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“Raise Your Hands” and Vote with Bon Jovi Today!

Local leaders rally for support under the banner of Jonny

Photos by Dianna Augustine

While those of us obsessed with art rock were biking across town to see David Byrne of Talking Heads fame, plenty more people were heading out to The Fillmore to see Bon Jovi rallying behind Hillary Clinton with the help of local leaders. Dianna Augustine reports:

I knew, going into this show, that it was not just another Slippery When Wet tour which had fans spouting their undying love for the man with perfect hair and unparalleled talent on guitar and vocals. This Grammy Award-winner has toured from one end of the Earth to the other, but today he came to Charlotte for a political cause.

I also knew that, as a New Jersey native, that I would be losing my freaking mind. Being raised in Southern Jersey, I heard Bon Jovi during Christmas so much it may have been referred to as a religious genre. Along with the impeccably-decorated homes, Bon Jovi’s golden voice set the tone for many Jersey homes.

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While some people have been referring to this election-day as a kind of terrifying Christmas Eve, unsure of what they’d get under the tree, everyone arriving at Bon Jovi’s event was certain they were in for a treat.

The whole thing happened so suddenly, especially because the event was free (first-come-first-serve RSVP basis), and was at capacity most of the night. When I arrived at the venue for a private event next door at noon, there were people already lined up, and some had even camped out.
Bon Jovi (48) Many people were there for Hillary, and everyone was there for Bon Jovi. Plenty of them already knew the slogan: “Love Trumps Hate.”

Molly Shores explains the importance of this event and this election:

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If you didn’t know already, North Carolina is a heated battle-ground state. In an effort to flip from red to blue instead of the feared purple (where a near-even amount of votes are Democratic and Republican), rallies have been taking place here all season. The most recent was this rally for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Local leaders and members of the public in the know came out to support the Democratic party of the state, as well as enjoy a little bit of music from some dream-boat named Jon Bon Jovi.

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During such a heated political season, many reports on the phenomenon of “Election Stress Disorder” have cropped up, so it’s no wonder that these rallies are less about the issues about more about the fun and unity that only a politically-funded gathering can muster. While many people are reporting that the majority of voters have already chosen their choice for president, but the same cannot be said about the lower-ticket nominees like the hosts of this event.

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Former NC Senator Cal Cunningham and previous senator-nominee Gene Karpiniski joined the fray of political outreach, and here’s a run-down of the current Democratic nominees who were in attendance and who need voters to use their voice in state elections:

Roy Cooper (opponent Pat McCrory) for NC Governor

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Josh Stein (opponent Buck Newton) for Attorney General

(Not in attendance) Deborah Ross (opponent Richard Burr) for NC Senate

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While the above are the upper-most of the state ticket, you can get a full list of YOUR ballot by looking at NC Public Voter Search, putting in your information (name is usually all you need) and click on the sample ballots at the bottom of the page.

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With all of the glitz and glamour of Bon Jovi aside (and the clean-up crew sure had a lot to mop up), I’d like to implore you all vote. No matter who you vote for, and which bonds you vote for (or against), your vote is more than a check-mark in a box. Your vote is an expression of the government within which we all live in: a Democratic Republic, and one which REQUIRES the CONSENT of the governed to implore its constitutionally-bound powers.

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Use your voice, just like so many musicians have (30 Days 50 Songs), and just like citizens in other less-representative democracies would kill for. Some argue that “votes don’t matter,” and resume by citing the electoral college ( here). To them, I have this to say:

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If you vote and it doesn’t count, there’s nothing lost.

If you don’t vote and it does count, well, the implications speak for themselves.

Resident Shutter Staff Envied the Night Augustine Experienced:

With nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a smile Bon Jovi entered the Fillmore stage. Before performing, he provided a few sound-bites concerning the election, and went on to play hit song “Who Says”. He entertains the media for a bit during his set, while engaging the most important aspect of this rally: the voters.

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Bon Jovi has always been behind #RockTheVote since the beginning. As a proud democrat, he is also a man of many words, all used to spread the love. Between each song, he left the audience with a nugget of information concerning voting, only to reinforce that with another great song.

Bon Jovi (31)Bon Jovi and local leaders expressed the reality of North Carolina’s political climate, including the importance of being a swing state. If the information about voting didn’t settle deep into the bones of those in attendance, the solid six-song set sure as hell did.
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Fan or not—political or not—if you were in this crowd, you had a good time and came away with how important North Carolina is in this election.

Use this link to find out if you’re registered, where to vote, and even who/what is on your ballot BEFORE you get to the polls.

If you can’t drive/walk to the polls: Free Rides

If you need someone to watch your kids: YMCA providing free child-care

If you have anxiety and want someone to go with you: Reach out to friends on FB!

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Jon Bon Jovi – setlist

  • Who Says

  • Lost Highway

  • Prayer

  • Saturday Nite

  • Bad Name

  • Here Comes the Sun

See full gallery of the night here.

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