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Friday, Oct 19, 2018
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Jon Bon Jovi to perform in Tampa in support of Hillary Clinton

South Florida isn’t the only market expecting an influx of celebrities campaigning for Hillary Clinton this fall.

Jon Bon Jovi will deliver a “Get Out the Vote” performance on Clinton’s behalf on Nov. 5 in Tampa, according to our sister blog the Buzz. Details of the performance have not yet been announced.

This will apparently be a solo show. Bon Jovi the band already has a Feb. 14 date at Amalie Arena. And for the most part, the band likes to keep politics out of its act.

“We made it a conscious decision years ago not to bring that on stage with us,” drummer Tico Torres said in a recent teleconference with journalists. “Any way you look at it, you’re gonna piss half the audience off. And at the end of the day, I think the reason the booths have a curtain on them is it should be a personal entity of voting for whatever candidate you want. It should be kept that way.”

Jon Bon Jovi’s Tampa appearance, much like one by Jennifer Lopez coming up in South Florida, might feel a little bit like the Vote for Change performances of 2004, which included high-profile concerts like James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. in Orlando.

John Kerry lost that election, of course. But R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills said he still considered the Vote for Change tour a success in some ways.

“I thought it was a wonderful idea, and I’m really glad we did it,” Mills said. “I think it might have encouraged young people to get involved in the process, which is probably the most important thing you can do right now, and I think it brought a lot of awareness to some things that other people didn’t know about.”

And to those who say musicians shouldn’t get involved in politics?

“What people say is, ‘Oh, musicians shouldn’t talk about politics,’” Mills said. “Well, I think everybody should talk about politics. Musicians, truck drivers, dentists, teachers. I don’t care who you are, you should be involved in politics, and you should say something about it.”

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