Bon Jovi created some extra work for itself Wednesday night at Scottrade Center, and the band knew it.
Bucking the music industry trend of a band releasing a new album and then embarking on a world tour, Bon Jovi instead did the reverse.
As a result, fans at the Wednesday stop of the “Because We Can” tour were left a little lost whenever the band played a new song from the album “What About Now.”
Boyish lead singer Jon Bon Jovi announced at one point during the two-hour-plus show that it was time for “another new one, but don’t fret” — not the best setup for introducing new material.
“I gotta get these off my chest,” he said as the band launched into the new album’s title track. Fortunately for fans, Bon Jovi brought more than “What About Now” songs “Because We Can” and “That’s What the Water Made Me.”
Solid band members Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan, accompanied by a couple of touring musicians, ultimately gave fans what they needed.
Bon Jovi, a longtime commercial favorite lacking in critical acclaim, has always had a straightforward, familiar approach to its music. But the band has consistently banged out hits over the years.
One of them, “You Give Love a Bad Name,” got the concert off to a roaring start Wednesday, with “Raise Your Hands” featuring the first big Sambora solo of the night, followed by “Lost Highway.”
“I’m not gonna waste a lot of time talking,” Jon Bon Jovi told the large house early on. “I got a lot of songs to play. And if you stick around long enough you’re going to hear all the songs you want to hear from over the last 30 years.”
He also warned the crowd to pace itself after noticing fans “jumping up out of their seats on the first song.” He had to make sure they were fit and ready for “Living on a Prayer,” “It’s My Life,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” and “Bad Medicine,” with Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” thrown in.
For “We Got It Going On,” the band took advantage of the ramp surrounding the rear of the stage, throwing a bone to the fans sitting in that area. Jon Bon Jovi brought out a pair of maracas for “Keep the Faith” and showed off some fancy footwork by song’s end.
One of the night’s best segments came during a quieter moment with Jon Bon Jovi performing up close with fans on the floor, thanks to another ramp that extended into the audience.
There, he performed the new ballad “Amen” and the classic “Bed of Roses” before calling on his “wing man” Sambora for “I’ll Be There for You,” which included a backdrop of the St. Louis skyline.
Late in the show, Jon Bon Jovi said it was time for the crowd to get up for concert highlight “Wanted Dead or Alive,” but there was little chance fans were still sitting down.
“I need to come back to St. Louis more often,” he said.