Livin’ on a prayer

There is no other season in the year that music fans look forward to more than summer time. With the last few weeks of school approaching and the promise of every type of concert, from outdoor music festivals to huge stadium tours, nothing makes students scrape together money faster than tickets to see their favorite band.

However, one lucky Seton Hall student may have figured out a way to see Bon Jovi’s Giants Stadium show for free and make over 82,000 new fans in the process. Anthony Figliano, senior and music major at Seton Hall, and his band Amaretto, are currently competing in the “Bon Jovi’s Wanted: A Super Band Tonight” contest, where four winners will get the once in a lifetime opportunity to open for Bon Jovi at Giants Stadium this summer.

The contest is being held throughout eight different American and Canadian cities, including Chicago, Hershey, Pa., Winnipeg and East Rutherford, N.J. Each contestant’s fans can go online to listen to 15-second snippets of each band and then judge and rank their favorites. The winner within each demographic city will score the chance to play in front of thousands of their hometown neighbors with no one to thank but the fans.

Figliano’s three-man-band, Amaretto, consists of Figliano on vocals and bass, Michael Gillespie on vocals and guitar, and Kellen Gillespie, Michael’s brother, on drums. Figliano studies and performs classical music at Seton Hall, but Amaretto is strictly rock ‘n’ roll, with inspirations like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. While mainly playing for college kids, Amaretto never set out to establish or cut itself out one demographic fan base.

“We identify with anyone that appreciates music,” Figliano said. “Especially rock ‘n’ roll.”

Hailing from Bridgewater in central New Jersey, Amaretto plays most of its live gigs at small clubs in New Brunswick and New York, but never to an audience the size of Giants Stadium.
If they were to win, Figliano said that the crowd size would not be a concern because they would just, “focus on having a good performance.”

This contest would open a whole new world of opportunities for the New Jersey trio.

“What most bands would take 15 years to do we could do in 15 minutes,” Figliano said.

Also important to Amaretto is the serious impact that winning this contest could have on the reputation of music from New Jersey.

“Everywhere we look, music seems to be taking a bigger leap for the worst and most of those bands are from New Jersey,” Figliano said. “It would be nice to put New Jersey back on the map for a good reason.”

And what better venue to bring the New Jersey heat than opening live for Jon Bon Jovi and his band, a true New Jersey hero. As far as whether or not Amaretto draws inspiration from Bon Jovi, Figliano said

“It’s kind of like being from England and saying that you’re influenced by The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.”

Amaretto recently released a new demo with the singles “Love” and “Would Be Lost.” For more information, visit the band’s Myspace or Facebook pages.

Be sure to show your support for Seton Hall and New Jersey by going to www.Bon and voting for Amaretto as your No. 1 pick for Giant Stadium fame.

Hailey Brooks can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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