Bon Jovi Shows 2017
Pay it Forward was an excellent bundle of sentimental drama that came out in the year 2000 starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment. The movie is about a young boy’s dream of making the world a better place by showing three acts of kindness to three strangers and for his efforts all he asks in return is that they “pay it forward” to three other strangers in desperate need. It’s a good movie with an inspiring premise only made better by its cast including the portrayal of the alcoholic, abusive father of Osment, played by Jon Bon Jovi.
Last Tuesday night Amy, my Mom, and I took our 4 and 6 year old boys to their first rock concert. Bon Jovi played the Chesapeake Event Center in Oklahoma City and with my influence over their musical tastes reaching its peak, I felt it was time. For weeks the boys have been singing Wanted Dead or Alive (never missing an opportunity to answer “Wante-e-ed” during the chorus), Bad Medicine, Living on a Prayer, and You Give Love a Bad Name. With concerns that the boys might not be able to see (and ticket prices skyrocketing), I was lucky to get row A in the 300 section, stage right. It was a great show. The boys had a blast and I got most to hear most of the new songs I wanted to see live. Next stop Dallas.
Thursday night at 6pm Amy and I parked and walked up to the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. I’ve seen Bon Jovi in Chicago (2 times), Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Tulsa, Dallas (8 times), and Oklahoma City (4 times), and Dallas never disappoints. The crowd is always big and loud and it’s apparent that it’s one of the bands favorite cities to play. It’s always a good show. With that in mind, Amy and I walked around outside, absorbing the energy before finally making our way through security, buying a coke and pretzel and taking our seats. For the Dallas show, I bought seats in 116, row P. Pretty good seats by anyone’s standards. The seats were stage left, with a good view of the entire stage and eye level with the band. As I took a bite of my pretzel, I pulled my phone from my pocket to text a friend.
I met Kelly Van Dyke on youtube sometime during Bon Jovi’s Circle Tour. She posted live Bon Jovi videos to youtube. The quality was amazing. She would post the best songs and performances at the best shows, from the best seats… I would watch them for hours. If I remember correctly, I asked her about her camera, the conversation led to Bon Jovi, and a friendship was born. We were the modern day equivalent of Bon Jovi pen pals. Come to find out she was from Dallas and ever sinse we have tried to meet up before the show to say hi. But at this show she had a surprise for us.
As the opening act took stage I felt a tap on my shoulder. Kelly and her daughter stopped by to say hi before making their way to their seats. After initial pleasantries were made she asked, “ would you like to sit on the floor?”. Keep in mind, the opening band was on and loud. I must have not heard her correctly… “What?” Kelly said, “How would you like to sit on the floor? Our seats got upgraded to the 2nd row. Would you like our seats on the 8th row?” Like a fat kid offered seconds at desert, I said, “YES! How much?” She said, “Nothing. Just Pay it Forward.” I was (am) overcome with excitement and gratitude.
With skepticism and downright fear that biggest surprise of my life would inevitably be taken away, I stayed glued to my seat through the entire opening act. I didn’t go to the bathroom. I didn’t get up to buy another coke. I don’t remember clapping. I was a stone statue with fireworks going off inside.
After the opening act left stage, two Texas women excitedly took their seats in front of us. Everywhere I go I like to make at least one new friend and since Jason Garrett (Cowboy’s coach) was over 20 feet to our right, Amy and I made due with the two lovely ladies sitting in front. Terri, was toting a brand new Nikon camera – the nicest model without a detachable lens, thus allowed into the concert. When she learned that I was a professional, she asked if I would adjust her settings and it wasn’t 5 minutes into the show before I took her new camera over.
It’s just weird how things work out. We were given tickets to the 8th row center by an incredible woman asking nothing in return, only to sit by the one person with the nicest camera allowed in, inviting me to shoot the with it and immediately going great lengths to share the pictures with me. I am eternally grateful to Kelly for giving us her seats and to Terri who trusted me with her nice camera. I have been very blessed. I now just need to find a way to pay it forward. Below are a few pictures we took at the Dallas Bon Jovi 2017 show.