At the age of 12, I purposely went to the salon to get Bon Jovi hair (circa ’84). At the age of 45, I’m surrounded by women both older and younger than me screaming, singing, shoving for position, crying even — for a Bon Jovi tribute band — and I get it, ’cause they’re that good. Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute brings the voice, the sound, the moxie, of a band millions of humans have been loving for thirty-five years, and having been doing so for fifteen, they’ve got it down to a frigging phenomenal science.
Tonight was a treat, served up with so many cherries on top, thanks to 37 Main Rock Cafe, in Buford, Georgia. Celebrating a long running pop rock band, the only officially authorized Slippery When Wet killed it on this June 16, 2018, with songs we love spanning Bon Jovi’s catalogue from 1984 to 2009.
Jason Morey has been impersonating Jon Bon Jovi since the band’s inception, and today, Slippery When Wet is frontman Jason, drummer John Martin, guitarist and backing vocalist, Adin Stickle, and bassist and backing vocalist, Jim “Jimmi B” Botsford.
They’re Georgia locals but Slippery When Wet tours around the world and is estimated as having performed over FIFTEEN HUNDRED TIMES.
In fact, Slippery was one of my very first live music photography gigs in Georgia, back in 2015…
…and I made it all the way to Buford from Kennesaw on a Saturday night for them because I loved them in ’15 at the Wing & Rock Fest. Ever since I started working for Libro Musica, I’ve been meaning to circle back.
Jimmi B is new to me — he’s been with Slippery When Wet for about three years, joining, must have been, soon after I saw them perform that rainy day in Woodstock. Can’t say I mind, cause this man’s smile knocks me into next week. You know I’m a sucker for a fantastic smile, especially catching them on musicians while they’re performing. Yes, I’m flirting with you, Jimmi. But I’m clear I’ve got competition. Grown-ass women were literally elbowing and shoving me when I was temporarily and politely maneuvered near Jimmi B to get some close-ups of those ivories with my 50mm. I got the shot (see above).
Slippery When Wet Setlist | 37 Main Rock Cafe | June, 2018
We Got It Going On (from Lost Highway, 2007)
We Weren’t Born to Follow (from The Circle, 2009)
In and Out of Love (from 7800° Fahrenheit, 1985)
This House Is Not For Sale (from This House Is Not For Sale, 2016)
Runaway (from Bon Jovi, 1984)
Lost Highway (from Lost Highway, 2007)
Never Say Goodbye (from Slippery When Wet)
Blaze of Glory (from Blaze of Glory, 1990)
Bed of Roses (from Keep the Faith, 1992)
Born to Be My Baby (from New Jersey, 1988)
Lay Your Hands On Me (from New Jersey)
Raise Your Hands (from Slippery When Wet)
Keep the Faith (from Keep the Faith, 1992)
Have a Nice Day (from Have a Nice Day, 1995)
Wanted Dead or Alive (from Slippery When Wet)
I’ll Be There For You (from New Jersey)
You Give Love a Bad Name (from Slippery When Wet)
It’s My Life (from Crush, 2000)
Bad Medicine / Tokyo Road (from New Jersey / Best of Bon Jovi, 2001)
Livin’ on a Prayer (from Slippery When Wet)
Adin Stickle is new too. Like, brand spanking new. There is video of Slippery’s former guitarist, Richie Sambora impersonator, Anthony Cappolino, performing with them only a few months prior to tonight’s performance. The guys chose not to comment on the change, and I can’t find online any publicized reason for the departure of the man that’s been with the band since long before I enjoyed his contribution back in 2015, pretty sure inception. So, onward.
Adin fits the bill, not so much as a Sambora impersonator per se, but as his own brand of fine-lookin’ beefcake rock-god guitarist. He’s also replaced Cappolino in Moray and Botsford’s side project, The Lovesick (more on that in a sec).
John Martin has been resident-Slippery the longest now alongside Morey and he’s having so much fun up there, he makes me want to be a drummer (ridiculous!). All the way back there behind the kit, Martin still has the charisma and the skill to get flirted with by the girls in the pit and kick it back in spades.
Jason Morey. How much fun is this guy’s job?! With a lucky resemblance, the musical talent to make the absolute MOST of it, and a skilled band behind him, Jason gives Bon Jovi fans exactly what they need — more Bon Jovi.
Jon Bon Jovi and the Bon Jovi band are still making music, and still touring. In fact on their current This House Is Not For Sale tour, they’ve hit Atlanta twice —because Atlanta Bon Jovi fans, hollah!— but, and so speaking to the talent here, Slippery When Wet has no trouble filling clubs and raising the roof.
On this night, Slippery’s performance didn’t show the travel weariness, but they’d just barely made it here from the airport, traveling back from Las Vegas after performing with the Voices of Rock impersonator project.
But wait, there’s more… Jason Morey was selected to be the only Jon Bon Jovi impersonator for a ten-week run in Vegas’ Legends In Concert impersonator show, starting July 1.
The homework has been done, the time has been put in, the validation is stamped. Being the premiere Bon Jovi Band in the world, there no signs of stopping. Get your Bon Jovi fix, people, with Slippery When Wet when they’re in town. You will leave satisfied.
“Slippery is like a cockroach, it’ll never die.” — Jason Morey
“Better looking, though.” — Jimmi B
But wait, there’s even more…
Jason, and Jimmi B, now along with Adin, have a side project, a melodic pop rock band called The Lovesick, where they write and record their own material. Listening to The Lovesick’s three-year catalogue, I hear influences from The Beatles, George Michael, and yes, Bon Jovi.
“The whole recording process, and writing, is really interesting to us. Nights like tonight, playing the Slippery show is still fun, but we’re playing characters up there. It’s a role. This is really our heart.” — Jason Morey
“We love doing The Lovesick, we really do.” — Jimmi B
Well, I’d love to watch y’all do it. #ListenLive #ListenLocal
With a second EP out last October, and their latest, Palomino, just released Friday, The Lovesick’s got production videos up on the Jason Morey, Slippery When Wet & The Lovesick YouTube channel with a combined over 500,000 views.
Check them there, and though we’ll have to wait for Jason to finish up his current Legends in Concert stint, let’s follow The Lovesick for alerts about their next live performance, and let’s make a memory.