Joan Jett and the Blackhearts @ Casino Rama, Mar 1st 2013

** by Bill Kwan **

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts played a straight ahead no nonsense Rock N’ Roll concert during their 80 minute set at Casino Rama on Friday night.  The band arrived on stage and opened up with “Bad Reputation” The audience immediately charged the front stage area with fist in the air and bopping up and down to the opening song.  Next the band played “Cherry Bomb” which drew a loud roar from the predominately female fans clustering around the front stage.

Jett still remembers her roots fondly and mentioned that “The Runaways” were her very first band and they performed “You Drive Me Wild” and “Cherry Bomb ” during the night. The evening had a feeling of being in a basement or garage while watching and listening to this set of music.  It was soon swashed when Jett strutted around the stage and the view of the Casino Rama surroundings brought back reality to the present. For all the 80’s fans, The Runaway Fans and fans of Punk/Rock Music it was a blast from the past at Casino Rama for one night.  Accent that with a preview of her new album and the song “Hard To Grow Up”

Looking great at 54 years young, Jett wore her trademark black outfit and black running shoes to accent her rebel nature after all these years in the Punk/Rock N’ Roll scene.  Her band mates matched her Punk/Rock N’ Roll image with Thommy Price on drums, Acey Slade on bass and lead guitarist Dougie Needles.  Kenny Laguna their keyboard player/tambourine player rounded out the Blackheart’s line up. High energy was in the in the air for their musical set  . Songs such as “I Love Rock N’ Roll” and “Crimson and Clover”  brought everyone off their seats with their hands up in the air,  clapping,dancing in the aisle/by the stage and fist pumping.

Jett knew how to work the crowd as evident with getting the fans involved in “Do You Wanna Touch Me” by  having them chant “yeah, oh yeah,”  There were little minor technical difficulties with the sound and equipment through out the night but the fans didn’t seem to mind.  The band’s encore consisted of “Little Liar”, and then two cover songs, Sweet’s “A.C.D.C.” and Sly and the Family Stone’s”Everyday People” and the crowd was in a frenzy right til the end of the last song.

May it be their original music or cover tunes performed during the night, Jett and her band put their own accent to the tunes they performed.  It may have not been the most polished or technical, but the fans young and old loved the energy that was given out during the set.  For one evening it was like watching a Rock band in a  basement or garage but a lot nicer at the Casino Rama.  It was a fun evening for all the young  and old fans of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.  They had everyone off their chairs and yes it was a blast from the past and present. And yes it is”Hard To Grow Up” as Joan Jett and The Blackheart reminded us that we are all young at heart.

The Set List

1. Bad Reputation
2. Cherry Bomb(The Runaways)
3. Do You Want To Touch Me(Oh Yeah)
4. (Gary Glitter cover)
5. Victim Of Circumstance
6. You Drive Me Wild(The Runaways)
7. The French Song
8. Love Is Pain
9. T.M.I.
10. Hard To Grow Up
11. Naked
12. Fake Friends
13. Reality Mentality
14. I Love Rock N’ Roll(The Arrows cover)
15. Crimson and Clover(Tommy James and The Shondells cover)
16. I Hate Myself For Loving You

Encore:

17. Little Liar
18. A.C.D.C.(Sweet Cover)
19. Everyday People (Sly and The Family Stones cover)