Tourname: Keep The Faith Tour / I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Tour Tour / I Believe Tour

Legs: 8

Shows: 168

Cancelled: 3

  • 1993/05/04 - Palais des Sports, Toulouse, France
  • 1993/05/05 - Patinoire, Bordeaux, France
  • 1993/11/07 - Estadio Universidad San Marcos, Lima, Peru


Tour Summary


The band’s 1993 tour was one of many contrasts and, in some points, a major turnaround in terms of questioning their previous status in different countries around the world. In late 1991, Jon had terminated his business association with Doc McGhee whom he had mostly blamed for the band’s burnout because of excessive touring on the New Jersey tour.


So late 1992 marked the first time the band (and their co-workers) had to plan a tour on their own. What made it even harder was the fact that they had to anticipate how much the general change in the music scene (with Grunge having taken over) was to affect the band’s popularity on their comeback since many of their peers had already fallen by the wayside.


The cold hard truth came after the release of Keep The Faith in the US with the album tumblin’ out of the Billboard Top 10 after one week and both record and ticket sales staggering much earlier than expected. Under the section initial tour dates, you can see a rare document of a tour announcement in late 1992 and it blatantly shows that almost no date was to be played as planned until the middle of the European tour.


With all these circumstances taking place, the tour start was prolonged multiple times, from early January in Florida to mid-February on the East Coast, only for this to be suddenly preceded by a string of Canadian dates at the beginning of the month.


What made the tour start all the more difficult was Bon Jovi trying to adapt their very 80’s-oriented sound of the first four albums to a new era and finding the right measure between older and newer material. Some nights left the band disillusioned, as Jon later recalled:

“We were in the belief that our fans would appreciate our musical evolution, but that wasn’t the case! We had to prove on a nightly basis that Keep The Faith was a really good song by firing in all we had”, specifically reciting crowds in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland not reacting to the new material at all.


It all was to be drastically turned around midway through the first leg when a remark before the concert in Rosemont put Jon over the edge, had the band pull out all stops and was the breakthrough for the rest of the tour.


Other factors that were to lighten up the mood was the situation in Europe. There, especially in Germany, Keep The Faith had pushed the band to a new height in popularity and had them facing sold-out venues with excited crowds left, right and center. To this day, the band’s performances in April of 1993 are generally regarded as the best thing they’ve ever put on live. In hindsight, it almost seems inhuman how they were able to deliver such an amount of high-energy shows on almost a nightly basis.


By the time the band was getting ready to wrap up their first European leg and head on to Japan, Jon’s daughter was about to be born and Jon did have a private airplane on standby, being prepared to leave a show in the middle of it if necessary (“the band can carry on without me”) and rush back to New Jersey. Luckily, this wasn’t to happen, but the birth of his daughter saw a postponement of the band’s opening night in Tokyo. The Japanese leg also marked a break in the band’s touring schedule in terms of the name switching to the I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead tour afterwards and in terms of quality. The five guys from New Jersey, first and foremost Jon’s vocal chords, were starting to pay the price for a pushing the limits on a nightly basis. Not as drastically as on the Slippery When Wet tour, but Jon started to noticeably play it safe on many occasions and vocally demanding songs such as In These Arms and Dry County were to be ejected from the setlist more regularly.


As the band was grinding their teeth by playing rather little outdoor venues such as stages in amusement parks or little amphitheaters on home soil, the ticket demands in Europe had them change the plans from another arena leg to smaller stadiums, festivals and open air fields. Meanwhile at home, horrendous floodings had destroyed major areas of the Midwest and Bon Jovi teamed up with the Red Cross and other beneficial organizations to raise money, promising to double the collected amount on a nightly basis.


Back in Europe, it was to be a triumphant return since this marked the first time Bon Jovi had actually headlined their own open-air shows (i.e. that weren’t part of a festival). The inclusion of the Beatles’ classic Help! as a piano-driven ballad with great harmonies was a defining change for the second half of 1993 as well. Whereas audience numbers kept increasing, many fans were rather unsatisfied with location choices since the sound systems didn’t always seem up for it and the late summer dates (middle of September) often lead to very cold weather situations, also affecting the band as Jon heavily suffered from a cold for the shows in Austria and the Czech Republic.


Even though they initially had planned to take it more mellow in terms of touring after the New Jersey tour disaster, the band straight on went back to Asia in order to perform in countries like the Philippines or Singapore and then take a giant victory lap through Australia where their 80’s success had just continued.


Originally, just like in 1990, the trip to Middle and South America had been planned to be the triumphant end to their comeback tour, but the band was to face many obstacles there. A show in Peru got cancelled with the band already on their way to the country, the following concert in Chile had to be moved to a little side field because of shockingly low ticket sales.


With the grunge hype already losing most of its steam in Canada by the end of the year, the band spontaneously planted themselves from the sunny South American scenery back into the snowy cities of Canada to add another leg, called I Believe tour. Ironically, this meant that both tour start and end had not been planned to be in Canada, but happened there nonetheless. Furthermore, the penultimate night of the tour saw the band perform I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas, making it the very only regular (documented) tour performance until 2005.


After a year packed with almost as many concerts as they had played in 1987, the band’s situation had radically changed: they hadn’t been able to recapture their popularity on home soil anymore and were more or less regarded as a “has been” at the time, yet had managed it to become superstars in the rest of the world and definitely had left a mark as one of the strongest live bands of their era.


Song statistic


The setlists from 95 of 168 shows are known. So all the following statements refer to those 95 shows. If a song got played 100 % it means it got played during every of those known 95 shows.

So the following statistic has to be taken with a pinch of salt since more than one third of the shows aren't known. But I think it still gives an idea what the setlist usually looked like on this tour.


The  shows had songs from 6 different albums (incuding Jon's solo album Blaze Of Glory).

So except Richie's solo album Stranger In This Town, every album was covered during that tour.


Livin' On A Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name, Wild In The Streets, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Lay Your Hands On Me and Bad Medicine were played at every documented show.

Keep The Faith (94 out of 95 documented shows), I Believe, Born To Be My Baby, Bed Of Roses (all 91), I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (89), Blood On Blood (87) and Blaze Of Glory (84) were setlist staples as well.


The rare (Bon Jovi) songs of the documented shows were Blame It On The Love Of Rock & Roll, I Want You, Fields Of Fire (all 1), Living In Sin (2), Love For Sale (3), Tokyo Road (4)  and Fear (5).

The playing of Fields Of Fire, a outtake from the upcoming These Days album, was the biggest surprise of the tour.


The Keep The Faith album tracks Woman In Love and Little Bit Of Soul most probably were left out at all of those shows. And while I Want You is noted with one performance, it was just a spontaneous solo-acoustic try by Jon as a intro to Blaze Of Glory because fans requested that song.


(Click on the images to enlarge them)