By photojournalist Chaz Dykes, (Chaz D Photography)
Bon Jovi rolled into Tampa to perform at Amalie Arena on Friday April 15, 2022. The audience was on their feet with hands in the air as Bon Jovi took the stage, and they sang along to every song. Everyone was there for a good time and that’s what they got. But this tour was a little different. Bon Jovi decided to do something he hasn’t done before. What was it you ask? Well, for this tour Jon Bon Jovi decided he wanted to give local bands from each city on the tour, the opportunity to open for them, via a contest.
Bands had to submit for the contest and notified if they won. The Tampa show received many submissions. As we got closer to the show date, everyone was wondering who was going to be chosen. Tampa Bay Music News was the first to report the news that they selected the indie pop rock band, Miroux.
Miroux played a 20-minute set to a filled-out Amalie Arena. The band was locked in and delivered a solid performance. The crowd was totally into it and cheered for them throughout their set.
I got the chance to speak to Miroux lead singer, Jonah Holland the next day and we talked about what the experience was like for him and the band to open a big show like Bon Jovi.
We spoke about their decision to enter the contest for the opening spot for Bon Jovi. Even though they thought it was a longshot they submitted some footage from a show at Jannus Landing. After a couple of months, they forgot about it. The Wednesday before the show they got an email from Bon Jovi’s team saying they were chosen to be the opener. They couldn’t believe it at first. They thought it was crazy. I asked if they thought they were being punked, Jonah said, “Yes, I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out or something.”
The next day they contacted Bon Jovi’s team to confirm the email, and they were told, yes you are the opener. Jonah went on saying that it only gave them 2 days to prep for the show. The entire band cleared their schedules and they rehearsed for those 2 days “grinding it out.”
I wanted to find out if they got to meet Bon Jovi and the band and what was it like for them as they approached the stage, knowing they were about to perform before a full Amalie Arena. “We didn’t get to meet the band due to Covid-19 safety precautions, but the crew was super nice, and they made sure we had everything we needed. That included us using their in-ear monitors.” Jonah went on to say, “the nerves were there, and the adrenaline rush was starting to set in, but we felt prepared and were ready to go and do what we normally do.”
We talked about the audience and how they were so supportive and cheered them on and what that was like. “At first, we were a bit concerned that we may not be the kind of band that would appeal to the fans of Bon Jovi, but the crowd was receptive, they were supportive and made us feel welcome. We got a ton of new followers and nice messages from people at the show.” The band really appreciates Jon Bon Jovi for giving them this opportunity, and would like to thank everyone for their support.
Miroux plans on building on this and putting together a tour and doing festivals. They believe in what they are doing and each other and plan on taking this are far as it will go. If you want to learn more about Miroux, listen to their music or find out when they are performing, you can use the links below.