Jessica Botelho’s Top 5 Concerts of 2011

#1 – Bon Jovi @ Various Venues

When I heard the false rumors a few weeks ago that Jon Bon Jovi died, one of the first thoughts that entered my mind was, “Thank God I saw Bon Jovi three times this year.” Of course, Captain Kid is alive and well and his band are among the top grossing acts of the year, landing the number two spot behind U2. I saw them with my brother’s girlfriend, Meghan, at the T.D. Banknorth Garden in Boston on March 1, the day before JBJ’s birthday, and the P.A. system went out at the beginning of the show. It was restored shortly after and the show ended up being a total blast. While we sat behind the stage, we had a great view of JBJ’s behind. Then, I saw them at the Mohegan Sun Arena a few days later on March 4 with my friend, Matt, and again, they were awesome. The third time was also at Mohegan Sun but they were sans Richie Sambora, as the King of Swing was in rehab for his alcohol issues. Nevertheless, the show was fantastic. The best part was the fact that they did different sets at the shows and I heard “Dry County,” and “Hey God,” songs I never saw them perform before, which is a treat when you’ve seen a band more than a dozen times.  It’s good to know JBJ is still making memories “These Days.” 😉

Bon Jovi

#2 – Hurtsmile @ Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA

I felt a special connection with vocalist Gary Cherone when I interviewed him during the summer because we chatted about his involvement with Van Halen and how he blew his voice out at a show I went to in 1998 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. As a result, he said he sometimes feels unsettled prior to performing. In the article, I quoted him as saying, “That show comes up in my mind every time I play in Boston.” But when he performed at Showcase Live in Foxboro on July 22 with his new band HURTSMILE, which features his brother, Mark, on guitar, he nailed it. I went to the show with my brother, Ernie, and we were lucky enough to get backstage passes and meet Gary and Mark afterwards. Gary said he loved the interview and Mark re-posted our link to the story on his Facebook page. That was really awesome for me. \m/

Gary Cherone & Jessica Botelho

#3 – Motley Crue @ Various Venues

If you like standing and dancing at concerts like I do, I highly advise you don’t buy seats located on the top tier of the Mohegan Sun Area – spring for lower level seats. While it’s a great venue, the “High Rollers” are often given tickets top tier seats and they have no problem telling you to sit down. I’m not sure why anyone would want to sit at a Crue show but that’s what happened to me at the July 15 gig. Feeling disappointed, I spent decent money on another ticket for their second appearance at the Comcast Center on July 19, sat 15 rows from the stage and it was worth every cent. I went alone but met up with friends before and was treated to delicious steak tips in the parking lot AND made a few new friends. The New York Dolls and Poison started the show and needless to say it was “Nothing But a Good Time.” =)

Motley Crue

#4 – James Montgomery & Cory Bellucci @ Elk’s Lodge in Warwick, RI

I interviewed the Grammy-nominated blues vocalist and harmonica player for the Warwick Beacon, the newspaper I work for full-time, the night before Thanksgiving. We met at the home of Cory Bellucci, 15, a guitarist Montgomery recently took under his wing. To promote Bellucci’s career, they booked a gig at the Elk’s Lodge in Warwick, R.I. on Dec. 2 and I got the chance to go to the show with my buddy, Alan. Hearing Montgomery praise the article I wrote to the crowd made me feel like my heart grew wings and was fluttering around in my chest. ❤

James Montgomery, Jessica Botelho & Cory Bellucci

#5 – Dennis DeYoung @ Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, MA

It’s always exceptionally awesome to see a musician perform after I interview them and going to the Dennis DeYoung show at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center on Nov. 18 was no exception. Watching him do “The Robot” to his hit song, “Mr. Roboto” was almost as awesome as watching him give his wife a love tap on her behind after he wished her happy birthday and presented her with red roses onstage. Of course, spending quality time with the co-owners of Limelight Magazine, Jason Kenney and Katie Botelho, as well as meeting DeYoung’s guitarist, August Zadra, was “The Best of Times.” 😉

Katie Botelho, August Zadra & Jessica Botelho

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