In 1989, Bon Jovi was livin' on a prayer. In 2017, Liberty Deep Down's prayers have been answered.
The band, formed in Powell and featuring two Olentangy Liberty High School alumni and two graduates of Gahanna Lincoln High School, will perform as the opening act for Jon Bon Jovi at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd.
To say the band is grateful is an understatement, said lead singer Dominic Frissora, 21, a 2014 Lincoln graduate.
In addition to Frissora, the band features identical 20-year-old twins Halen and Noah Bouhadana, the group's guitarist/keyboard player and drummer, respectively. They are 2014 Olentangy Liberty graduates. On bass and backing vocals is Cameron Becker, 19, a 2016 Gahanna Lincoln graduate who is a Capital University student.
"We admire how Jon Bon Jovi uses his resources to help others, whether through the JBJ Soul Foundation or by giving new bands the opportunity to share the stage with him," Frissora said. "We are honored and humbled to have been chosen."
Liberty Deep Down manager Tyler Richardson, 33, said an opening-act contest was run by Bon Jovi, administered by Live Nation and facilitated through Facebook.
"Unsigned artists all over the country had the opportunity to submit a video of themselves playing," he said. "Out of the 60 Columbus entrants, Live Nation selected 10 finalists and then submitted those to Bon Jovi, who then hand-selected the winner."
Richardson said the band had no idea how it was doing in the contest until a call that notified members they had won.
"I am extremely proud of the progress we have made in the last year and extremely excited to unveil our new album, 'Electric,' on March 17," he said.
Richardson said Liberty Deep Down would perform a five-song set as the only opening act March 18.
The show represents the next step up in venues for a band that's played everywhere from the Olentangy Liberty prom and the Powell Festival to the Newport Music Hall and the downtown Columbus amphitheater now known as Express Live.
The band will return to Delaware County in the summer when it headlines the Olentangy Summer Bash, set July 1 at Olentangy High School.
Frissora said there was a lot of great local talent to choose from, but he thinks Liberty Deep Down ultimately was selected due to its high-energy performances and crowd interaction.
"Personally, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning because Bon Jovi was one of my first concerts and favorite bands growing up," he said. "Thank you, JBJ and Live Nation, for choosing us. We look forward to an amazing show."
Liberty Deep Down has slowly evolved into the high-energy, catchy group it is today, said Richardson, an Ohio State University alumnus. The band's website, libertydeepdown.com, states the twins wanted to create something special that would convey their passion for music in fall 2013.
After performing with a number of young and talented musicians, Frissora and Becker were recruited to complete the band's current lineup in fall 2014.
"While their composition techniques have evolved, their intrinsic love of music still pulses through every vibrant performance," the website states.
The band's new album will debut March 17 on Spotify and iTunes.
Its videos can be found on the YouTube channel youtube.com/libertydeepdown, and on social-media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.