Bon Jovi Bring Arena Rock To The American Music Awards

Band plays new single 'What Do You Got' and mini-greatest-hits set.

[artist id="1044"]Bon Jovi[/artist] could have played any one of a dozen tunes to celebrate the recent release of their new greatest-hits album. But in keeping with their relentless forward march, Jon Bon and the boys played the new hit single from the album at Sunday night’s (November 21) American Music Awards.

The majestic “What Do You Got,” which features the band’s patented mix of cowboy balladry and pop bravado, was like a Bon Jovi greatest hit in a nutshell, with its combination of Jon’s street-tough-done-good lyrics about the power of love and guitarist Richie Sambora’s chiming guitar and towering backup vocals.

The legendary New Jersey rockers were, of course, celebrating the new greatest-hits album and screened the concert movie “Bon Jovi – The Circle Tour” in theaters nationwide, so it’s not like they were going to leave the room hangin’. With more than 120 million albums sold over a legendary career, they had to cough up some of the good stuff.

As Sambora ripped into the chunky intro of “You Give Love a Bad Name” and digital flashes lit up the TV screen, audience member Russell Brand couldn’t contain his elated smile while the band cranked out the hit that put them on the map more than 20 years ago.

Sambora hooked up the talk-box and Bon Jovi spread his arms in triumph for another fist-pumping staple, “It’s My Life,” as the crowd, including a head-bobbing Jada Pinkett Smith and a devil-horn-flashing Jenny McCarthy, danced in the aisles, delighted that an arena-rock show had suddenly broken out in the midst of what they thought was just going to be another run-of-the-mill awards show.

What did you think of Bon Jovi’s performance? Share your reviews in the comments!

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