Tourname: Crossroad To The East Tour / Crossroad Tour / Here, There & Everywhere Tour / Live '95
The band’s 1995 tour proved to be a transitional one for the band – in many aspects. The turmoil that unfolded around the guys from New Jersey in 1994 when Alec had aired “dirty laundry” to the press had resulted in his departure from the group and the addition of long-time friend Hugh McDonald. Although having been added to the line-up, he wasn’t listed as a full group member in respect of Alec and usually didn’t participate in press appearances.
While – due to him having been involved in studio activities prior – there basically was a musical foundation to build upon, the mechanisms of the band in live shows had to be worked out nonetheless, resulting in them settling more and more into their rhythm as the 1995 tour progressed. Consequently, the shows got tighter and overall stronger as the year went on.
This was also due to another transition – the one of the setlists. Originally planned to coincide with the release of These Days, the album’s multiple delays resulted in the band hitting the road weeks ahead of fans being able to hear the new material. Multiple names were used for different legs in order to promote them, ranging from “Crossroad To The East” to “Here, There And Everywhere Tour” to simply “Open Air ‘95”. The various names also indicate how the setlists changed: When the band started out in Asia, shows rather were set up as extended Keep The Faith tour playlists with a different occasional cover (With A Little Help From My Friends) and the Crossroad hits being added regularly. It can be assumed that some of the early concerts didn’t even contain a song from the then-upcoming album. Starting out in exotic locations where the band used to joke “if you don’t have electricity, we’ll bring our own”, they faced some obstacles such as being circled and chased by fanatic fans through airport halls, tropical weather storms interrupting shows or masses trying to force their way into sold-out venues.
By the time they hit “more common waters” near the end of the first leg in Japan, Diamond Ring, Hey God or This Ain’t A Love Song were the first new cuts to make their way onto the setlist.
Bon Jovi then went on to Europe for probably their most triumphant concert run with them selling out the legendary Wembley Stadium three times and packing other big venues like two nights at Bremen’s Weser Stadium in Germany. Additionally, they were to headline some high-profile festivals including the German combo “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park” in front of over 70,000 fans each night. This leg also saw a rarity in terms of the Jersey guys opening for their heroes, the Rolling Stones, for two shows in Paris. While it didn’t only fulfill Jon’s childhood dreams, it also opened up the opportunity to play a stadium there since, even at the height of their success, Bon Jovi never really were able to break into the French music market and be a strong selling force there.
While setlists had remained rather steady throughout the European leg, a shift was to be noticed once they started their trip across North America a month after the album’s release. The number of These Days tracks was to rise from roughly two to five or six over the course of that leg, at the cost of previously rather steady tracks like Wild In The Streets, I’d Die For You or Dry County. On the one hand, this was down to them feeling that the audience was now to be more familiar with newer material, on the other hand it might’ve been down to them playing more loosely with the setlist structure since the venues had gotten much smaller. Whereas the success in almost all parts of the world was at its top, Bon Jovi were more or less regarded as a “has been” act on home soil, even despite songs like Bed Of Roses or Always having been smash hits in previous years. Their run through mostly smaller amphitheaters may not have been too profitable in terms of audience attendance, but saw some of their finest and most intense performances with passion basically pouring on a nightly basis and Bon Jovi having just found the perfect measure of a fun rock show and spot-on accomplished playing.
They were to keep that level throughout their South American tour where Born To Be My Baby was to make a surprise return for a selected string of dates.
On to Australia, where they set their personal attendance record when headlining a concert held in Adelaide in front of 120,000 fans (the event was combined with the Formula 1 race that day). Their leg in Down Under also marked the first time a show had to be cancelled due to health issues – Tico had injured his wrist which lead to Bon Jovi having to skip their concert in Perth.
The band ended their concert run with more spectacular sold-out shows in South Africa. Furthermore, the final two legs also marked the introduction of another new album cut, (It’s Hard) Letting You Go to the setlists. Bon Jovi ended their 1995 tour on an absolute high, both in terms of performance quality and in terms of overall audience appeal.
Little were fans to know they had witnessed the final peak in Jon’s vocals (his smoking habits were to cause a noticeable decline from 1996 onwards) or had seen the band for the last time in a long time. Many of the places visited in 1995 dropped off the band’s tour map for ages to come: Australia wasn’t to get a proper tour for 13 years, South America not for another 15 years, South African fans had to wait until 2013 for the band to return and some of the Far East locations weren’t to be visited by Bon Jovi again until 2015. In the latter two cases, the 1995 tour even marked the only chance for locals to witness the band with Richie Sambora on board.
The setlists from 54 of 101 shows are known. So all the following statements refer to those 54 shows. If a song got played 100 % it means it got played during every of those known 54 shows.
So the following statistic has to be taken with a pinch of salt since almost half 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 9 different albums (incuding Jon's solo album Blaze Of Glory and Richie Sambora's solo album Stranger In This Town).
Livin' On A Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name, Lay Your Hands On Me, Bad Medicine, Keep The Faith and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead were played at every documented show.
Wanted Dead Or Alive (51 out of 54 documented shows), Blaze Of Glory (52), Blood On Blood (48), Someday I'll Be Saturday Night (48), ALways (47), Runaway (41) and
Hey God (41) were setlist staples as well.
But it's very remarkable that Wanted Dead Or Alive was dropped at least during 3 shows.
With Born To Be My Baby, a hit single from the New Jersey album and a setlist staple ever since, one of the big hits was dropped for most of the shows. It would take until the Crush Tour in 2000 that Born To Be My Baby becomes a setlist staple again.
The rare (Bon Jovi) songs of the documented shows were Tokyo Roady (2), Born To Be My Baby (3), Good Guys Don't Always Wear White (3), (It's Hard) Letting You Go
(3) and Never Say Goodbye (6).
The biggest surprise most probably was the playing of Good Guys Don't Always Wear White since it never got released on any Bon Jovi album and the band usually doesn't play any songs from movie soundtracks or B-sides.
Since the tour started before the release of These Days, it took until halfway through the European tour that more and more songs (4) from the album got played and even until the third leg in North America that 7 out of 8 These Days tracks, that got played at all during this tour, got played.
Still it was remarkable that with This Ain't A Lovesong, the album's lead single didn't get played at every show - in fact only at 74 % of the documented shows.
This is the first lead single to be dropped regularly.
Something To Believe In, My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms and All I Want Is Everything most probably were left out at all of those shows and made their live debut in 1996.
(Click on the images to enlarge them)