Jon Bon Jovi Nashville
Runaway Tours Trip
I was so excited to be back in one of my favorite cities this past weekend. It was great to see so many friends from around the world that I have met over the years through Bon Jovi events. Crazy it had been almost 5 months since the last time we were together.
This was my 19th Runaway Tours trip. They have improved so much since my first one back in 2011. Back then you had to be in a big group photo with 8-10 other people you didn’t know. Now you get a photo with JBJ based on how many are in your room, single, double and sometimes triple depending on the options they give you. This trip included 2 nights hotel stay (there was also a no hotel option), a welcome party, bus to/from the venue, the show, a photo with JBJ grouped by room, a great signed photo that I will treasure which looked like it was from last fall’s mini tour and a small zip up bag with the Runaway Tours logo on it.
The welcome party was a lot of fun and I noticed they definitely improved the food spread for this trip. The 1st night parties are always a lot of fun, everyone is so excited for the next day, gives you a good chance to meet new people and we dance/sing all night to Jovi music.
The next day we were on our own to explore the city. We went down and did some shopping and had lunch on Broadway and I purchased my first pair of cowboy boots. I couldn’t get over how comfortable they were. One personal wish of mine on the trips would be instead of or in addition to doing the 2nd night party, organize a tour of the city all together or in Nashville the Country Music Hall of Fame or something like that as a big group. That would allow more time to get to know people instead of just being off in your groups of friends and it would be better for new trip people to meet others.
We met up at meeting time to board the buses to the venue and of course everyone was excited as usual. I decided to dress down and be casual this time as it seems I am always in a dress. This time I wore a plaid shirt http://www.nordstrom.com/, jeans http://www.luckybrand.com/ and boots http://www.bootbarn.com/. It was quite cold and windy in Nashville that day and I was wishing I had my winter coat. We got there and all were told to line up. Problem was it was freezing & the wind was going right through you and we waited in that weather for a good 20-30 minutes. That is my one personal pet peeve as you will see in other posts. When you either buy a VIP Pkg or spend the kind of money you do for these special trips I wish we were not left out in harsh weather conditions whether it be extreme heat or cold.
Another small comment to make which is not the fault of Runaway tours is a small group of us arrived and were not sure where to go and we went up to stand near the wall outside to try to block some of the wind. This was at the Cannery Ballroom. I am not sure if he was the owner or maybe head bouncer, but he was beyond rude to a friend of mine. Instead of being considerate to the weather conditions he said either you go out there and wait by the fence or you will not be allowed in my establishment. My point on this is, these are new customers to your venue that paid a substantial amount of money to do this trip. He would have gotten a lot further with a comment like I am very sorry, I understand it is freezing outside but, if you can go line up we will get you inside as fast as possible. Kindness goes a long way.
Once we got into the venue the excitement really grew. This event included a special acoustic performance and Q&A with Jon Bon Jovi, Lorenza Ponce, Bobby Bandiera, Carl Gentry and one new musician that I didn’t catch his name. Jon was in such a good mood and it was great to have some new questions instead of the typical boxers or briefs type. Jon did let us know that the record is done and is currently being mixed and should be released in the fall. It looks like as of now the tour will start early next year! That was exciting news and for many a relief as it gives more time to save money to do the shows they want on the tour. There is seriously nothing like a Bon Jovi concert. The energy is palpable but, more on that in future blogs.
The set list was great and I included an image of it for you all. I love the version of Bad Name JBJ does at these events and Livin on a Prayer gave me goosebumps it was so amazing! I love hearing the ballads too. I have been lucky enough to hear one of my all-time favorites on a few trips (Never Say Goodbye), this trip we were treated with Superman and Blind Love. Just breathtakingly beautiful.
Snippet of songs from Nashville: https://youtu.be/Z0rG1CrEU50
It’s My Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygZsTjb-e7M
Destination Anywhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WI0bDki3IQ
Blind Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGVdqWZH8jM
Seat Next To You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2YzBg9IyPY
When the performance ended we all line up for our pictures with JBJ. This is where I always tell friends or people that ask me to have the right expectations. This is a photo op not a meet and greet and they do go rather quickly. Every artist varies in the time you get with them in photo op. Jon is always so kind and I will admit this interaction made me smile and I am still smiling today. Usually the photos are posted in 3-5 days after a Runaway Trip. As soon as they get posted I will add it.
Once all the photos were done there was the after party at the venue. The food was very good that they had out this trip. We didn’t stay long at the after party but, it was pretty typical to past parties and the night before.
The next day we all sadly said until next time and flew home. I originally wasn’t going to go on this trip and I
changed my mind when I realized it was a good friend’s birthday and I wanted to be there to celebrate with her. I am very glad it worked out and I did attend. It was a one of those truly special trips that I will forever keep engrained in my memories.
Rob Fuzesi and his team truly did a great job on the Nashville trip.
They have two more trips currently on sale if you are interested http://www.runawaytours.com/
Don Henley in Dallas (April 30-May 2)
Florida Georgia Line & Jon Bon Jovi along with the iheart Country Festival in Austin (April 29-May 1)
JBJ in Dublin Ireland (July 21-23rd)
One suggestion I would love to see implemented for tour travel companies is a loyalty program. Wouldn’t it be so cool to say after you have done 50 trips you get something like a meet and greet or x period of time with JBJ, at 100 trips you get xyz. That would make people really want to go on a lot of trips to achieve that status/rewards. Very similar to how cruise lines, airlines have reward programs and how Aerosmith does their concert tickets. Similar to the Keith Urban 100 club concept which I will also cover in a future blog.
Until next time,