Our second concert was going to be in the courtyard of a castle-ish building in Koblenz, Germany. We decided to go do the camping-out thing again, although honestly we were getting a bit fed up with it. But as we were only going to see 3 concerts this tour, we wanted to make the most of them. We left early, and we ended up being amongst the 5 first people in the fanclubline. Minke and I were number 4 and 5, meaning we would be two of the very first people to enter the pit and find a great spot on front row. So, we were getting ready for many, many hours of waiting and talking to some friendly fellow fans and ignoring the behavior of certain other fans who have been getting on our nerves for several tours.
The fanclubline leading to the side entrance of the concert grounds
We made a small trip back to our car to get some supplies and our sleeping bags, when Minke needed to use the restroom. I suggested she’d use the restroom at the nearby hotel but she insisted (without really knowing why, she just felt that she had to go there) that she’d go inside a really cute-looking restaurant named the Weindorf
, to look for a restroom there.
Inside was a lovely courtyard filled with tables and chairs, creating a great place to have a bite to eat or a glass of wine. And that is where Minke spotted him, our hero from the 2003 Bounce tour. The man that had arranged backstage stickers and onstage wristbands for us during the June 8 concert in Oostende, Belgium. He was the reason that we were dancing on that stage with Minke holding her “Damned, it’s my birthday” cardboard banner, that I whipped up for her a few hours before the big show. Richie Sambora noticed the banner and came over to congratulate Minke, but Jon Bon Jovi didn’t settle for just a handshake, he planted a big wet one right on Minke’s lips! Celebrating your birthday with a kiss from Jon Bon Jovi, what a dream! The man that had made all that possible, was Mr. Mike Devlin, and he was sitting right there in the Weindorf courtyard!
Fanclubline rules allowed us to leave the line for a maximum of 60 minutes, otherwise we’d lose our spot and have to start all over at the back of the line. But Minke had been drawn to the Weindorf and reunited us with our concert hero, so we quickly discarded our number 4 and 5 spots in the tedious fanclubline. Instead, we thoroughly enjoyed the excellent German wine Mike treated us to and spent way more than one hour catching up with him, about everything. During the last Bon Jovi tour Mike was the head carpenter but for this tour he had been promoted to stage manager. Mike had the afternoon off and was relaxing at this restaurant with some awesome goulash soup (according to him) and the nice weather.
Minke & Mike Devlin (Bon Jovi’s stage manager)
After Mike left the restaurant, Minke and I (a bit tipsier than before) went back to the fanclubline and were greeted with many angry looks, after all we had been gone for several hours and were majorly breaking those all-important rules. Who did we think we were?! Before the head of the self-proclaimed-important-posse could start scolding us, and this is not an exaggeration she spends a lot of time telling people off, we told her we decided to leave our spot in the line and spend the night somewhere else. This left her and her cohorts speechless and suddenly without a reason to howl at us, seeing the disappointment on their faces was excellent. Those poor people now had to find someone else to holler at in order to feed their pomposity.
Last tour, Minke and I were already declared groupies, when we disappeared from the fanclubline in the middle of the night and appeared onstage the next day, wearing greatly desired backstage VIP stickers. During this new tour there were still rumors about all the sexual favors we must have performed in order to get there! All the nastiness that people have been spreading about us is very amusing, and the new development of us suddenly leaving our prime fanclubline spots spurred a whole new wave of rumors :o.
The stage under construction
Free from all the fanclubline madness, Minke and I suddenly had a whole evening to enjoy and relax. After going for a walk through the center of Koblenz and checking out the stage, we decided to go back to the Weindorf for dinner and drinks. Just after we ordered Mike showed up again. This time Mike brought a friend to sample the goulash soup, and this friend was none other than Mr. Chris Hofschneider a.k.a. Lumpy! This means nothing to you none-Bon Jovi fans, but it was a big deal to us, he is Richie Sambora’s guitar tech and personal friend, and we see Chris onstage every concert. It was slightly shocking for us to be introduced to him and when he sat down next to me to eat dinner. At first it was a bit surreal to be dining with those two gentlemen, but it was a fun evening and we enjoyed a great conversation and had a lot of laughs.
Chris Hofschneider a.k.a. Lumpy (Richie’s guitar tech) & me
It was a good decision to spend the night in our car instead of on the street, because that night it was pouring so hard, that we might have flooded from our grass beds right into the nearby river. The next day we woke all dry and happy and spend a wonderful morning and afternoon in Koblenz, while all the other fanclub members were still trying to get semi-dry. About an hour before we were allowed to enter the concert grounds we returned to the fanclubline and to all the cross looks of wet and exhausted people!
Minke & Lou backstage
When all the others went rushing off to secure a place in the pit we went to explore the rest of the concert grounds. Two Bon Jovi crew guys started summoning us and we hesitantly went to talk to them, and to our big surprise these guys were Dutch! I thought I heard one of them sing a Bon Jovi song in Dutch earlier, now it made sense. Together we watched all the non-fanclub members enter the concert grounds about an hour later, and they were all running frantically towards the stage hoping to get into the pit. It was an fascinating sight, and luckily we had nothing to worry about because Bon Jovi management had provided all the fanclubmembers with pit wristbands already, so we could walk in and out of the pit at our leisure.
People waiting to get on to the concert grounds
The stage ready for a big concert and the first people in the pit
The storm had cleared away all the clouds and dark weather and on the day of the concert there was lots of sunshine and it was a pleasant temperature. The concert was awesome and Mike had provided us with onstage wristbands again, which made the entire spectacle even more spectacular! I love the ‘Have A Nice Day’ album and hearing the songs live makes it even more brilliant. We ‘Bounce’d like crazy onstage, nananana-ed our asses off during ‘Born To Be My Baby’, and ‘The Story Of My Life’ became extra special after experiencing it onstage. Again we were treated to ‘Dry County’ and the highlight was ‘I Want To Be Loved” which sounded really dark and excellent!
This tour’s backstage stickers and the setlist for this concert
Jon and Richie and thousands of people singing along
Normally we can’t see Tico (drummer) well, but from the onstage pit we could
The big bow that ended another awesome concert
After the concert, our new Dutch-Bon-Jovi-crew-friends found us again, and introduced themselves as Arne and Jurgen. Arne had actually made some pictures of us during our adventure onstage and of course we wanted to get a copy of them. We ended up enjoying a long night of laughs, talk and great German wine (and goulash soup for Minke) at the Weindorf courtyard again! I wonder if we spend more time at the concert or in that restaurant courtyard?! Anyway, we made some plans with the Dutchies the night before the next concert in the Netherlands and called it a night way toooo late!
01. Last Man Standing 02. You Give Love A Bad Name 03. Captain Crash And The Beauty Queen From Mars 04. I’d Die For You 05. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight 06. Bounce (ONSTAGE) 07. Born To Be My Baby (ONSTAGE) 08. The Story Of My Life (ONSTAGE) 09. Misunderstood 10. In These
Arms 11. Have A Nice Day 12. Who Says You Can’t Go Home 13. It’s My Life 14. I’ll Be There For You (Richie) 15. Someday I’ll Be Saturdaynight 16. Keep The Faith
17. Bad Medicine / Shout 18. Raise Your Hands
19. Livin’ On A Prayer 20. Dry County 21. Wanted Dead Or Alive 22. I Want To Be Loved 23. Runaway 24. Sleep When I’m Dead