Merely mutter the words "Bon Jovi concert" and you're likely to get one of two responses: a shrug of indifference (from just about any male) or an eardrum-bursting squeal (from just about any female). Few '80s rockers — save Mr. Rick Springfield — draw such a line through the genders. • That's because the hirsute Jersey pretty boy has stopped living on a prayer and started living off his derriere. The last time Jon and the boys visited Tampa, it took frequent butt flexes to get the ladies out of their seats (and their minds off his recent disappointing studio material). • Come on, Jon. You want to keep the fans on their feet at Saturday's show at the St. Pete Times Forum? Put the country-tinged tunes to rest and make sure these five nearly forgotten songs are on the set list:
1 Runaway: We know we'll hear the really big hits, but don't forget the first chartbuster from back in 1983.
2 Lay Your Hands On Me: On the same album as Bad Medicine, and nearly as much fun to sing along to live.
3 Bed of Roses: Skip the dreaded Wanted Dead or Alive (so overplayed) and try this 1992 power ballad instead.
4 It's My Life: Why was this crowd-pleaser a bigger hit in Switzerland than the United States? Because the Swiss know good cheese.
5 Never Say Goodbye: Not a huge hit, but the perfect song to play when the beer vendors yell "last call." Drive responsibly, ladies.
The show is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. $41-$146.90. (813) 301-2500.
Steve Spears, Times staff writer