.
All ingredients to give you a full concert experience, are there.
And in my opinion, they DO deserve to tour Europe and beyond, with their 3 hour shows. [ touring schedule ]
And wouldn’t it be great if they would also have tours with their own orchestra?
We all deserve that.
Although I thank God on my knees they played Groesbeek; That is not where they belong.
So let’s return to their Groesbeek setlist, where they had to crush their set to one hour.
What came after Keep the Faith?
The – drum intro! Always!
A track that Bon Jovi has never allowed to become a staple on their list, but since it is probably their biggest hit after Livin’ on a Prayer, Bounce was not going to leave that one on a Groesbeek standing table!
After that we have another one to sing along;
It’s My Life
And then it’s rarities time again, with Born to be my baby AND Raise Your Hands!
The adrenaline for any Bon Jovi fan, to hear those tracks being played live, in a concert setting?
No words to describe, my friend.
After that, a wonderful rendition of Wanted Dead or Alive, with Oliver Henrich on guitar as well.
Wanted Dead or Alive, is referred to as the anthem.
Not yesterday, but by Bon Jovi as well as by fans.
So with Wanted Dead or Alive being loved both by the fans as well as people who are there to meet friends, this was a nice one to get the crowd on the same page again.
Then another standard track from a Bounce concert!
One Wild Night
From Bon Jovi’s “comeback album” Crush, 2000.
Just like the opener We got it going on, One Wild Night is irresistible as a party song, and the chorus can be taught in a heartbeat and milked for minutes of crowd interaction (which they skillfully did).
But One Wild Night definitely has the hurdle of having very difficult lyrics!
I can imagine that a tribute band or two, and the majority of the fans and that includes me, are definitely not going to be able to get:
Then I’m rolling the bones with Jimmy ‘no dice’
Gonna take him for a couple weeks’ pay
Man, if you lose this roll I take your girlfriend home
So I stopped
But you’re not gonna believe who comes walking out
But that’s why you go to church, to see someone who gets it to a level that you don’t!
And there is no doubt that Olivier, or Olli as he often abbreviates it, knows how to lead the community into higher realms.
Although the voodoo and witchcraft references make One Wild Night an odd one out, in the Bon Jovi catalog.
There is an Angel Heart (1987)/ Wild Orchid (1989) vibe to One Wild Night, where we enter an unfamiliar world where the voodoo priests rule.
Not the catholic ones.
Just as you think there is no way you can go back from mature, showing them how it’s done, Bon Jovi 2000, to the first album, Bounce plays Runaway;
A song I never really liked on the record, but by the Gods do they bring this live!
And in the original key, AND the miraculous key changes in the end. They talk about “that” key change in Like a Prayer, one Jon Bon Jovi warns young artists NOT to put in their songs if they still want to be able to sing them when you’re 20 years older!
But Runaway’s key changes?
Those were given up by Bon Jovi a lot sooner.
Could have heard them yesterday in Groesbeek though!
And the band Bounce is 20 years old; Oliver Henrich is not a new kid on the block. He was runner up, landing second spot at the voice of Germany in 2020, competing with candidates half his age. This is a singer who has managed to ward off aging and to keep his voice in mint condition.
And then it’s time to bring it home and remind the congregation why we are here. And that we must never forget that no matter how tough things get, we will always have each other.
And that’s a lot.
Livin’ on a prayer.
And although in this tale, the priests did not blew trumpets, because since 2014 they no longer had the resources of pulling together an entire classical orchestra.
And the wall with 8 of Olli’s en Jay’s guitars did not come crumbling down like the walls of Jericho once had;
The people shouted a great shout, just like they had done in biblical times.
“Whoohoo! Livin’ on a prayer!”
Tour agenda Bounce: https://www.bonjovitribute.de/termine.php
Worth planning a trip for!
Or a pilgrimage!
That was it!
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– I am consistently blogging 2-3 times a week inspired by Bon Jovi concerts , at the blog Daily Bon Jovi Yoga
– the decision to take a yoga sabbatical (teaching wise/ video wise) until I can share Rock Star/ Bon Jovi yoga the way I want to
– with the Bounce concert, being the excellent kickoff to something new!
I am opening a new phase in my umbrella project “Rock Star”.
This Rock Star Writer blog is an element of “Rock Star” [phase 3]
Title: “Rock Star”
or “Rock Star yoga/ business/ writer”
artists: Suzanne Beenackers, little bear Puux
art form: performance art
phase 1: earliest expressions, mixed work, July 2019 – March 2022
phase 2: April 2022 – August 2022
phase 3: 22 August 2022 –
All yoga projects from phase 2 have been dropped for now (yoga sabbatical from teaching/ sharing),
my own yoga practice will be picked up and shared on Twitter,
and otherwise this phase 3 will just be the celebration of projects and dailies, already started and played with, these past years;
All kicked into a higher gear!
3 YouTube channels
1. English YouTube Life lessons in Bon Jovi songs
2. Nederlandse YouTube “de Catacombe” studio voor generatie X
3. YouTube Rock Your Business
Headers from the channels have not been changed yet (and may contain the word “yoga”), but you ARE in the right spot!
2 Facebook pages
1. Rock Star Writer on Facebook
2. Dutch: Suzanne Beenackers Schrijver Facebook met beertje Puux
1 Twitter account
my personal Twitter account