Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Joan Jett 8/29/15

Joan Jett: five feet of pure Rock N' Roll

   5 years ago Joan Jett graced the Kentucky State Fair on my mother's birthday, August 19th, and when I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday there was only one answer: Go see Joan Jett! Of course! it was great show, even when Joan was having health issues and had to take a brief break, she powered through, playing a masterful hour and a half set, read the review here.
   So when it was announced that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts would be playing again at the Kentucky State Fair, this time on my birthday, August 29th, it was a no-brainer, even though as many of you know for the last decade I have hosted the Louisville Zombie Attack on that day. The truth on that is, I had been coming up against internal disputes with the co-organizer over logistical aspects of Zombie Attack, so why be where you aren't wanted, when instead you can be with your loved ones at a Joan Jett show? I have heard that Zombie Attack this year didn't go smooth and all I can say about that is I wasn't involved, not really by choice, but still I was sorry to hear it wasn't what everyone expected, especially for the residents of the Highlands.
    When we arrived at Cardinal Stadium I could hear my name echoed on the walkie-talkies of the crew, and was asked to follow a security guard to the stage. My girlfriend and I were then whisked onto the stage where 2 chairs were waiting for us on the left side of the stage! Joe Site the head sound engineer at Zanzabar had set up a wonderful birthday surprise for me, and we got to watch the entire show from the stage!

      Joan Jett and company hit the stage promptly at 9pm starting with Bad reputation, from her debut solo album of the same name, followed by Cherry bomb, originally played by Jett's first band The Runnaways, written in 1976 by an 18 year old Joan Jett.
 For the 3rd song, Do You Wanna Touch (oh yeah), originally by the infamous and disgraced Gary Glitter, Jett led the Audience in a build up of the chorus before the band kicked in. It was one of those guided audience participation moments that actually worked. The crowd sang the chorus for Do You Wanna Touch through the whole song, to much delight. The band followed this up with TMI, Soul Mates to Strangers, and You Drive Me Wild;  The first song she ever wrote and originally preformed with the Runaways. Ambiguously sexy Joan Jett jumped all over stage with as much enthusiasm as ever, with no notice of her previous health issues.
 Jett and Co. also played new tracks, such as Make it Back, written about living through hurricane Sandy and seeing so many people working together to survive, as well as old hits including Light of Day written by Bruce Springsteen as the theme song for a movie Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett stared in by the same name. Recorded by Jett and the Blackhearts it reached 33 on billboard in 1987; credited as The Barbusters, the band name from the movie.
   Other songs included Fragile, Love is Pain, Hard to Grow Up, Sick Friends, and Any Weather written with Dave Grohl. After an hour Jett brought out the heavy hitters including I Love Rock n Roll and Crimson and Clover, in which the band drops out so the crowd can sing chorus before jumping back in for an explosive ending to their signature cover of the Tommy James song, before ending the set with Hate Myself for Loving You. After the band leaves the stage. The crowd chants Joan - Jett - Joan - Jett until she returns for the encore. The drummer, Thommy Price, comes out first to lay down a drum beat before the rest of the band joins him to play several songs in quick succession including Different and Real Wild Child before concluding the night with her cover of Everyday People.

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