Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia's Debut Show - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 26

Categories: Concert Review
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Sayre Berman
Better than: The pizza we munched on during the show.

See also:
Our taste test of Bon Jovi's family pasta sauce, Bongiovi
Photos from the Bon Jovi and Kings of Suburbia show

One word to describe Jon Bon Jovi's solo debut with the Kings of Suburbia: jazzy. Another word to describe it: bluesy. Yet another: weird old man music. Wait, that's four words. Either way, we're going with it. Jazzy, bluesy, weird old man music.

We kinda should have known what to expect of JBJ's debut with the band Kings of Suburbia after eyeing the well-maintained crowd. It was middle class, shimmery, and very blond. Also, the name "Kings of Suburbia"... You know, clues.

When you think of JBJ, you think of rock 'n' roll. Well, pop rock 'n' roll, the yummy, amped-up stuff of the '80s. With "It's My Life," he got more pop than rock, and his hair began to look less like Cher's and more like Hillary Clinton's. Then, we thought, well everyone's gotta age. But it is possible to age and still rock. With this new backing band, there was no rock. Nothing heavy. Not much but jazzy covers and original Bon Jovi hits played at odd tempos.

That said, Jon Bon Jovi is legitimately one of the handsomest old dudes ever, and his mop would be impressive on a 15-year-old. He puts Bieber and all of the Jonas Brothers to shame with those thick, bouncing tresses. And he's, of course, still a great performer.

Jon (we'll call him that to distinguish him from his usual band that shares his last name) stepped out on the stage, all cool with aviators and a denim American-flag buttoned-down shirt. He started with what we're almost sure was a cover of the Byrds' "So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star," except it didn't sound anything like the Byrds' version. He was backed vocally by both soulful ladies and white guitar dudes and instrumentally by a full band.

He said, "Show me what you've, got sister," all sexy-like, before breaking into "You Give Love a Bad Name." All the blond ladies got on their heeled feet, singing the last lines of the song loudly and without Jon's assistance.

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Sayre Berman
Jon danced about like a dork. He charmed the audience, joking that he saw trouble in them, then adding "not really." He announced that there are a lot of pretty girls in South Florida. This led, of course to "Pretty Woman." Jon's aviators came off, presumably to show respect to Roy Orbison (RIP)? He sang, "Are you lonely, just like me?" Why yes, Jon, we are. How'd you know? Your hair looks great, BTW!

Location Info

Map

Hard Rock Live

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL

Category: Music


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42 comments
SuburbiaGirl
SuburbiaGirl

It is rather clear you are not qualified to write about 'Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia.' In fact, I question your ability to write for music at all.
I am not some crazy fan who says you can't say anything negative about Jon Bon Jovi.  Certainly he and the Bon Jovi band have had their share of faults and flops.  My point, rather, is that this article shows zero knowledge of what you are reviewing.
First, and most obviously, 'Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia' is NOT 'Bon Jovi.'  I believe your first mistake was going to the show expecting to see the iconic, 30-year strong band.  It is clear in your bias that is weaved throughout the article (which I admittedly skimmed rather than read in full because it was very clear to me what was going on).
Secondly, and most obvious to me, you failed to do any research on the 'Kings of Suburbia' project Jon has put together.  I am going to cite only one example because it is, perhaps, the most obvious.  You referred to the due dueling on Baba O'Reilly as "the guitarist" and "some chick on violin."
Both of those musicians are internationally known, renowned artists.  The guitarist, Bobby Bandiera, is an original member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.  But it's ok if you haven't heard of them, because Bobby has actually been touring with the Bon Jovi band for at least 5 years now.  The "chick on violin," besides her highly acclaimed performance credits alongside Sheryl Crowe and Ben Folds, she also has been touring with Bon Jovi for about 5 years.  Both Bobby AND Lorenza have been present at major Bon Jovi performances such as 'The Concert for New York' after 9-11 and the '12-12-12' concert following Hurricane Sandy.  There is no excuse for you, as a music journalist, to not know their names.
Finally, you fail to exhibit any knowledge of Jon Bon Jovi's roots.  Ever wonder why they're called 'The Kings of Suburbia?'  Well, I'm not going to tell you but I'll give you a hint; the word "suburb."  That hint alone should be enough to send you in the right direction to learn more about where Jon comes from, his influences, the members of KoS and, most importantly, how this setlist was crafted.
So, again, while I'm not going to go the way of some of those who posted on this article and align myself with a group of fans who says Jon can do no wrong, I am just going to tell you - one music journalist to another - this article was highly biased, poorly written and lacked any knowledge of subject matter.  In the future, for your benefit and the benefit of your readers, I would definitely invest more time so you can produce something of quality and not such drivel.

xx33y79
xx33y79

YES, I am middle class, shimmering, but not blond!  I must say Jon Bon Jovi doesnt need YOU to "get him".  Cuz WE  do!  His fans are true blue because of his ability to stay relevant and entertaining....I could watch those dorky moves 24-7.   You should have written with much more respect about this musical legend and the audience, as a whole.  doreen ct

irvinjanet
irvinjanet

You are a disgrace!! I was one of the BLONDES at this show!! Jon (yes thats what we call him) did an excellent job!! You really need to do your research before writing articles!! Is there a possibility that could of had too much to drink and maybe thats why you didn't enjoy the show? Just a guess!! I have been following JON BON JOVI for over 20 years and and he is still just as good as he was back in the 80's!! I have NEVER read an article that is so MEAN AND NASTY!! You are unbelievable!! You give critics a BAD NAME!!! Janet

veniceokeefe
veniceokeefe

What a great way to get people to read your blog....Write something terrible,and get a good argument going.It was brillant to pick Jon Bon Jovi,because that would make the most sense.One of the biggest rock icons of our time, and showing no signs of slowing down,you knew fans would be coming out in droves to state their displeasure.Well guess what,we did just that.One thing about us fans,negativity only draws us closer together and makes us stronger.We won't ever bend,break or back down.We stand together united as one....undivided,until the end of time ..........

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

2006 called--it wants cyberbullying back!

browardsFINEST
browardsFINEST

y'all mafuckaz stoopid yo bon jovi is mad wack na'mean? yo str8 up yall whylin if u crackaz b thinkin dis dude still gut it yo. serusly yall need ta get a fuggin hoby o'someshit. dudes some washed up cracka frum da 80s grow da fuq up yo PLEEEEEESE

Lynninpa0501
Lynninpa0501

Go write your little reviews on bands that have NOT made it as far as he has. Jon not only is a fantastic musician, but he has a heart of gold with his charities and helps more than ppl even know. Before you write such a lame ass review, do your homework/JOB and research!

suckmykiss
suckmykiss

Hi Everyone,

 

What a sad pathetic group of divorcees we have in this forum.  Better get to feeding your 16 kids.  Or perhaps its time to put that cigarette out and get back to work at the salon...those toe nails aren't going to file themselves ladies.  Irregardless of your level of white trashiness, let's leave this intelligent and beautiful writer alone.

 

Love,

Every man that ever left you. 

CaptainKid
CaptainKid

Hah, you just royally pissed off the Bon Jovi fan base. Do your research before you write such an article about a band. Learn to respect the band too, Jon didn't get this far just by being hot. 

CaptnNerd
CaptnNerd

Apparently Ms. Tracy underestimated the affection of aging white woman towards the pied piper of house wives, Jon Bon Jovi. Hahaha...

 

I'm not sure which part I enjoyed more; the strings of immature insults, or the well crafted review of an aging rocker who hasn't released anything groundbreaking since the commenters were in highschool. (a.k.a. the 80's).  As I read each comment thoroughly, I imagine these ladies trying to verbalize something that would hurt and offend Ms. Tracy and make her feel the way that it felt to realize that their own favorite artist, JBJ,  is a few years from being a state fair opening band. I imagine that while dreaming up these verbal lashes, the best they could come up with is the same blind profanity that their (ex)husbands said to them in their last fight. Glad to have spent the last few minutes reading and then responding to this article and commenters. Thank you for making my day, ladies. It might be time to up that prescription to Xanex... just sayin'.

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

For the record, Liz Tracy attended the show since it is her job in fact to attend events that she reviews. Consequently, she wrote an excellent and funny piece that shares her perspective on the show. Everyone, stop drinking the haterade.

AZNanc
AZNanc

Say it isn't so Liz!!!! You were not there????? The Kings of Suburbia are all great musicians and to not even aknowledge them by name shows a complete lack of professionalism. Oh and this was not their debut show. They have been perfoming for awhile now. Seems you lack that information also.

andreasp229
andreasp229

What a sad and pathetic review.  Your attempt of making a mockery out of this concert did not work Liz Tracy. You made a fool of yourself.  But I would expect nothing less from the New Times which is a ragsheet and best used as kitty litter liner and/or to wrap dead fish.   Andrea P.

scorpiogal
scorpiogal

Ahhh....Liz....perhaps the reason this review is so inaccurate is because you were not even at this event. I did my homework...like you should have done my dear. On Thursday night you were at Churchills pub in Miami. Maybe that is why you could not hear how fabulous this concert truly was. This 43 year old curly haired brunette was in the second row...and trust me...JON (yes...we call him that too) looked and sounded great. This concert was not promoted to be a Bon Jovi concert...it was what it was promised to be...a mix of Jovi tunes and classic rock. I suggest you do your homework from now on...and maybe even attend the events you review....before Broward catches on and fires you the way Miami did. HAVE A NICE DAY!!! (This pun may go over your head as its a Bon Jovi song title...which you may not even know. ) Lauren

jjab652
jjab652

i cant believe i just read this B-itches Review? she needs another Job title and writing Reviews she NEVER attended is not acceptable.... JON & the Guys or whom he is w/ that night performing put their all into a show!!!! I am so mad cause when you insult Bon Jovi LIZ you insult the fans!! GET a real Job. I hope you didnt quite your day job bi%ch

medinanancy82
medinanancy82

 I especially LOVE he line, "Jon (we'll call him that to distinguish him from his usual band that shares his last name)" ROTFLMAO!!!! OKAY!!!! You're a little late BITCH! I think WE ALL call him that!!! Hahahaha!!

ipekmine83
ipekmine83

One of the most shallow and unrealistic reviews I've ever read. It's disrespecting Mr. Jon Bon Jovi himself, the musicians that were up on stage with him, the audience at the show and the entire fanbase of a band that's been around since 1983. Next time when you attempt to write something about a concert: 1) Try to learn the names of the people performing 2) Avoid writing horrendous lines based solely on looks and sex appeal 3) Try to focus on the quality music. All in all, HAVE A NICE DAY.

msblueswoman1
msblueswoman1

the chick with the violin is LORENZA PONCE! gathering since your review was based solely on the sex appeal that you were rejected, goes to show you that JON BONJOVI does have good taste after all!

medinanancy82
medinanancy82

You think you're so clever. The fact is you're not. Don't bore us with your occasional compliments on Jon's hair and ass. I was at this show. The audience consisted of people of all ages>>>20's-60's. You have disrespected this iconic front man....this mega star and philanthropist. (Apparently you've never heard his acoustic version of "Prayer" which he and Richie have been singing from time to time since 1989 (gee...they were YOUNG men then). Obviously you didn't know that, but then again, from reading this ...ahem..."review"...there's a LOT you don't know!

What would have made the show exciting for you? Perhaps a mosh pit and body surfing? Go back to writing reviews about bands and singers that won't be making music 27 years from now.

I think you'd be much better at that.

By the way......I'm a BRUNETTE. :-)

 

barbaraknowsrockandroll
barbaraknowsrockandroll

Liz Tracy you are low class, obnoxious and ignorant of the truth.  You have been shamefully disrespectful of one of the greatest rock stars ever AND his accompanying accomplished musicians.  Liz, I guess you "don't know his demographic" or much about  rock and roll, music in general, or even writing. ....and don't tell me your racist too, referring to the "white ladies in the crowd".   I have to say I laughed out loud when you called Jon's rendition of Hallelujah "decent"....OMG I thought I'd lose it laughing....AS IF YOU'D KNOW .   I'll just close with this, in the only way a young punk like you can understand....Liz, you're a flaming asshole and you ought to keep your pie hole shut.

Fernanda
Fernanda

I just got to read this review and I feel like I want to puke. You’re not only inaccurate but disrespectful to Mr. Bongiovi and the band. Before writing a review get informed for Christ Sake!!! You didn’t even had the decency to check the names of the band members!!! FYI the “chick on the violin” is prestigious musician Lorenza Ponce. The Guitarist is Bobby Bandiera who has been playing with Bon Jovi (THE BAND) for a very long time. The female vocalist is Layonne Holmes: not only you didn’t take the time to look up her name but you can’t hear properly either (Jon said her name).

Did you know that Mr. Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah’s author, in case you didn't know that either) declared that Jon Bon Jovi’s version of the song is the best he heard?

Why don’t you make yourself a favor? If you don’t have any idea of what you’re talking about, keep your mouth shut and don’t go posting crap like this. Not only it will save you time but also will save you from the embarrassment of people noticing how lame you are!!!

 

veniceokeefe
veniceokeefe

I would like to know what show you were at last night? This is a horrendous review and should have never been allowed to be posted.I was at the show,and the show was complete opposite of what you are posting.I myself,and I know other people will be horrified to see such untruth being said.The show was nothing short of outstanding,just as expected.This was not a Bon Jovi concert.This was a BJ And Friends show.The musicians who were there have worked together many times before.I think it is awful,that their names are not even mentioned..Jon had the audiences attention throughout the entire show,and the crowd loved it.There were people in the front who didn't seem to enjoy themselves.They were the "High Rollers".I guess their mind was thinking of something else.And to say that " Hallelujah " wasn't perfect is just so sad. I can't even say any more,because the more I write,the more upset I become.Such A shame!!!!!!!!! 

Bebep
Bebep

Liz you got a lynch mob of soccer moms ready to wag their fingers at you!!

 

Not sure what's funnier, the review or some crazy old ladies crying over their Bon Jovi posters.

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

 @andreasp229

 Andrea, do you have nothing better to do than write a stream of insults? I completely disagree and think this is an excellent review. It is sad that you are so insulting.

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

 @scorpiogalGRADE: F+. I give you a "+" for attempting to be cleverbut sadly, you did not do your homework since Liz Tracy did NOT get fired by Miami New Times. Maybe you should take a breath and live your own life and not be an internet bully and stalker... Namaste.

 

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

 @jjab652

 I think you meant to say "quit" but that said... we live in the US of A where everyone is entitled to practice their first amendment right (you know, freedom of speech, etc.). That does not call for name-calling. I don't think "bi%ch" really captures what you are trying to say but at least you are practicing your 1st amendment right and hopefully, you will learn that others can do the same.

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

 @barbaraknowsrockandroll

Barbara, your comment is just barbaric. Liz is WHITE so not racist, first of all. Second of all, do you get off from putting down an online reviewer whenever you disagree with their opinion? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and there's a fine line in journalism between obsenity and what is merely a critique. That said, I enjoyed Liz's review AND am saddened by your cruel obsence commentary. Since you are passing a lot of judgements, I suggest that you try to counter that and be positive in your next comment/interaction with the world and see how much better that will make you feel. There's too much hate in this world so why highlight it? I think a more effective critique would go a long way if you tried to be more elequent rather than resorting to calling the reviewer, "low class, obnoxious, and ignorant."

andreasp229
andreasp229

 @farrahfarley

 It is the truth and I am entitled to my opinion.  The same way that Tracy wrote her opinion piece, I can respond with the same.  If you do not agree, that is certainly not my problem.

beverlyruth1960
beverlyruth1960

 @medinanancy82 Brian lives in FL-He says she got Fired AS A MUSIC CRITIC FOR THE MIAMI HERALD FOR REVIEWING CONCERTS SHE DIDN'T EVEN ATTEND!

andreasp229
andreasp229

 @farrahfarley No need to reuse, the sole use would be for kitty litter. Goodness Farrah, move on and get a life instead of dissecting every word you poor soul.

 

farrahfarley
farrahfarley

I just think your choice of words is interesting while also inaccurate--i.e. pathetic? I see nothing pathetic... really. It's a bit extreme and calling Liz Tracy a "fool" is just unnecessary slander.  Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, as everyone is but why be so hateful in the process?! On a lighter note, I will give you props for being eco-friendly and reusing the printed New Times as kitty litter liner after you read it in disgust. Printed journalism LIVES! 

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