GRO let it rock for Bon Jovi fans

Four members of the local band Green River Ordinance sit outside a coffee shop on Saturday morning, joking with each other about how they name songs. It is clear that the group’s chemistry works.Ultimately, “We’re weird, not cool,” said Geoff Ice, a sophomore environmental science major.

After years of playing for crowds at intimate local venues, GRO hit the big time, at least for one night.

The band, which includes three TCU students, opened for Jon Bon Jovi on Jan. 15 at the American Airlines Center after winning a contest through Mix 102.9.

They played a 37-minute set for a sold-out crowd of about 18,000.

“That’s about 18 times as big as we’d ever played before,” junior philosophy major Jamey Ice said with a laugh.

Instead of submitting an official press kit and demo as the radio station had asked, GRO simply sent an e-mail with songs attached.

“We were just kind of kidding around about it,” Jamey Ice said.

However, what started as a joke quickly escalated. The radio station narrowed down hundreds of entries to five that listeners could vote on, one of which included GRO.

After asking friends and family to vote for them, the band found out they had won two days before the performance, said Josh Jenkins, a junior at Tarrant County College.

“He (Jon Bon Jovi) said we were the best band they’d heard so far,” Jenkins said.

Geoff Ice quickly clarified, “They still have a lot of the tour left, a lot of possibilities.”

A similar contest is held at every stop on Bon Jovi’s tour. Bon Jovi will select one of the opening bands to play in New Jersey for a show that will cater to a crowd of 60,000 people, Jamey Ice said.

GRO will compete against 30 to 40 bands for this prize.

The band, who writes all of their own songs, describes their sound as pop rock.

Jenkins said the music “is about struggling with the typical things that everyone struggles with, but not being overwhelmed to the point that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

GRO said they will continue playing throughout Texas, with a show nearly every weekend this semester, including one at 11 p.m. Friday at the Aardvark.