Joan Jett Mystic Lake showroom 5/20/17
I’m not really sure where to start in reviewing this show. I definitely am biased because I’ve been a fan of Joan Jett’s since she was with the Runaways back in the 1970s. I probably have seen her a dozen times since she’s been solo. Last night was the first time I had seen her in quite some time. It’s amazing how some artists that you really enjoy have a tendency to come at the worst possible times when you’re either out of town or busy doing something else. For whatever reason I was unable to see her for many years.
When I saw she was coming to Mystic Lake, I promised myself I would not miss it. Joan Jett epitomizes to me what rock ‘n roll is all about. She has the spirit and the music to back it up. Music like anything else is cyclical and things change over time. I certainly understand why the younger generation loves artists like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. They say certain artists speak for a generation. Joan Jett seems to speak for many generations.
Her songs are very catchy, melodic and I love the straight forward punch the way only she seems to be able to deliver it. Her backup band the Black Hearts have changed members over the years, but she always seems to put the right musicians together to continue the spirit of what that band is. Unlike many other artists, she never loses sight of her music. It’s the streetwise sounding musicians that lean towards rock ‘n roll that help make her band so incredible. Many times you go and see an artist who hires a bunch of musicians that are session musicians to tour with them. Nothing wrong with the technical skill of those musicians but they miss a rawness when playing those songs live. The Black Hearts in one word were stellar in their performance last night.
Perhaps she’s one of the best kept secrets in rock ‘n roll. She did all of the hits that you would expect her to do and even some deep cuts off of early albums. She opened up with Victim Of Circumstance which is off of her huge 1982 release, I love rock ‘n roll album. That was the first surprise but the highlight of the evening for me was when she did Light Of Day off of the soundtrack for the movie of the same name. There were a couple of songs I didn’t know but those were just as enjoyable as the ones that were oh so familiar. She also treated the audience to the Mary Tyler Moore theme song, Love Is All Around. Either way she is a standout in the music business and is one to be appreciated. They don’t make them like Joan Jett anymore, perhaps if they did music would be in a better place than it is right now.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend that you go out of your way to see this rock ‘n roll Hall of Fame musician. She is truly one-of-a-kind. I guarantee her music will make you smile, it will bring back a lot of memories and she will also introduce you to some new songs that you will fall in love with as well.
Joan Jett is rock ‘n roll!
All photos and review by Tommy Sommers.