The Bon Jovi "Lost Highway Tour" is under way. The band singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, drummer Tico Torres, keyboardist David Bryan and bassist Hugh McDonald will wrap up its 10th performance at the Prudential Center in its hometown of Newark, N.J., tonight.
Then they hit the road for Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand before returning to the United States for a cross-country tour that will start with a performance during Super Bowl XLII's halftime show in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 3.
The sad thing for Bon Jovi fans in Utah is that, so far, there is no scheduled concert date here.
However, all is not lost, because the A&E cable channel will air the expanded version of Bon Jovi's "Lost Highway: the Concert" three times this weekend.
The first airing will be at 11 p.m. on Saturday, followed by showings at 3 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday. And while that's good news for Bon Jovi fans who are Utah cable subscribers, those who aren't need wait only three days for the DVD to be released on A&E's video label.
So, how did they film this DVD before embarking on the tour? After the band released its country-rock "Lost Highway" CD, it went on a mini-promotional tour that stopped in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, London, Japan, Milwaukee, Canada and Wisconsin and Cheyenne, and could have culled performances from these shows (with the exception of Puerto Rico, because Sambora was in rehab at the time).
However, the band decided to hold a special taping at a Chicago soundstage on July 30. "Lost Highway: the Concert" is a DVD of that intimate concert.
Rehab did Sambora good. The man who has fought his personal demons and experienced a divorce this past year looks lean and sharp, and his playing is impeccable. The others also look like they're having the time of their lives. (Musicians filling out the sound include guitarist Bobby Bandiera, violinist Lorenza Ponce and mandolinist Kurt Johnston.)
Make note, however, that the concert on this DVD is not a greatest-hits concert.
It's basically the band playing "Lost Highway" in its entirety, with three older Bon Jovi songs thrown in as the encore ("It's My Life," "Wanted Dead or Alive," and "Who Says You Can't Go Home," the first Bon Jovi song to bluntly meld country and Southern rock with the band's sound back in 1987.)
Those of you who have the "Lost Highway" CD will be familiar with the other songs and the order in which they are played: "Lost Highway" all the way through "I Love This Town."
Each song is pretty much the same arrangement as the album, except there are no guest vocalists (such as LeAnn Rimes on "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore").
While some may wonder why people would want to hear live, note-for-note versions of the CD tracks, die-hards will enjoy hearing the songs in a live setting, proving how proficient the band members are at their instruments and vocals. Let it be known, however, that the live versions of the three aforementioned older works are edgier than their studio-release counterparts.
The closest the "Lost Highway Tour" is coming to Salt Lake City (straight-line distance) is Phoenix, on April 8, 2008. The band will play the Jobing.com Arena.
Still, there is a lot of time between now and the scheduled end of the tour June 27, 2008. So, there is still hope for Utah fans. But the A&E airing, and the renting or purchasing the DVD, is the next best thing.It may even be better because there are interviews with the four main band members Jon, Richie, Tico and David that can be accessed in the special features.