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Old 06-29-2009, 06:46 AM   #7
Jesse Joe
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
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Default Re: Guess who's back together !

33,000 rock the hill

Published Monday June 29th, 2009

More than 33,000 fans packed onto the concert site Saturday

BY ALAN COCHRANE
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF

Critics, fans and even the promoters weren't sure what to expect at the Magnetic Hill Concert Site Saturday, but Maritime rock fans proved they can't say no to a big party if the weather turns nice.



Bon Jovi plays Saturday night at the Magnetic Hill Concert Site. The crowd of more than 33,000 was treated to not only great music, but also great summer weather.


RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT

The crowd at the Bon Jovi concert tried to get as close to the stage as they could, many hoping to grab a good shot of the New Jersey heart-throb with their small cameras or cell phones.


RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT

A steady steam of Bon Jovi fans entered throuogh the main gates on Saturday afternoon. The crowd seemed to start at 1PM when the gates first opened and kept arriving all afternoon and into the early evening.



RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT

Christine Allain, Melanie Thebeau, and Dominic Beaulieu, all from Dieppe, were all smiles and happy to be at the Bon Jovi concert in Moncton on Saturday.


RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT

Bon Jovi hits the stage on Saturday night at the Magnetic Hill Concert site on Saturday night.


Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings perform on stage.

http://timestranscript.canadaeast.co.../713102,319904

As Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings rocked the crowd, some of the fans really got into the music.



And so they came, about 33,000 of them, in a steady flow of people with silly hats, short skirts, home-made T-shirts, halter tops, no shirts, funky rubber boots, cowboy hats and tattooed and pierced bodies. They partied it up with Bon Jovi, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings under a hot sun with lots of beer, turning the concert site into a giant Maritime Kitchen Party. There were teenagers, couples and grandmothers, jocks and bikers and many families camped out on the grass, the gravel, the VIP grandstands and under the corporate tents.
Although exact numbers weren't available, promoters were saying it was one of the biggest "walk-on" crowds ever seen at the hill. With so many other big concerts coming into the Maritimes this summer, there was much speculation that ticket sales for the Bon Jovi show were sluggish and only good weather would convince fans who were sitting on the fence to jump in the car and head for the hill. And that's just what happened as they turned out in big numbers, many of them buying tickets at the gate.
Andre Hudon, president of Donald K. Donald, said he was happy to see such a big walk-in crowd but admitted he expected it. After all, the Bon Jovi show has been billed as a warm-up to the AC/DC concert on Aug. 6, which is expected to draw 60,000 to 80,000 fans and possibly be bigger than the Rolling Stones here in 2005.
"The AC/DC show is a must-see for a lot of people. This one, a lot of people were wondering and waiting on the weather."
On Saturday, the few clouds that threatened to dampen the party were burned away by the hot sun and high spirits of the crowd through the afternoon. The spirit of the party continued to grow slowly with performances by Alfa Rococo, Mobile and State of Shock, but the mood picked up as Canadian music legends Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings ran through a rollicking set of old favourites from the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive and Cummings' solo career. The honky tonk sound of Cummings' piano mixed with the searing sounds of Bachman's guitar on songs like My Own Way To Rock and got the crowd moving on their feet. They cheered, they waved, they danced and provided a chorus of thousands of voices for Cummings on Share the Land and Bachman's timeless anthem Takin' Care of Business.
Cummings took time out to compliment the crowd and the venue several times.
"This has got to be the best concert site in North America," said Cummings, who was wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt. He also paid tribute to the spirit of Canadians and the great land we call our home.
"Turn on CNN for 15 minutes (to see the trouble in the world) and then go outside and kiss the ground of Canada," Cummings told the crowd. "We are one of the last places where you can live like human beings. So whatever God you pray to, thank him or her that you live in Canada."
And that was just the warm-up.
Jon Bon Jovi and his band marched onto the stage at 9 p.m. sharp cranked up the volume and lit into the classic Glad All over to warm up the crowd for a two-hour set of hits that included Born to Be My Baby, Runaway, Sleep When I'm Dead, It's My Life, I'll Be There For You and many more. They closed the set with the '80s classics Wanted Dead or Alive and Living on a Prayer, joined by a chorus of thousands. In the end, Jon held the microphone high over the heads of those in the front row and cheered them on as the hot white lights lit up not quite a million faces, but certainly enough to make him smile and give a big thumbs-up in appreciation of fans who have followed his career for 25 years.
It was clear the fans were waiting for Bon Jovi. During the first couple of songs, the folks who had been partying it up in the beer garden rushed through the gates to the large open area in front of the stage. As they pushed through the gates, most took time to finish their beers and drop them in the garbage can.
And the danced and sang some more, and they praised the concert site.
Lyndon and Cathy Crowe of Springhill came with their two children after buying tickets for the kids as a grading present. He said they found a parking spot in a private yard only a few steps from the front gate, paying $25 for the spot.
"I was here for the Rolling Stones (in 2005) and the site has improved a lot. I don't really like sitting in gravel but it's better than sitting on mud."
Shannon Reid, a native of Victoria, B.C., who now lives in Cape Breton, came with a bunch of friends from Cape Breton and Newfoundland. It was their first visit to the Magnetic Hill Concert Site.
"I've been to lots of outdoor concerts and this facility is so much better than other ones I've been to," Reid said. "I like the way it is sectioned off and no matter where you go there is a good view of the stage. You don't have to be in the VIP section to have a good view and hear. The sound quality is really good."
Her friend Sue Antony of St. John's was quick to jump in.
"I love the venue. The parking was easy. We parked at Magic Mountain and walked over. And we got here at 3 o'clock and there was still tons of parking."
Others came from Bathurst, Caraquet and literally all over New Brunswick. Nicki Gear and her friends 'Downtown'" Julie Brown and Lisa Hill drove all the way from North Sydney, N.S. and were determined to find a way to sneak backstage to seen Jon Bon Jovi.
Amanda Norman and Melyssa Melee of St. John's were in Moncton for the first time ever, and celebrated by ripping up some concert banners and turning them into a new type of fashion statement, literally wearing the excitement of the day.
MacKenzie Milson, a 23-year-old student from Toronto who attends the Moncton Flight College, said he didn't plan on coming but relented when his girlfriend was able to buy two tickets for the price of one in one of the many special deals being offered in the final days before the show.
Tickets were $99.50 for general admission and $199.50 for seats on the VIP grandstands.
"The environment here is great and the people are super friendly, and this venue is awesome."
Hudon said the improvements to the site over the last few years have meant that promoters can spend less time planning and more time addressing the little problems finding ways to make life easier for the fans, the workers, the bands, the media and everyone else brought together in these celebrations of music and fun.
Last year, the provincial government invested approximately $1.5 million into the site. Premier Shawn Graham, sitting comfortably in the corporate VIP tent with his wife Roxanne, said he was excited and pleased to see the infrastructure improvements at the Moncton concert site. Major improvements have included a strong base, or pad, for the stage, improved drainage, signage, lighting and fixing the problem of flooding around the front of house area.
"This is becoming a premier concert destination and our government it actively at the table with the City of Moncton and the promoters of this event because we believe the constant investment in infrastructure will help us secure the acts of international renown that will put New Brunswick on the map," Graham said.

Last edited by Jesse Joe; 06-29-2009 at 06:57 AM.
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