Bon Jovi fans keep the faith


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They may not have been the best seats in the house. They may not have had beverage service and they might have been far from the bathrooms.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/07/2010 (4634 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

They may not have been the best seats in the house. They may not have had beverage service and they might have been far from the bathrooms.

But boy, was the price worth it.

While about 40,000 Winnipeggers crowded in to Canad Inns Stadium on Saturday night to catch hair-rock survivors Bon Jovi deliver a set of blazing rock ‘n’ roll, hundreds more gathered on street corners, fence posts, and on Garbage Hill to see the show for free.

Or at least, what they could see of it.

"You can’t see much, but when it’s darker you’ll see the lights flashing in the sky, you’ll see the pyrotechnics," said die-hard rock fan Larry Z., who staked out a spot on top of Garbage Hill to watch the show with a group of primed friends. "I practised guitar all day, and I am so pumped for this."

While some fans said they’d seen bigger crowds on top of the former garbage dump — such as for the AC/DC concert last year — there was no shortage of fans at ground level.

The hottest spot was around the Toys ‘R’ Us parking lot on St. Matthews Avenue, where a few hundred fans stood on fences, clambered into plastic playhouses for sale by the storefront and propped chairs in truck beds to gaze through a space in the stadium’s northeast corner, where the arc of the stage’s light rigging and some of the video screens could be seen from the street.

By all accounts, it was a grand old time. One fan, Andrea Hrushka, hoped to snag tickets to the concert. But the price was steep for tickets for the single mom and her kids. "We tried winning tickets from the radio, but I didn’t get them," said Hrushka, a lifelong Bon Jovi fan. "But (the kids) love concerts, and they love music."

So Hrushka did the next best thing: she packed her two kids, her nephew and her mom into her minivan, parked in the Toys ‘R’ Us lot and gave the kids a special treat: to watch the show from the minivan’s roof. "These are great seats. Great seats!" Hrushka’s son Bryce, 10, nodded emphatically. "You can see the video screen and everything."

The concert, it turns out, was a family affair for many. At Garbage Hill, siblings Jeremy Swan, 11, Leon Green, 13 and Gary Kirton, 7, had bought their mom a Bon Jovi ticket for Mother’s Day. While she was rocking out, the kids — along with their aunt Tanya Ducharme, 18, and Eric Ducharme, 17 — watch the concert from outside.

"She was surprised and very, very happy," Swan said. "We’re going to go closer to get a little bit louder."

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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