Scott Kucharski

PHOTOS: Jon Bon Jovi acoustic at Joe Biden rally at Dallas High School, 10/24/20

PHOTOS: Jon Bon Jovi acoustic at Joe Biden rally at Dallas High School, 10/24/20
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Luzerne County has hosted its share of drive-in concerts and political rallies over the last few months, but both came together for a unique event at Dallas High School on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi joined former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden for a campaign stop in an area that will play a critical role in this election.

Over 230 cars parked in the lot to watch the New Jersey frontman, guitarist Greg Mayo, and Lorenza Ponce play acoustic versions of the Grammy Award-winning single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” classic Bon Jovi hit “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and new song “Do What You Can,” a tribute to frontline responders to the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers, and everyone whose lives were changed by COVID-19. The topical track is featured on the album he released last month, “2020,” and his quick speech before this last song echoed the message of the lyrics and music video.

“When I think of empathy, character, and experience, it’s these three words that I think when I think of Joe Biden. These days, it’s always red state, blue state, the me state, you state – I think that Joe Biden believes in the United States of America,” Bon Jovi said as car horns honked and blared in support.

“These days on the radio and at the rallies and the TV, I always hear a lot of me, me, me, but I really do believe that Joe believes in the power of we. I believe that Joe knows that masks are not a sign of weakness; they’re a sign of strength and respect – respect for your elders, for your neighbors, for your families, for your friends, and for a stranger that you might not have met yet. If you want to effect change and you can’t do what you do, you can do what you can. Something as small as wearing a mask starts the ripple. Something as important as casting your vote next Tuesday is about the future of these United States that I so believe in. After we get Joe into office, that’s when the healing starts because we all have to come together and remember that under the great stars and stripes, we are all one United States of America.”

Biden also talked about the pandemic and criticized President Donald Trump’s delayed response.

“At our debate on Thursday night, Trump was still saying, ‘We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away. We’re learning to live with it.’ As I told him, we’re not learning to live with it – we’re learning to die with it because he’s doing nothing. … He cares more about the stock market than he does about you because he refuses to follow science. His own people tell him if we wear these masks over the next few months, we can save 100,000 lives. You know what’s really sad about all this? The president knew back at the end of January how deadly this virus was and he hid it from the country,” he said.

“It’s good to be almost home. Jill’s a Philly girl, but I’m a Scranton guy. And I like Luzerne County. … It may come down to Pennsylvania, and I want you to know that I believe in you. Home – home is where your character is etched, your values are set, where you views of the world and your place in it begin to be formed. For me, it was 2446 North Washington Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania at my grandpop’s table.”

He promised to bring those values and respect for others to the presidency, saying that he will work just as hard for those who vote for him as he will for those who vote against him. A large line of protesters and Trump supporters stood outside the event to remind Biden that this county swung for Trump in the last election and could do so again. This musical rally seemed optimistic about his chances.