From one small town to another for the next round of Bon Jovi. It took two planes, one train and a walk to make it to the next town. Unfortunately we arrived quite late so we didn’t get to explore Nijmegen much This town looked super fun, but we only had one night to sightsee.
We walked downtown, took a peek at the river and had “snacks” at an authentic Holland bar. In the spirit of trying new things, we placed an order of Dutch bitterballen. It may be a fan favorite, but for me, I’ll stick to Italian meatballs.
The venue, Goffertpark was conveniently set up in a large park, thankfully near toilets, local food trucks and a gas station. The queue here started especially early compared to other shows. Fans arrived between 6-7 and my friends and I stumbled into line around 10. We woke, had a nice breakfast, checked the weather and headed out for the venue.
We arrived and got number 52, but were pleased to still make it up front. Due to weird timing and the fan club line suddenly moving, we missed our lunch break and rushed into the venue. The VIP barricade was set up on Shanks’ side this time so we made it 2nd row in front of Phil X.
In between roll calls we stopped to get the new THINFS hoodie. It’s super cozy and has a cute new logo on it. Thank goodness for this last minute decision because it surely saved us come show time.
Welcome to the Netherlands where it’s nice all day and rains the moment the show starts. Boy did it pour. “0% chance of rain,” I thought to myself as I scoffed. A kind fan leant us a trash bag and the remnants of a ripped poncho as we took cover as the opening act took the stage. I feel like every single person in the venue except me, Sophie and Luca were prepared for rain!
About halfway through the openers I started to get super dizzy and get foggy vision. We forgot about lunch. I stumbled out of the crowd with a handful of money and pushed my way to a vendor line. They don’t take cash or card, go figure. The staff shouted that I needed tokens and said it was toward the back of the venue. I looked behind me and saw a sea of what felt like a bajillion people and decided to take my chances and just get back to my spot.
This is when I met my miracle friend who was the most prepared and eloquent woman I’ve met. She not only had a bag of snacks, but has glucose tablets for her and all her new friends. Blessing. We chatted about NJ and the band and exchanged info. Shout out to @LSHarteveld you’re awesome and saved me this show.
The show started at 8:13 with big smiles from JBJ! Phil X debuted his sunglasses and black bucket hat. The crowd ate it up!
My favorite thing to do from this spot is to wave ferociously to David Bryan. Give that boy some love. It’s also fun to make silly faces at him. Too many people in that section have tunnel vision for that crazy frontman, so be sure to give the other boys a holler.
At the end of We Weren’t Born to Follow Phil X tried to change guitars and got all tangled up in his scarf. JBJ’s reaction to Phil’s struggle was hysterical. Definitely reminded me why the Incredibles don’t wear capes.
About an hour into the show, JBJ joked about the impending storm that was behind the crowd, seemingly coming our way. The band had the best introductions this night out of all of the shows.
“ [Tico] is proof that thunder and lightning answer to him. You didn’t see it but we did. These big, black clouds were comin’ toward the stage for like the first 45 minutes. He just looked at them and pointed his stick, and they went that way. The heart and the soul of this band—Tico Torres.” - JBJ
Shout out to Tico for scaring the storm away.
Sweet glorious sunshine.
There must have been an inside joke with David Bryan for this. After introducing half of the band, JBJ joked, “No that’s all. That’s all you get.” The crowd roared!
“On the keys if you please. You know him! Do I even have to say his name?! *DAVID* I don’t even have to say his name. I bet his name, his face is on the currency here in the Netherlands. What’s his name?! *DAVID*. We must have shouted his name 5 times! David Bryan on the keyboards.
The first beats of I’ll Be There For You starts and you can hear the crowd excitedly cheer along. Under gorgeous skies JBJ passionately stomped down the catwalk adding in extra lyrics. The massive crowd, sang back the words so loudly that even watching the video gives me goosebumps.
This night, we came prepared for Captain Crash. We passed our baggie of confetti around and gleefully tossed into into the air. The aftermath of Captain Crash and I hear the guy next to me, “It’s like a unicorn threw up on me.”
Another silly moment was shortly after JBJ put his black hat on and danced, making the hat fly off!
Talk about a rad ending, ALWAYS. Watch this video- then stop, process and watch it again. JBJ is singing his heart out and laying it all out on the line for us. He belted out the song with all of his effort and it was wonderful. Between the absolutely passionate vocals, beautifully executed guitar solo on the catwalk and the excitement in the air... it was the perfect way to end the night.
Of course for Sophie and I, the night wasn’t over. I finally found the token station and we got three orders of fries with this mayonnaise on it. After what felt like the longest walk ever…in the wrong direction, a police officer directed us to the train station we were trying to find. Except we ended up on a bus (honestly had no idea where it was going) and somehow ended back up in the center of town. The universe looks out for me, ha.
Don’t miss the band live, they’re on fire and headed to a town near you.