Remember when? Bon Jovi sold out civic center's new arena in 1987

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Screaming fans, hands held high, rocked to the music of Bon Jovi on March 6, 1987 at Mayo Civic Center Arena. More than 7,000 fans packed the building, many standing on the arena floor, crowding to get as close as possible to the entertainers.

No matter how much excitement the Blaze of Glory tribute showto Bon Jovi manages to create Friday at Mayo Civic Center, it won't match the time nearly 28 years ago that Bon Jovi himself played here.

On March 6, 1987, 7,000 fans,the largest crowd to see a rock concert in Rochester to that date, jammed into the new arena at the civic center for Bon Jovi's show. The band was at the peak of its popularity, the civic center staff was anxious to show off the new building's potential, and fans starved for major acts had the chance to attend a big concert in their own backyard.

The interest in the show was so high that fans started lining up at 3 a.m.that unseasonably warm Friday. The doors were scheduled to open at 7 p.m., but with so many people milling outside the civic center, doors were opened at 6 p.m. The concert itself, which featured Cinderellaas the opening act, started at 7:45 p.m., 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Part of the crush of people around the building was due to a district championship girls basketball game between Lourdes and Lake City being held at the same time in the civic center's auditorium.

As for the concert itself, one of the highlights was Jon Bon Jovi's trapeze ridefrom the main stage out over the audience to a smaller stage set up at the back of the arena. He returned to the main stage to sing "Living on a Prayer," which had just spent four weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts. The encore featured the band's then-current hit, "Wanted Dead or Alive." The show was also recorded and parts of it could be seen in a subsequent Bon Jovi video.


Gold Cross officials reported that 69 people received treatmentat the first aid station during the show, most of them for heat exhaustion.There was one arrest for possession of drugs with intent to sell.

When it over, the huge crowd dispersed with little trouble. Police told the Post-Bulletin there were no unusual traffic problems downtown following the show.

'Bon Jovi' to make Rochester return, finally

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A crowd stands in line to get into Mayo Civic Center Arena on March 6, 1987, for a Bon Jovi concert.

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