Bon Jovi definitely still delivers the goods well into their four decade career, as seen in their triumphant performance of “Livin’ On A Prayer” at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. The lyrics about making it big against the odds are so perfect for the occasion, and the band knows it, making the song seem like one big celebration with their fans.
The show was notable as it marked the return of lead guitarist Richie Sambora for the first time since his departure from the band in 2013. “Livin’ On A Prayer”, with its iconic talkbox leads, is the perfect choice to highlight exactly why Sambora was so missed from the band in the intervening years. You can watch the performance in the video below.
Jon Bon Jovi gives an intimate feel to the verses, adding a little bit of croon rather than the original hard rock feel on the studio version. The performance featured all five members from the classic era of the band from 1983 to 1994, as well as the current lineup of the band. This meant there was a whole lot of low end going on as in addition to original bassist Alec John Such, the man who replaced him Hugh McDonald was also laying down his groove onstage.
After their induction by Howard Stern, Bon Jovi played a 20-minute set that featured their three biggest hits, namely “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “It’s My Life” and “Livin’ On A Prayer”. The band also played “When We Were Us”, which was a 2018 release that was written as a retrospective celebration of the band’s career. Watch “It’s My Life” from the induction show below.
Stern roasted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame founder Jann Wenner at the event for Bon Jovi’s belated induction, saying “Jann required years of pondering to decide if this glorious band that sold over 130 million albums should be inducted. What a tough decision! “Gee, I don’t know if I should let Bon Jovi in? 130 million albums, that’s not such a big deal.”~
The significance of seeing Bon Jovi members past and present playing together at the induction wasn’t lost on fans, who added comments such as “Historical performance. All Bon Jovi members together. Only the die hard fans know the meaning of this. It has to be the best rendition of this song in the last decade,” and “It actually brought tears to my eyes watching them all play together. They would have to be one of the greatest rock bands ever.”
“Livin’ On A Prayer” was a must-have for the setlist, as it’s the band’s biggest hit, having gone to number one in the US as well as going 3x Platinum. The song is just as beloved by fans nowadays as it was back in 1986, as it’s their most popular song on Spotify, with 1.3 billion streams. It’s also their only song to pass the one billion mark on the platform so far. If you would like to see more from Bon Jovi, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel. You can also visit their official website for more information.