Like the album it supported, the touring effort behind Bon Jovi’s well-received 2016 release This House Is Not For Sale was largely about change, or, more correctly, staying true to one’s core beliefs in the face of change. The inspired release, produced by John Shanks, was the band’s first on UMG’s Island Records (after more than 30 years on Mercury). THINFS was the first album with Phil X on lead guitar, as well as the first to recognize longtime bassist Hugh McDonald as an official member of the band, joining lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, and guitar contributions from Shanks, who would ultimately join the touring band for the House tour. Notably absent: founding guitarist Richie Sambora, who unceremoniously split with Bon Jovi in 2013 on the “Because We Can Tour,” to be replaced in the touring band by Bobby Bandiera.
Other transitions marked by the THINFS tour included a new manager in Irving Azoff (co-founder of Pollstar’s parent company Oak View Group), who added Bon Jovi to a personal roster that includes the Eagles, among many other clients. Also debuting was a global touring promoter/producer relationship with Live Nation, which followed a decade and three massive tours with AEG Live at the helm. Another change is that, on this tour and forever onward, Bon Jovi could be billed as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Band, following their 2018 induction.
Finally – and, from a live performance perspective, anyway – most importantly, this tour marked a complete change of the exhausting Bon Jovi model for touring the world. Notoriously hard-working (former manager Doc McGhee was once quoted as saying Bon Jovi would “play a pay toilet and use their own change”), the band routinely played 100-plus dates in a year, charging around the world and then taking a couple years off and cranking up for the next cycle.