PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bon Jovi is on the road again, promoting their 14th studio album.
Though Wednesday night’s show at PPG Paints Arena only runs a couple hours or so, it’s a full day’s work, and then some, to set the stage.
“This is called the underworld. This is underneath the stage,” says backline crew chief Mike Rew. “This is where all the guitar techs, the keyboard techs, drum techs, engineers, they live under here. We travel with about 65 people. And we also employ about 85 local hands, to help us when we set up and tear down. We come in about 6 o’clock in the morning to block out. Everything’s set up around 2:30 in the afternoon. And when the show’s done about 11:30, we’re out of here two hours after that. Put everybody on the road to the next town.”
That doesn’t leave much time for sightseeing.
“These are Jon’s guitars,” Rew says, indicating a lineup of seven guitars. “And he basically uses three of them. But we always have extras, because we’ve had guitars break before.”
The backline crew chief says the old term “roadie” no longer applies.
“We’re all called roadies, but that’s an old term that guys used to for a bunch of grunts and stuff like that. There’s a lot of technology that comes into play with what we do now. So, very smart people,” Rew said.
Glamorous lifestyle? Guess again.
“We don’t party, we don’t have chicks around and stuff like that. That’s old. We make money,” he said.