Austin 101 Magazine

Bon Jovi Concert Review: This House is Not For Sale Tour

by Jerri Starbuck

Bon Jovi’s This House is Not for Sale Tour– promoting album of same name- stopped in San Antonio’s AT&T Center (we had to make the trek since he wasn’t stopping in Austin).  The single was released in 2016 of the same name. November 4, 2016, the band officially released their 13th studio album, This House Is Not for Sale,  and then their third live album, This House Is Not for Sale – Live from the London Palladium, released on December 16, 2016. The tour marks the first time that Phil X and Hugh McDonald (bass) became official members of the band.

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At 56, Jon still looks amazing and youthful. He looks healthy, is in great shape-wearing his outfit of tight jeans and t-shirt- with a full head of hair most men envy. Francis Bongiovi Jr. is father of 4 and married to his long-time sweetheart since 1989. I think that’s what’s most impressive about his 4 decade career. This new jersey boy is a model for a rock star family man, let alone any marriage.

Although the absence of Richie Sambora is noticeable, Phil X (Phil Theofilos Xenidis) is pretty great and charismatic and pianist David Bryan was absolutely amazing to watch and playing both piano and keyboard at the same time-one in front one from behind. Bon Jovi is still one of the best rock bands ever selling over 130 million albums (in a time when that was impossible to achieve). This guy doesn’t need to tour and certainly doesn’t need the money. He truly seems to love performing and loves what he does.

Bon Jovi is finally being honored by getting inducted into the hall of fame class of 2018. Probably the biggest thrill of his music career.

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During the show, he played top hits and had a nice mix of ballads and high energy rock n roll-“It’s My Life”, “You give Love”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Always”, “Bed of Roses”, “Bad Medicine”, “We weren’t born to follow” as well as great new ones. He is sincerely having a great time performing and being on stage-smiling and jumping and entertaining all through the set-just as high energy as ever.

At the beginning of the show, he kicked off with “You’re here to see me shake my ass so let’s get started!”The stage set, performance, sound and lighting was still an A-list stadium style, full sound show-  full guitars, drums and dual keyboards. Although his voice started off a bit rough (maybe even a bit off-key at times) but it smoothed out nicely for his huge a capella solo tracks that he did from the crowd.

A lot of his song lyrics and quotes are inspirational, motivational, uplifting and perhaps religious too-but always about believing in something. “Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?”

See our full photo gallery from the show

We’ve always liked Bon Jovi’s American spirit and still today pay homage to America and patriotism and supporting our troops, without being political. There are flags and lyrics and red, white, and blue as well as images of vets and pride playing on the big screen behind him. And he still loves kissing the girls and making them scream for him. towards the end of the show, he jumped from the stage and started singing from the crowd (not sure if it was placed or not) and he took tons of selfies with fans, drinking their drinks and kissing girls. Same Jon.

We love the fact that he promotes local artists and brought on local Soul Tribe– a great local rock band. He does this for all his tour stops. That’s giving back and helping others. Check out this note he wrote for the Dallas opener.

Set list

This House is Not for Sale

Knockout

You Give Love a Bad Name
Whole Lot of Leavin’
Lost Highway
When We Were Us
Born to Be My Baby
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
It’s My Life
We Weren’t Born to Follow
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
We Got It Goin’ On
Keep the Faith
Amen
Bed of Roses
Lay Your Hands on Me
God Bless This Mess
Have a Nice Day
Bad Medicine

Encore:
(You Want to) Make a Memory
I’d Die for You
Wanted Dead or Alive
Livin’ on a Prayer

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