"We're just gonna play you a couple and then we'll get to drinking": Watch footage of Bon Jovi's surprise return to the stage

Bon Jovi onstage at JBJ's in Nashville
(Image credit: Stefania Cheli)

New Jersey legends Bon Jovi have returned to the stage for the first time since frontman Jon Bon Jovi underwent surgery on his vocal cords in 2022. The band played a surprise five-song set at the opening of JBJ's, the singer's new bar in Nashville, TN. 

Although Bon Jovi recently told The Guardian that his recuperation means that a resumption of touring is unlikely soon, one-off shows are possible, and last month he performed Legendary, the opening track from the band's latest album Forever, on the reality TV show American Idol.  

The JBJ's performance was a longer affair, with the band playing Legendary at the climax of a five-song set that also included Blood on Blood, We Weren't Born To Follow, You Give Love A Bad Name and Born To Be My Baby (see videos, below).

"We’re just gonna play you a couple and then we’ll get to drinking," Bon Jovi told the crowd at the start of the set, before proceeding to sing with what appeared to be an understandable degree of caution. 

JBJ's – which is located in Nashville's Lower Broadway entertainment district – is a five-story venue, complete with two rooftop spaces.

"I went out on the roof I started waving to the neighbours next door," a delighted Jon Bon Jovi told Fox 17 News. "They didn't even know who I was, but I'm waving. I'm like, 'Hi! Hi!' because we'd been here when it was a construction site. I've been coming here from when it was a parking lot, just talking about the design, and to see it all come to fruition is like Christmas morning for us."

The venue's menu includes tater tots ($8), a fried catfish platter ($19), and funnel cake fries served with caramel sauce ($12). Forever is out now. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.