Monday, November 27, 2006

Joan Jett: Still Lovin' Rock n' Roll After All These Years

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts with Eagles of Death Metal

November 7, 2006
Henry Fonda Theater
Hollywood, CA

“I Love Rock and Roll” was one of the first 45s I owned as a kid, and Joan Jett and Pat Benatar taught me that women could rock. So, it was a thrill to see Ms. Jett and her Blackhearts live and to realize that she and I both still do love rock n' roll. I had seen her once before in a little bar called Brownie’s in NYC, sans Blackhearts, playing in a side project called Evil Stig, a band that paid tribute to The Gits’ singer Mia Zapata (Evil Stig backwards is “Gits Live”) and raised awareness about her then-unsolved murder. But this was different and better, seeing Joan with her band and hearing all her classic songs. At 46, some may say she’s pushing 50, but I would say she’s pushing back. She looks fantastic – still lean, muscular, and energetic.

Joan dedicated the show to her former Runaways’ bandmate Sandy West who had passed away from lung cancer only a few weeks previously. She brought out Runaway cohort Cherie Curry to sing “Cherry Bomb”, and that was one of the definite highlights of the show. If only Lita Ford could have joined in – where the heck are ya, Lita? Still hiding out and lighting candles to pray for the return of hair metal? Don't get too close to those candles, Lita - Aqua Net is highly flammable.

Joan’s setlist was full of crowd pleasers like “Light of Day, “Bad Reputation,” “Hate Myself for Loving You” and the aforementioned and obligatory “I Love Rock and Roll.” She also played some of her noteworthy covers like “Crimson and Clover”, “Everyday People”, and a rocking version of The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song.

The selections from her new album Sinner made me want to buy it, songs like the political “Change the World”, humorous “A.C.D.C”, and the quirky Crash Test Dummies’ cover “Androgynous.”

Eagles of Death Metal opened the show with their swaggering, sexy/stupid rock. I had seen them once before, and they guarantee a good time. Everyone sang along to their big hit “Cherry Cola”, and their more rabid fans sang along to everything else, too. Their front man Jesse Hughes really knows how to work the room, and I noted that many fans were rockin’ moustaches in tribute to him (or maybe the 80s are just truly back).

I didn’t spy Carmen Electra in the crowd, but reports say she hooked up with Joan backstage. Now that’s a true dynamic duo.

Listen to Joan’s Butterball Thanksgiving Turkey Hotline

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