1. Lay Your Hands On Me
2. I'd Die For You
3. Wild In The Streets
4. You Give Love A Bad Name
5. Born To Be My Baby
6. Let It Rock
7. I'll Be There For You
8. Blood On Blood
10. Livin' On A Prayer
11. Ride Cowboy Ride
12. Wanted Dead Or Alive
13. Bad Medicine
Songs played per album:
Although there are many setlists with more than 13 songs, there's also plenty with 12 or less. At the start of the tour the band were fresh and excited, but halfway in the tour shows were getting shorter and fewer songs were played.
This would be the first tour where the band would start mixing up the set lists. Not every show, but statistics show there were only 7 songs out of the average 13 song set list which were played every night. The setlist above indicates what songs you'd have the biggest change of hearing would you go to one of the shows of the New Jersey Syndicate Tour. It's obviously not possible, but it gives a good idea of what the band thought were their best and most engaging songs.
Nowadays a guitar solo is rarely done anymore, but this was a big thing in the eighties and seventies. Although Richie is a very talented guitar player the band has said they nowadays rather play another song instead, hence several instrumental intro's being no longer played.
The entire album has been played live, but not all songs have shown up in the set as often as others. Ride Cowboy Ride, Love For Sale and 99 In The Shade were regulars in the set only on a selected string of dates. When it came to rare songs of the album; Stick To Your Guns certainly is the song that was played played the least. There's only one documented performance (Brussels 1988) and Jon forgets the words during that one. Wild Is The Wind was another song that wasn't played very often, though it did show up every 15 odd dates or so, especially later on in the tour when the band mixed it up more often than at the start.
Because Bon Jovi now had a large amount of hit singles, especially in America, the core of the setlist was as follows:
- You Give Love A Bad Name
- Livin' On A Prayer
- Wanted Dead Or Alive
- Wild In The Streets
- Let It Rock
- Bad Medicine
- Born To Be My Baby
- Lay Your Hands On Me
- Blood On Blood
Wild In The Streets, I'd Die For You, Let It Rock and Blood On Blood had never been singles but the band played them almost every night anyway. Blood On Blood would've been the 6th single from New Jersey but the plan was scrapped despite a video already having been made.
Then there was a selection of songs that were only regular songs for a part of the tour.
Runaway was played at pretty much every show from October 1988 to August 1989, but then the band got exhausted, sets got shorter and Runaway was one of the first songs to be dropped.
- I'll Be There For You
Despite I'll Be There For You having been their fourth number 1 song, the song was only a part of the core of the set from October 1988 to halfway July 1989. In July, the band started play Living In Sin instead, despite it not being released as a single until November 1989. The song never was as succesful as I'll Be There For You, though it did crack the top 10, and when the band had done the 50 odd dates with Living In Sin they started putting I'll Be There For You back in the set as well.
Where album cuts like I'd Die For You and Wild In The Streets would show up on further tours, 99 In The Shade and Homebound Train were permanently dropped on further tours. Some of the stuff has been rehearsed during soundchecks but they rarely ever make it to the show. Wild Is The Wind was soundchecked for the Wembley shows in 1995 but never done live until 2001. Homebound Train only showed up a few times in 2001 but wasn't done with the same passion as it was on the New Jersey Tour. Jon no longer played harmonica on it and didn't even attempt to do the big screams. 99 In The Shade was reheased in 2008 but wasn't played
There would be a significant change in style on further records and in the nineties most of the album cuts form the eighties were ignored to make room for more songs from songs from Keep The Faith and These Days. To this day only Blood On Blood, Wild In The Streets and I'd Die For You have survived every decade, with the later 2 appearing less often in the set lists with every tour that follows.
Nowadays the band remembers this tour as the tour where they went everywhere they could potentially a play and one might doubt this when looking at the map that shows what countries they visited.
It's clear that, apart from Japan, all of Asia was ignored. Eastern Europe was ignored and large parts of South America weren't covered either. Realize however that many countries were deemed unsafe and Bon Jovi took a risk by even performing the big concerts in South America. Back then it was an upcoming market for rock concerts on the scale Bon Jovi did them and many artists who had played there had complained about having their stuff stolen, from expensive watches to their own gear.
Eastern Europe was still part of the Communistic regime and although while the band toured Europe for the second time the Berlin Wall had come down it still wasn't easy for an American band to break ground in a country that had been under Communistic influences for so long. It would take 20 more years before artists started to get interested in touring Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and other countries. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Metallica, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, they all played their first show in Russia in the past 10 years. That said, would their manager have known that the wall would come down only 21 days before their European tour would start he without a doubt would've planned more dates in Europe.
When looking at the tour schedule it is grueling. Had the Slippery Tour been exhausting, this tour would top this with many extra days added on days where the band was supposed to have time off. From October 1988 to January 1990 the band would only be home for a total of roughly 9 weeks at most. Their first holiday was spent on Hawaii where the band played 3 dates, but they wouldn't know that it'd be their last holiday for a very long time. Originally the band were supposed to have a week off between January 1990 and February 1990 but more dates were added in London, resulting in the band flying directly from one continent to the other, while they usually had time to be home. One can say that everyone has to work for their money, but at the days Bon Jovi were off, radio interviews, small instore signing sessions and other promotional activities were planned, this resulting into the band members never having any time for themselves. Needless to say, this made tensions rise among the band by the time they'd arrive in Europe for the second time and it was breaking the band up. It is well documented in Access All Areas how no one wanted to be in South America in 1990, despite them being able to do the biggest shows of their career there.
When the band finally came home they'd find out a few months later how their manager had set up a string of dates in Japan in 1991, even though Jon had already gone solo and Richie had started to write for what would become Stranger In This Town. Their manager was afraid he'd lose the band as his money making machine, so he felt he should cash in for as long as he can. The band had already sorted out most of their problems by then, but the last leg in Japan in 1991 was one of the many reasons why Jon fired Doc McGhee. Doc had started to run everything in the life of the band, as opposed to the band telling their manager where and when they wanted to play.
Doc McGhee is often critisized by Jon for taking all the fun out of rock & roll, he did teach Jon by experience how to turn a simple rock band into a huge money making machine. The money now goes to Jon though. The only difference is that Doc went anywhere money could be made, where Jon only goes where a certain amount of money can be made. Bon Jovi to this day makes a big fuss about playing Russia in 1989 but the band to this day hasn't come back. Russian promoters have tried to get the band there to play since the Have A Nice Day Tour, but aren't able to pay the fee Bon Jovi is asking. Where in 1989 Bon Jovi were happy to play Russia and felt it was a big honor they now can not be bothered to go there unless a large amount of money is offered to them. There's a huge fanbase in Russia but it has been ignored ever since Bon Jovi broke ground with them. By now other acts have brought their music over to Russia and Jon is certainly interested in playing there though. A show was supposed to happen in 2011 but plans didn't go ahead. The contracts have been signed, and a date is most likely to show up on a European tour in 2014.
The New Jersey Syndicate Tour has been a tour that seriously changed the dynamics in the band. Although the band had always been about Jon, it was after the tour that the dynamics would change permanently. Although Richie claims that he started drinking heavily in 2005 after he got divorced and his dad died, he's been an alcoholic from pretty much halfway the New Jersey Tour. Although Jon got a lot of critisism for the way he handled the band back then, it were Tico and Richie who had become serious alcoholics and unable to deal with. Tico was a mean drunk, and Richie didn't take things very seriously either. Where Jon thought of the business, the rest of the band were just having fun. Due to this, tensions rised and Bon Jovi became less of a real band and more of a singer with a band, and by the time the tour had ended that singer didn't really know anymore whether he wanted to go on with Bon Jovi or not. The band never officially disbanded but it was clear that something was seriously off in the band.
New Jersey had been a hugely succesful album and thanks to Doc McGhee they'd been everywhere to promote it. They'd made more money than they could ever dream of. However, the band had paid a serious price for it. None of them had a serious place to come home to, from 1986 to 1990 their lifes outside of the band had pretty much stopped and it took them a while to get everything back together. While they had spend every day together from pretty much March 1988 when they started recording New Jersey, to February 17, 1990 when the tour supposedly ended, they wouldn't see eachother for half a year afterwards, with no one having any idea what would happen next.