Monday, March 3, 2008

Cougarville, USA

Last night, like any good New Jersian should, Ariel and I spent the night at a Bon Jovi concert celebrating Dr. Jon's 46th birthday, albeit we did so across the river in Philadelphia. We joked about how many Soul references the AFL owner would make, and needless to say, he was right on cue early on welcoming fans to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania..."Soulville, USA."

While stuck in traffic I noted that if I were single and looking, an Bon Jovi concert is certainly fertile grounds for prowling. And it's not just the cougars. As a guy pushing 30, I realized something I coined the 8-year cougar/co-ed window. The age range of screaming women nicely bookends my current age.

The outfits above were only the beginning. Sitting directly in front of us was a 40-something year old man mimicking Jovi's every move. Directly to his right was a 115-pound dude wearing an Under Armor shirt who was sitting next to one of the many women wearing a Tony Graziani jersey.

Opening act was solid. Not knowing what to expect from Idol alumnus Daughtry, the guy and his band can flat out rock. Hard too. Totally unexpected, but it worked, even if he teased about going back to the 80's only to sing the opening verse to "Home Sweet Home" before breaking into "I'm Going Home."

Visibly, Jon is showing his age. His feathered, darkened hair looked, well, contrived. He had a black vest on that was eerily reminiscent of the Springsteen Human Touch/Luck Town era and his preachiness is straight out of the Boss' Gospel of Rock 'n Roll. Sambora, wearing his finest wine-colored velvet pants and purple leather 3/4 coat, looked like a poor man's Little Steven Van Zandt. Tico Dice Clay looked tough as ever but Ariel noted she was waiting for him to reach his arm around his head and take a puff of an unfiltered smoke. David Bryan and his JT-inspired mane hasn't changed in 25 years. Nice to see Asbury Juke Bobby Bandiera touring with the boys.

Show it self was a lot of fun. Jon, celebrating his birthday and coming off a big Soul win, seemed exceptionally inspired. Ariel noted he was playing all my favorites (with the exception of "Saturday Night"). Big highlight was Daughtry coming out and doing a fantastic "Blaze of Glory" (rock on, Young Guns).

And as if him referring to the crowd as the "brothers and sisters of Soulville" and promising to bring Philadelphia a championship (what, do the Kixx not count?) weren't enough, the inevitable happened. Out came the Soulmates and a handful of players to sing happy birthday.

FB/LB Wes Ours, WR/KR Mike Brown, DL Gabe Nyenhuis, et. al.

See the players and Soulmates yucking it up here:

Only thing missing was Jaws.


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