Bon Jovi’s new touring guitarist Matt O’Ree, above, plays a special ticketed-event tribute to Eric Clapton at Jamian’s this Saturday, even as JBJ and the boys perform a preview of their new album, just up Monmouth Street at Basie’s place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
For fans of the homegrown institution that is Bon Jovi, the first night of October brings an event that seems gifted from the gods of classic rock: an exclusive preview concert, going on at Red Bank’s own Count Basie Theatre, an “intimate” affair in which JBJ and his core bandmates (David Bryan, Tico Torres, Hugh McDonald) perform the entirety of their new album This House Is Not For Sale — their 14th studio opus, and a release that’s slated to drop on October 21.
It’s also an event for which giveaway tickets are similarly Not For Sale, since admission is available only to those lucky entrants who have been selected via random drawing (and besides, registration for the sweepstakes closed on September 27). But even if you’re the “Last Man Standing” outside the venerable venue on Saturday night, a quick walk down Monmouth Street can gain you access to a happening that’s every bit as intimate, and potentially just as exciting for keepers of the Bon Jovi faith.
It’s there at Jamian’s Food and Drink — Jamian LaViola’s classically casual, musically minded watering hole with the signature sidewalk-side stage — where championship blues-rock guitarist Matt O’Ree offers up a special demonstration of the downright Ree-gal technique that earned him a coveted spot as the Bon Jovi band’s new touring fretmeister (succeeding Shore legend Bobby Bandiera, who maintains his own Thursday night stand at Jamian’s) last year.
Equipped with his road-tested Gibson Les Paul, O’Ree and his band “return to their old stomping grounds” at their Red Bank area nightclub of choice for two sets starting at 10 p.m. — the second of which takes the form of a tribute to the eclectic career and electric legacy of Hall of Fame living legend Eric Clapton.
Unlike a regular night at Jamian’s, it’s a ticketed event for which admission ($20) can be reserved only here on O’Ree’s official website. It’s also a chance to showcase cuts from the band’s forthcoming album Brotherhood, including the single “My Everything Is You” — a track written by, produced by and featuring Bon Jovi keyboard man David Bryan (who will join O’Ree and company for an official CD release party, November 23 at Asbury Park’s Stone Pony).
Jamian’s door closes to the walk-in public at 9 p.m. — and what was that other thing? Oh yes: also promised is “a special MOB jam with some very special guests.” While we’re not going out on a limb and saying that such a thing might prove inviting to certain chums who will be just a few doors away; finishing up their own set just as the Jamian’s jam gets underway — well, we’re just saying.
A presentation of the music/video streaming service TIDAL, Saturday’s Bon Jovi concert in Red Bank will be followed by dates in London (10/10), Toronto (10/17), and at NYC’s Barrymore Theatre (10/20), from which stage TIDAL will offer a livestream of that “first-ever Bon Jovi on Broadway performance.”