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Spring Music Guide 2003

Bon Jovi

Support: Goo Goo Dolls

Date: April 12, 7:30pm. $44.50-$85.50. HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose. 408.287.7070

Current Album: Bounce (Island Records, 2002)

Vitals: New Jersey's resilient working-class rock band survives years of lackluster album sales and Jon Bon Jovi's acting career to bounce back on the charts as if the '90s never happened.

Breakthrough: "Runaway" (1984)

Current Single: "Misunderstood" (2003)

Scouting Report: For '80s kids racing around skating rinks in fluorescent clothes to the sounds of Madonna, Duran Duran and Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi served as a gateway to a whole new arena. Bon Jovi helped usher in the glam-rock explosion by making music that rocked hard but remained accessible and unsleazy. Monster hits and high-flying videos to "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer"--plus the epic guitar-slinger's tale "Wanted Dead or Alive" (the best ode to the road since Bob Seger's "Turn the Page")--became MTV staples. Sales of Aqua Net tripled as fans tried to replicate those perfectly feathered locks. Alas, times changed and, upon the coming of Nirvana and the anti-glam (we're so ugly, we're so troubled, we're so serious) flannel movement, upbeat Bon Jovi was relegated to the ranks of other hair band has-beens. Die-hard fans continued to buy New Jersey successors Keep the Faith, Crossroad and These Days, but it wasn't until 2000's Crush that Bon Jovi made a comeback with the song "It's My Life" that took everyone by surprise--including the band. Bon Jovi's latest, Bounce, is full of arena-rock anthems, devotional ballads and blue-collar hard-luck songs, plus an angry post-9/11 track titled "Undivided" that digs strength out of the rubble. (SQ)

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From the March 6-12, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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