Live: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, July 12

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Hard Rock Live, Hollywood
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Better than: Watching The Runaways movie.

No frills was the name of the game at last night's Joan Jett & the Blackhearts concert. Slithering onto the stage in a pair of sparkly leggings, the punk-rock goddess looked out into the crowd with a big smile and went right into "Bad Reputation." Within the first ten minutes of the show, the Blackhearts ripped into popular anthems such as "Cherry Bomb" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me," coaxing the audience into a full-blown sing-along.

The Blackhearts pulled out all the hits, celebrating the entire discography, from Jett's first song, "You Drive Me Wild," to newer tracks like "Naked" and the extremely sexual "Fetish," from 2006 album Sinner. Except for telling the crowd "Don't be shy" or asking them to clap along, Jett was a woman of few words, making the night all about the music.

Unfortunately the crowd wasn't as lively as expected throughout the night, but it did perk up toward the end upon hearing the unmistakable intro to karaoke favorite "I Love Rock N' Roll." Riding on that wave of energy, the band went right into "Crimson and Clover" and topped off the night with "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Honestly, they could have called it a night at that point, but what kind of show would it have been without an encore? The encore was a bit lackluster, and although their rendition of Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People" was enjoyable, they should have saved some hits for their return to stage.

Joan Jett has been performing for more than three decades, and last night's show was a sign that she doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. From her raspy voice to signature guitar solos and that wide-eyed smile, she still captivates fans new and old, never missing a beat since her days with the Runaways. 

Critic's Notebook

The crowd:
A whole lot of women.

Random detail: A girl head-banged her way through the entire set and didn't miss a beat.

Random detail 2: The suits and their girlfriends sitting in chairs on the stage made things a little less punk rock.

Personal bias: There was no need for an encore.

Set List:

Bad Reputation
Cherry Bomb
Light of Day
Do You Wanna Touch Me
Go Home
You Drive Me Wild
The French Song
Love is Pain
I Love Playing With Fire
Fake Friends
I Wanna Be Your Dog
I Love Rock N' Roll
Crimson and Clover
I Hate Myself for Loving You

Everyday People (Cover)

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Betsey Denberg