Last week some friends and I saw Joan Jett in concert at the House of Blues in Atlantic City (at the Showboat)…Fantastic show..she did all her old stuff and some new. Mary Tyler Moore theme song and Bad Reputation were favorites. Attached is the only pic that came out well -we were really close to the stage -sorry you missed it!
An in-depth review of a recent Joan Jett concert follows:
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
The Roxy – 11/18/2006
Rock critic Dave Marsh has referred to JOAN JETT as “the female Chuck Berry,” and I suppose that description is as apt as any. Having broken down barriers both musically and sexually, she’s a pioneer, innovator, and bona fide rock legend. And, like Berry, is sadly thought by many to be an oldies act. More respected than commercially viable, she fights to remain relevant to a crowd who may just want to hear “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.” But one thing she’s got on Chuck (besides thirty years) is a compelling and fierce live show that should shut the mouths of any doubters in attendance. Joan and her band, drummer THOMMY PRICE, guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES, and bassist Enzo Penizzotto, stood in classic rock poses as a curtain opened to the familiar chords of “Bad Reputation.” Dressed in a tight, shiny black vest, covered in tattoos and with short, choppy black hair, Jett is the picture of cool and rebellion. She’s lean and muscular, and looks better at 46 than you do at, well, whatever age you are.
What I love about a JOAN JETT show is how all-inclusive it is. It’s one big punk ‘n’ glam hootenanny. Joan may be the living, breathing embodiment of the grand idea that is rock ‘n’ roll, but hey, she’s no snob. Everyone is welcome, and she seems to appeal to all types. Look around and you’ll see parents with small children on their shoulders, gay and lesbian couples, old rock dudes, rednecks and informed Bitch readers. And just look at her repertoire. While I am certainly not downplaying her originals, she has had big hits with cover songs by artists as diverse as Gary Glitter (“Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)”), Sly and The Family Stone (“Everyday People”), and Tommy James and The Shondells (“Crimson and Clover”), all of which she performed. She even does a revved-up version of “Love Is All Around,” the theme song to Mary Tyler Moore. Seeing her live is a pop culture refresher course.
All of her big hits were represented. If you came to the show wanting to hear a specific song, there’s a good chance she played it. Along with the solid winners mentioned above, there was “Light of Day,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” the RUNAWAYS classic “Cherry Bomb,” and, of course, “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (which, I suppose it should be noted, is a song by the British band The Arrows). She didn’t play “Fake Friends,” but why quibble?
The hits were all great, but Joan was there to sell her new album, SINNER, her first American album in twelve years. I was more than a little interested in seeing how the new stuff would stack up. Joan’s best work features te big, familiar tom-clap, tom-clap glam rock drumbeat, and urgent, sexual lyrics about taking some young thing home to defile them. You know, Rock ‘N’ Roll 101 fare. Thus, at the risk of appearing closed-minded, I scratch my head at the new song, “Change the World.” Its heart is in the right place, but simplistic platitudes such as “It’s time we stop all the fightin’ / Let’s start today / Go find a way / To change the world” is not why I turn to JOAN JETT. “Riddles,” another political anthem, concerns the way in which politicians speak to us in, yes, riddles. It seemed to be a pointed attack on President Bush (she yelled out “Clear Skies! No Child Left Behind! Wake up!!”), and I couldn’t help but wonder how old the guy was standing there by the record machine. Joan may be the Queen of Punk, but other people just do this sort of thing better. “Five,” co-written by Kathleen Hanna, brought us back to more comfortable territory. It’s a dirty little rocker that discusses Jett’s sexuality in more frank terms than I’ve ever heard her use before. As if that didn’t hit it home, she also performed a cover of The Replacements classic “Androgynous,” about boys who dress like girls and vice versa. And in the encore song, “AC/DC,” a Sweet cover and her new single, Joan refers to her lover, whose other lover is a man. It’s a great tune, and in Jett’s capable hands, it’s a new classic.
JOAN JETT is a road warrior and a seasoned professional. What she delivers is a 90-minute, all-killer, very-little-filler show. She is a commanding presence, a force to be reckoned with, giving you a rock hard setlist to go with the body. Somehow she manages to be edgy and palatable at the same time. Provided you don’t have to see her at some huge, unruly outdoor festival, or playing after a sporting event, it’s well worth your time to check out this living legend. Seeing JOAN JETT is the equivalent of Keith Richards getting a blood transfusion. Afterwards, you feel invigorated, young and ready to rock another day.