Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Bon Jovi's Tico Torres and David Bryan talk longevity, love songs and Richie Sambora

Breakups are always hard, especially around Valentine's Day. So for a lot of Bon Jovi fans, today's concert at Amalie Arena might feel bittersweet, considering it'll be the band's first in Tampa without longtime guitarist Richie Sambora.

"Richie's a brother with us many years — it's not something you brush off," said drummer Tico Torres. "Of course, time heals wounds, and music definitely heals everything."

Bon Jovi's new album This House Is Not for Sale is the first without Sambora, the man behind those screaming solos on You Give Love a Bad Name and Bed of Roses, and that creaky Old West plucking on Wanted Dead or Alive. After a few troubled years, including bouts with alcohol addiction and a desire to rekindle a solo career, Sambora left the group relatively amicably in 2013, leaving Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Hugh McDonald, Torres and new guitarist Phil X to soldier on.

"It's a different thing, but there's new life, and I think when you have new people, you have new energy," Bryan said. "We had some wonderful years with Richie, but if he wants to move on in his direction, it's one of those things that you can't avoid. And we carry on because the premise of this record This House Is Not for Sale is the roots, and the fact that we're still together and strong and love playing music together."

Today's show will be Jon Bon Jovi's second Tampa Bay appearance in the last four months — he headlined a voter rally with then-vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine at the State Theatre in November — but it'll be the first time fans have seen the whole band here since 2013. With three decades of hits at their disposal, that's a lot of catching up to do.

"We try to do as long a show as possible to fit them all in," Bryan said. "We try to change the list every night. I mean, there's certain staples that people expect and probably deserve. I remember when I was very young and going to the Fillmore East and watching three of my favorite bands in one night, I'd want a hit. I want to hear the songs that brought them to that pinnacle of success. And we try to keep those in there."

During a recent teleconference with journalists, Bryan and Torres took a few questions from the Times about Valentine's Day and the group's longevity.

Your tour stops here on Valentine's Day. How do you capture and share love, and what are your favorite love songs to play?

Bryan: I answer for Tico. I help him out. Tico really likes Always, and he really likes Bed of Roses. … And then he likes on the new one, the bonus track, Real Love.

Torres: Real Love, yeah, that's my favorite. You know, at my age, I've got to revert to my younger friend with my memory. But that song's always hit home. It's one of those songs, the new one, is very intimate. And I think it speaks to everybody, which is kind of nice.

Since you guys have been doing this for so long, do you feel any pressure now to reinvent the live experience? Or is the goal more to live up to what you've done in the past?

Bryan: I don't think we feel any pressure or expectations. I think what we do is we don't have to do it, we want to do it. … And we love to do it. So I think for us, we're just going to go out there and pour our hearts out, and that's what we've always done. So it's not a matter of anything except we've been fortunate to get the opportunity that we can go and play, and do what we love and love what we do.

Have you thought about how long you want to do it?

Bryan: Yes, I'm going to stop when I'm 100. I put a limit on myself. When I'm 100 years old, I am definitely going to just wing it off the road.

Torres: When he's 100, I'll be 110. (laughs.) Who knows? You know, we'll see where life takes us.

Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Comments
Fleetwood Mac coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Fleetwood Mac coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Before Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham came to Ruth Eckerd Hall last fall, Buckingham said Fleetwood Mac was mapping out a tour for 2018 and beyond. And he fully expected to be a part of it."Fleetwood Mac is absolutely a dysfunctional family, ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

ROCK ROYALTY: Queens of the Stone AgeWhen Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme got in trouble recently for kicking a photographer at a show, local fans might have seen it coming. During a gig here in 2014, a fan got up on stage and tried to gree...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Review: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

I have to confess: I was not prepared to see Yanni walk on stage Tuesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall.I mean, of course I knew he would be there. It was a Yanni concert, after all. Can't throw a Yanni concert without Yanni.But if you've seen photos of Y...
Published: 04/25/18
Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

BROOKSVILLE — Some are full of bluster and bravado, while others are sentimental and romantic.And when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra closes out its season this weekend with its Kaleidoscope concert, audiences will witness the wide range of talents ...
Published: 04/24/18
SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

— Tracy Morgan is coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. He'll perform there on Nov. 2. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is returning to the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $35 and up....
Published: 04/23/18
Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer, which drops this Friday, is one of most music watchers' most anticipated albums of 2018.Looks like the R&B star will follow it with one of the year's most anticipated tours.Monae's Dirty Computer Tour will take her to ...
Published: 04/23/18
J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin just had himself a mighty fine Coachella.On Saturday, he popped out on stage with Beyonce to perform their hit single Mi Gente. And on Sunday, he showed up for Cardi B's set to perform I Like It with Bad Bunny.Pretty soon, Tampa can get a ta...
Published: 04/23/18
Janet Jackson coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Janet Jackson coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

A mere three years after her last trip to Tampa, Janet Jackson is on her way back.The pop icon announced a new slate of tour dates for her State of the World Tour, which has been dormant since December, and Tampa's one two Florida cities (the other i...
Published: 04/23/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks addiction, ditching the band’s ‘Christian’ label, moving back to St. Pete and more

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks addiction, ditching the band’s ‘Christian’ label, moving back to St. Pete and more

HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a 41-story condo t...
Published: 04/23/18
Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18