For Bon Jovi fans in Colorado, the third time will surely be the charm.
Nearly a year after the legendary rock band canceled its Denver tour stop, due in part to frontman Jon Bon Jovi falling ill, the stage is literally set for a make-up show at the Pepsi Center.
Their promoter says the band has sold 130 million albums worldwide in the past three decades and sold more than $1 billion in tickets just in the past ten years.
The band’s longtime crew chief gave 9NEWS backstage access to the set-up ahead of Wednesday night’s concert, which will be the opening act on Bon Jovi’s 2018 tour.
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Here’s our Q&A with Mike Rew, Backline Crew Chief and Tour Coordinator, who has worked with Bon Jovi for 20 years:
Q: What’s happening today to get ready for tomorrow night’s concert?
A: Usually, when we get in here it’s the show day. We usually don’t get a day to set up. We’re going to do a little rehearsal tonight with the band, get them happy so they’re confident about what they’re doing and then do the show tomorrow night.
Q: Should fans expect anything in this show that’s different than a typical Bon Jovi concert?
A: We rehearsed a lot of songs that we haven’t played in a long time. So hopefully people will be happy with the song selection that he’s doing.
Q: Is there much that changes from show to show?
A: Not really (laughs). It’s Groundhog Day every day.
Q: Is the set list of songs set in stone?
A: Never. He’ll tell us (during the show) through a little microphone what he wants to do. ‘This song’s next, or scratch that one out, let’s do this.’ We call them audibles.
He likes to play the hits for everybody though. If you don’t play ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ people don’t even want to come.
Q: How has setting up for a tour changed over the last 20 years?
A: There used to be a lot more pyro and lots of other technical things, and we don’t do a lot of that stuff now. Everybody hates pyro (laughs). The smell, the confetti, it gets everywhere. He’s more about the songs and the performance with the band.
He’ll be going out in the audience. We have a stage over there that he goes up and sings on.
Q: How long does it take to set all this up?
A: We get in about 6 in the morning, and we’re ready to go by 2. Taking it down, we’re out of here in two hours.
Q: Do you all rent all of the stage equipment or do you own it?
A: We pretty much rent it. It comes from all different parts of the country. All we own are the instruments.
Q: What would surprise people the most about touring with Bon Jovi?
A: It’s really quite boring to tell you the truth. We get to hang out in the city for one day, but we don’t get to see much at all.
Q: Does the band ever walk around the city and have dinner?
A: Sometimes. It’s kind of hard for Jon to walk around, but the other guys do.
Q: Have things mellowed has the band has gotten older over the years?
A: Yeah. We only do 40 shows a year now. They’ve got to be with their families. They still enjoy touring, but there’s more to life than touring with a rock band.
Q: A cancellation like last year, that’s pretty rare.
A: Yeah, he wasn’t happy about it. But he’s happy to be back and starting the next tour in Denver. Hopefully, the people will be happy.