Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 12, 2013

Joan Jett delivers in short Artpark set

Niagara Gazette — Like the Ramones, the music of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is short and straight to the point. Jett and her Blackhearts set only lasted one hour and 15 minutes, but in that time she was able to pack in solid versions of 17 songs, including a few old ones and few new ones thrown in for good measure.

Jett strolled onstage at 8 p.m. clad in tight leather and sporting an appreciative grin before breaking into “Bad Reputation.” The crowd was an interesting mix of old and young fans; all dancing to the power chords and throwing appreciative fists of joy in the air from the moment Jett took the stage.

In spite of Jett’s self-proclaimed “bad reputation,” she knows how to connect with a crowd on a personal level. In between songs Jett reminisced about her tenure in The Runaways, and dedicated a fantastic new song, “Make it Back” to all the communities impacted by natural disasters.

The Joan Jett I expected to see was the rocker that rolled through her catalogue with reckless abandon, but happily, Jett paced the show in way that allowed each song to sink in. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Jett still tunes onstage, and in many ways, it makes the show seem more real.

Jett also took the time to give a fan a guitar pick, laying down on the stage so she could reach past the barrier. “That wasn’t graceful,” she said chuckling, but it was gracious.

Musically the band sounded very polished, plowing through power chords with ease while prancing around the stage. Most fans attend these shows expecting to hear the big hits and Jett saved the best part of her catalogue for the end of the show.

It started with “I Love Rock and Roll,” a song that brought the venue alive and sent some fans into a mild frenzy. Jett quickly followed with “Crimson and Clover,” complete with a crowd sing-along, and then closed the set with “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”

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