Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

19 January 2008

Bon Jovi - Lost Highway: The Concert, dir. Joe Thomas (2007)

NIKKI says:
After last night's look back at the early 1990s and reminiscing about the silly times had by all, I wasn't at all expecting the emotional reaction I wound up having to this 2007 concert. Same thing happened, really, I spent much of the show feeling so very old. And when you're 28, this is weird sensation to have. Everybody told me 25 was the year of the quarter-life crisis, but I think it's hitting three years later. Watching this show drained me, physically and mentally. and that's why I've not been able to write about the experience until now, which is actually five days later. This one is going to stay with me for a while.

It came about that I bought the DVD and watched the show when I did because I missed out on getting tickets to the actual show in Melbourne taking place at the very time I put on the disc. It devastated me, missing out on tickets, and I thought watching the show would cure that. At least, right, I was getting the experience, and it being my first time viewing the show, it would be like I was seeing it all for the first time, as I would at the actual show. Turns out, after just the first song, I was more gutted I wasn't there than before.

The Bon Jovi concerts I've attended, it turns out, have been like signposts through my life, each coming at a significant time. Each time, the songs have altered in meaning, become more meaningful, different. And there are always new songs to reflect new transitions in my life. My first concert was back before I really knew what the band would end up meaning to me. And only now, 20 years after my first concert, I can see everything so clearly. All those signposts are clearly marked.

The first time I was really cognizant of Bon Jovi as a force in my life was at the 1993 Keep the Faith concerts. BJ was my favourite band and no-one understood them like me and blah blah blah. I was also 14 and in the middle of puberty. Well, at the end almost, firmly understanding now that I was going to be the one to develop ahead of everyone else. I was unhappy with who I was, and I was about to enter one of the strangest phases of my life, what mum calls the "black period", where I rarely left my room and spent my days reading and watching movies. The concert, I went to two of them, were brilliant. I got some great photos, paid a security guy to get close to the stage, just had a general good time. Just me and a friend, at 14, in the big city. No parents, no rules, just us and "In These Arms".

In 1995, I attended the These Days show with my friend, Shelley. I was slated to go with another friend, Trish, but I royally fucked up that friendship over selfishness and stupidity and thus bribed Shelley into coming with me because Keanu Reeves's band was going to be there. I've always viewed that show with regret. We had the best time, as always, but it signalled the end of my friendship with Trish -- I bought her a ticket then sold it without telling her and the nail was firmly in the coffin of our relationship. It lasted more than 10 years, and I have always regretted it. That year, I had Shelley, stolen beer, an obstructed view of the stage, Keanu Revees, and "Bitter Wine".

Then, in 1997, everything was different. I was at uni in Shepparton, my best friend was Asha and I was killing myself trying to hold onto a dead relationship -- this time with a guy. I was 18, I was an adult, I thought I knew everything. Jon toured solo for his record Destination Anywhere and it was a one-show only deal, and it was excellent. Asha and I bonded a bit over the song "Ugly", while songs like "Staring at Your Window" and "Learning How to Fall" were basically describing my situation at that time. I thought it all meant so much. I look back, of course, and I was a kid who pretty much knew nothing, and the real truth of those songs, 10 years on, have revealed themselves. But that's another story.

The following year was a huge turning point. Richie toured his new record, and I attended the show alone. The one person who would have loved to have gone with me, I hadn't spoken to since These Days. I went at doors open and waited, alone, over three hours for Richie to arrive. I got so tired standing in the same spot, I almost passed out. I didn't know a nightclub show could be so different to a standard show. Everyone around me was out for a night on the town, I was there to see Richie. It was horrifying. But a good show, though I don't think I've ever felt so alone, so singled out ever again. I had no money, no friends, and no seat. I did have "Hard Times Come Easy" and prime positioning at the Mercury Lounge, which made up for it.

The next show was in 2001, when I'd just arrived home from America. This one was a weird one -- I'd bought Crush overseas and absolutely loved it. I was so excited for the concert, and I went with my sister who had been waiting to go see a BJ show since she exchanged her BJ tickets for Madonna seats back in '93. So it was a bit of a landmark. It was also the beginning of the end of my concert-going enjoyment. The worst part was, I had to go to my ex-boyfriend's new grilfriend's house to collect my favourite BJ shirt from the front doorstep, literally left there for me in a garbage bag, because who wanted me going in? And then, when I went, the shirt, which I had worn at my first BJ show, wasn't even in the bag, and it has since disappeared forever.

The show? Drunk people everywhere, girls on guys shoulders pushing and shoving me, I couldn't see a thing because of idiots jumping around. I remember spending much of the show watching the monitor and wishing I was home. Not to say the guys weren't great, it just wasn't the right time for me. This was about six weeks after my return home and my world was different. I could take idiots before perhaps. I didn't want to anymore. And so I skipped BJ's next show at the Rumba festival. Sit through Pink and Natalie Imbruglia to see ten minutes of BJ? After the previous experience, I couldn't do it. And I didn't care -- it wasn't a BJ concert, it was kids music event and Jon said as much in an interview. Something tells me I didn't miss much.

So, I was letting things go at that point, becoming less obsessive. Growing up, maybe? And, at 23 or whatever I was then, that was easy. Twenty-three wasn't "almost 30". It's silly, I know, but this concert was going to be another signpost -- I can't help but wonder if I would have come home allowing myself that -- to be "almost 30", and to finally resist hiding from it? I watched the Lost Highway DVD and for the first time in 2o-plus years, I saw the lines on Jon's face. I saw the that he had started to look his age, which, when you think about it, is "almost 50". Wow, that's hard to deal with.

I watched the DVD and I thought about all those things, about all those mistakes. And it's come at time when I've reacquainted with Trish, and I'd only very recently made peace with that bad relationship from 1997 that ruled my life for so long. This was landmark, but I experienced it from my couch. I sat there and I just felt so alone. I didn't feel good, I didn't feel like I had experienced what I needed -- to eradicate the feelings I had at the 2001, to re-energise myself, to move forward, like I'd done after every other show. So, I'm left a bit stagnant. Hanging. I don't know what'll push me forward now. I still feel like I'm only halfway there.

Steve did not view.

No comments: