Monday, January 14, 2008

Bon Jovi in Tokyo ~ Tokyo Dome (January 14, 2008)

Tonight holds a new record: the highest number of failed pictures I have ever taken at a Bon Jovi concert! So I got over the whole being-afraid-to-take-pictures thing with the printout about the photo contest in my pocket and my fanclub membership card around my neck. Which I never even needed because as it turned out I was seated behind a rather tall guy who not only blocked my view of Richie but also the security’s view of me and my camera. My seat was located somewhere in between Jon and Hugh and just 5 rows from the stage (probably the best seat of all 3 nights), so the distance from the stage wasn’t really a problem either.

'Raise Your Hands '

So how did I manage to royally screw up about 95% of my pictures? Well, it seems that when I selected my cute new tiny white camera in the store, I forgot to ask about it’s ability to take pictures of Jon, Richie and the rest in action in the dark (well, it’s hard in Japanese). Tonight, through the lens of my camera, the band members had glaring white skin, and the big video screen had a nasty brown glow about it. I tried and tried and tried, but almost all the pictures seemed to contain fuzzy balls of light with clothes on. I did manage a small number of half-decent-looking ones, but halfway I just gave up. Besides the battery of my camera was almost empty (that’s what you get when you spend the whole morning taking pictures all over Tokyo), and I wanted to save the last of it to record Bon Jovi waving goodbye to the audience. Anyway, I should seriously consider getting a new camera if I’m going to any Bon Jovi shows in Europe, because mine is seriously inadequate. I did manage to record some short videos tonight, just so that I would have something to share on here, and they communicate the atmosphere of the show better than pictures anyway.

'Any Other Day' this time without the Tokyo Dome ceiling

So tonight’s show was broadcasted live on Tokyo’s WOWOW TV channel, and it was noticeable in the band’s attitude. I mean they did totally fine during the other 2 shows, but it seemed like they were extra perky and eager tonight. It was also noticeable by the assload of cameras present, for every camera that Bon Jovi always uses to fill up the big screen there seemed to be 2 extra TV cameras present. Jon asked us all to smile pretty for our mamas, because we were on live TV, and even though my mama wasn’t watching I still smiled for him. I couldn’t record this show because I don’t have this channel at home (neither does Yasu in Amagasaki), but I gave the very friendly Tokyoite next to me some money so she’s going to send me a copy on DVD, I only wish I hadn’t lost her business card, so I hope she contacts me to ask me for my address.

The show started with interviews with the 4 band members on the big screen. Unfortunately, the questions were all written in Japanese, and even though the band answered in English I still had to work hard to get a clue about what was going on. Bon Jovi broke some records in Japan, and I heard them mention it during the other concerts too, but like I said I never got the whole message. But later in the show Jon was so friendly to give us the information one more time (I guess he was very proud): Bon Jovi has had more #1 hits in Japan than the Beatles, and with this 14th tour in Japan they have played more stadiums in Japan than any other international band, they’ve even surpassed The Rolling Stones. So he thanked all the Japanese fans for their support and in particular ‘Mr. Udo’ (Japanese promoter I guess).

'I'd Die For You'

During one song, not sure which one it was, but I somehow think it might have been ‘The Story Of My Life’, Jon got right into Richie and David’s face like he was telling them what to do, at least that’s what the pictures look like. But in real life it actually looked very sweet and intimate, especially when Richie and Jon leaned their foreheads against each other looking each other right in the eyes while singing. If either of them did that to me I wouldn’t be able to continue singing like that, then again I never could sing like that anyway.

Jon telling Richie what to do

Jon telling David what to do

Tico always does his own thing and never gets told what to do

When Jon introduced the band during ‘Any Other Day’ again, he forgot all about Hugh and Tico again, and this time he even forgot to mention that he forgot them. At the start of ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’ Jon and Richie like to countdown in Jon’s microphone together, which for some reason is something I really enjoy. Probably because they never seem to get it right immediately and their being all clumsy about it is just cute. And after ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ when Jon started singing ‘Dancing In The Streets’ Richie seemed genuinely surprised by what Jon was singing. Like Jon was enjoying himself so much with the ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’ medley that he couldn’t help himself and add something extra to the mix on the spur of a moment. But this band is so good that they picked up on it instantly. Or it could just be that Richie had just put a new stick of chewing gum into his mouth and that it tasted like green tea or sushi or something.

'Make A Memory '

Some other things I noticed was that Richie has a new guitar belt with the Lost Highway logo on it. And at the end of Bad Medicine he likes to loudly imitate the sound of a horse (I think he did it at all 3 concerts) it must be something that songs brings out in him. Also Tico’s drum set has see-through versions of the Bon Jovi heart with the dagger through it and it keeps lighting up in different colors: very pretty. Jon stores his extra guitar picks on the bottom of his black ‘AP95’ (I’ve always wondered what that stands for) guitar. And when he changed during ‘These Days’ he put on the same grey shirt as last night (it must have buy-1-get-2 sale at the Uniqlo around the corner or something). Plus, I can’t believe I never noticed before that Jon’s maracas, which he always uses during Keep The Faith, are actually stuck together in some way. I am no longer that impressed by his ability to throw them high into the air and catch them together.

'Born To Be My Baby'

The stadium wasn’t nearly as full as last night, there weren’t even any people on the second floor and during the first Tokyo show that whole floor was full with dancing fans. Yet when Jon told the audience there was only one reason he came here tonight: “I need to hear 40,000 people scream” the screaming was insane (even though the bleachers seemed half-empty). Man, Tokyo can scream! The crowd was really lively and almost all the girls seemed to be copying Jon’s arm movements without noticing it themselves, so it kind of looked like synchronized swimming with arms in the air.

So basically it was another good show, although I am sad that the really rare songs that I’ve seen pop up at old Japanese set lists didn’t pop during these 3 concerts. Honestly, I was hoping against hope they might play ‘Always’ live, I think I’ve been hoping that ever since I started attending Bon Jovi shows in 1996. And they did it last tour in Osaka: I was so jealous! Perhaps they’ll do something special in Osaka again, without me.

Bye bye Bon Jovi, hope to see you in Europe!

It was fun to do some concerts in Japan and see how it’s done here, but I prefer the European concert experience. First of all, you’re not restricted to your seats or your memory, because you can just walk around in the pit and take pictures so you’ll never forget. But what bothers me the most was that here it feels like going to a movie: you arrive just before it starts and it’s boring until the it actually starts and when it’s over you want to leave as soon as possible, because it’s boring again. In Europe it’s a two-day (we usually arrive the day before) experience per concert, with constant excitement in the air and the whole day feels like its building up to something huge (which of course it is) and it all feels like a big party, and it’s still exciting to hang around a bit after the show. So I’m really hoping to make it to those concerts in Amsterdam and London this year!

The Tokyo Dome from my hotelroom: still emptying after the concert

So after the concert Kristin (she attended last night’s concert) and I still had the whole evening to spend in Tokyo, because before this weekend we had no idea the shows would end so early otherwise we would have booked a Shinkansen home tonight of course. So we kind of chilled in the hotel for a bit (got my first head-neck-shoulder massage and it hurt like hell) and then started looking around for a good place to eat in the hotel. We decided to go for yakiniku (Korean BBQ) because Kristin had never done that before.
When we entered the restaurant, the waitress immediately motioned us to come and said something like “oh yes, here you are”, apparently she was expecting us? Of course this made totally no sense to us, but we were happy to be allowed inside because last night all restaurants refused us because we showed up to late and we ended up eating some snacks in the hotel bar. She ushered us away from a perfectly good booth for two people (where we figured we were heading) and instead lead us into some back room, where they was just one long table with 8 chairs, and 3 of them were already filled with Americans. Kristin initially thought that they just liked to put all the (loud) foreigners together in the back or something, but the other 3 looked quite puzzled and one guy asked “So who are these girls?”.
When more people came in and they all seemed to know each other, we realized that the waitress had put us into a private party room and when we came she just thought we were part of that group. Kristin made a remark, like it seems we’re crashing your party and perhaps we should leave, but the others insisted that it was no problem, as long as we didn’t sneak out and leave them with our bill (damn it was like he read my mind). Normally I would have been really weirded out, but by then I had already recognized most of the strangers as Bon Jovi crew so I was quite happy to stay! Especially the guy that handed out the fanclub tickets in Nagoya was very friendly and had some funny stories about Japan to share. And one of them was bummed out because he lost his camera today, or more precisely he lent his camera to Jon and Jon lost it! Poor guy. Anyway it was interesting way to end my Japanese tour, having yakiniku while listening to some stories about the band and the tour.
SETLIST
01. Lost Highway 02. Bad Name 03. Raise Your Hands 04. Runaway 05. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight 06. This Is The Story Of My Life 07. In These Arms 08. I'd Die For You 09. Make A Memory 10. Whole Lot Of Leavin' 11. Born To Be My Baby 12. Any Other Day 13. We've Got It Goin' On 14. It's My Life 15. Bad Medicine / Shout 16. These Days (Richie) 17. Someday I'll Be Saturday Night 18. Keep The Faith 19. Sleep When I'm Dead / Jumpin' Jack Flash / Dancing In The Streets 20. Who Says You Can't Go Home 21. Livin’ On A Prayer 22. Have A Nice Day 23. Wanted Dead Or Alive 24. I Love This Town 25. Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI! Thanks so much for all your reviews - very interesting to read!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I googled for info on the Bon Jovi concerts in Japan and found your blog. Thank you!! I was so wanting to hear how the concerts went and you really gave a thorough review!
Have a wonderful time in Japan, my cousin taught enlish there and married a japanese man. She has been there for 25 yrs. Watch out!
Good luck and I hope you don't mind if I bookmark your blog. You are an interesting girl and I will live vicariously through you. ;)
Patty

Minke said...

Typicaly 'us';)! You know what I mean! Thank you thank you thank you for the Any Other Day and I'd Die For You videos.
When I' am writing this It's My Life live on the radio!! I am a little closer to you now!
Aaahhh, it just ended, and is followed by Bed of Roses (This Left Feels Right), it's called Lunch Concert;)! Lekker!
Kus, Minke

Jovimimi said...

I loved your 3 reviews and your fresh and funny vision of the jovi concerts in japan .. it was alot of fun to read your comments everyday .. too bad it's over now ... can't wait to read your next message

next to you at Tokyo Dome "Bon Jovi " said...

Hi LOUANA
I sent you e-mail "theloulogue..."
Please check it.

kumiko said...

 Hi Lou!
Thank you for your reviews about Tokyo Dome. i really enjoyed reading them!i wish i could have been there.
i have to call you "Lucky Girl" again!

bs68 said...

Hi!
I´m the German girl with the camera ;-) Thanks for your reviews! I really enjoyed them.
Beate

someone said...

that dog up there looks more like a gorilla.