Bon Jovi’s latest tour highlights newest lineup
Fans that tuned into the Feb. 21 live broadcast of iHeartRadio Icons with Bon Jovi received a current events recap about New Jersey’s favorite sons of ’80s arena rock. The 2016 album This House Is Not for Sale was re-released on the Friday following the New York City concert, with two new tracks, including latest single “When We Were Us.”
On March 11, they receive iHeartRadio’s inaugural Icon Award and perform at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Forum in Los Angeles. Then it’s off to Denver on March 14 to kick off the spring dates of the 2018 This House Is Not for Sale tour, then to Las Vegas on March 17, and Cleveland on April 14 for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
That induction begs the question: Will Richie Sambora return for the Hall of Fame ceremony? Frontman Jon Bon Jovi answered for his former guitarist in the Feb. 21 broadcast when he said emails had been exchanged. Sambora and original bassist Alec John Such will attend, and were welcome to perform with the band in Cleveland. While Hall of Fame inductions have been contentious reckonings for Gun N’ Roses, Deep Purple and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bon Jovi’s could provide a healing occasion for its classic lineup.
Before performing “When We Were Us” on Feb. 21, Jon Bon Jovi emphasized that the contemporary lineup represents the latest stage in a continuous evolution. “This band has been born again a few times,” he said, citing several re-inventions of sound and image in Bon Jovi’s history.
The band survived the grunge era, crossed over into country and has now recorded its first album without Sambora. This House Is Not For Sale marks the studio debut of Phil X, who had been playing guitar on tour with Bon Jovi since 2013 prior to becoming an official member in 2016. His lead work is featured on the album, which Allmusic.com critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine described as “the band’s liveliest album in years.”
Credit drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan, who both joined the original lineup in 1983, for the accolade as well. Longtime touring bassist Hugh McDonald also became an official member in 2016, although as a session musician he contributed the bass line to Bon Jovi’s debut single “Runaway.”
Sambora, who left the band mid-tour in 2013 and has subsequently stated there is no bad blood between his former boss and himself, left the door open to returning in the future and has tweeted his encouragement for his former band’s latest recording efforts. It’s a safe bet he’ll perform with Bon Jovi at the Hall of Fame after the induction.
Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi revealed during a recent The Late Show with Stephen Colbert episode that his two Soul Kitchen restaurants have served 80,000 farm-to-table meals to New Jerseyans in need, and in January he cut the ribbon on Hub of Hope, an 11,000-square-foot facility that provides service and care assistance to Philadelphia’s homeless. His band might be included in a 2018 Hall of Fame class with The Cars, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but for beneficiaries of his philanthropic endeavors, Jon Bon Jovi is in a class by himself.
T-Mobile Arena, 7:30 p.m. March 17, starting at $19.75 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS