BACK TO THE FUTURE
By MAXINE SHEN
October 24, 2007 -- WHEN rock musicians take up residencies, they're usually doing them at sparsely attended rinky-dink venues and playing songs that nobody recognizes or cares about. That isn't - and won't be - the case for '80s acts Morrissey, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran, who've taken the unusual step of performing a series of five or more concerts in the same venue.
The King of Mope is in the midst of a five-night stand at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which picks up again on
Friday, while Bon Jovi and Duran Duran are gearing up for 10 nights apiece, playing, respectively, Newark's new Prudential Center beginning on Thursday and the Barrymore Theatre starting Nov. 1.
Their die-hard fans couldn't be happier about all of these area gigs - many of them will be in the audience for more than one concert, even though there's the distinct possibility that they'll be seeing the exact same show over and over (and over) again.
Chris Lee, a 36-year-old from South Plainfield, N.J., will head to Newark for all 10 of Bon Jovi's shows (seven of them with his wife). Um, why?
“I don't want to miss out, in case they pull out a gem from the ‘7800 Fahrenheit' days or a song I haven't heard in a while, like ‘Stick to Your Guns' from the ‘New Jersey' album - I'd kick myself in the pants if they played it and I wasn't there to see it."
Still, “I'm hoping that they'll change up the set list each night; even if I hear a couple different songs each night, that would still make me happy," he says.
But there's more in it for these acts than merely wanting to entertain loyal fans - there's also a compelling economic reason: “The logic is that as Bon Jovi, Morrissey or Duran Duran fans get older, they have more disposable income," says Katy Krassner, who runs duranduran.com and is a longtime music industry vet.
“When the fans were 16 or 17 years old, they probably couldn't afford to go to multiple concerts, but if they're still fans at 36 and 37, they probably can."
Even if that means “taking out a second mortgage," as Lee jokes, to do it.
Now that two decades have passed, and most lifelong fans are steady wage earners and at the age where they're having kids, many are using these repeat performances as an opportunity to introduce a new generation to a beloved musical act. “If my parents brought me to see Elvis [when I was a child], now I could be saying ‘Oh yeah, I saw Elvis.' Morrissey is an idol and I want my son to be involved in the experience, too," says Brian Bourgnon, 31, of Suffolk County, who attended the first two Morrissey shows with his wife and 6-year-old son.
The concerts are also giving oldschool fans a chance to spread the fever to their friends who didn't get it the first time around.
“I am taking a bunch of people with me to both shows," says Duran Duran fan Donna Martines, 35, of White Plains. “[They've] never seen them and know very little about them. Hopefully I can convert a few friends to Duranism after Broadway."
Courtesy NY Post