Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Joan Jett @ Coney Island

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts @ Coney Island - July 14th, 2011
Review: Francesca McCaffery; Photo: Jenny Belin

If there was ever an iconic performer that makes you want to pick up your old guitar, put an ad on Craigslist, and throw your very first band together, (even if you ain’t twenty-two no more!) Joan Jett is it. I mean it. Seriously, I went to this show with some good friends on July 14th for the free Seaside Summer Concert Series at Coney Island, looking to have a pretty good time. What I did NOT expect was to get fucking BLOWN-AWAY.

Holy cow, this show was beyond-belief. Jett, former founder of the Runaways and lead singer of her band Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, proves that she is still truly an icon, can absolutely rock you, and is so sexy, at 52, you will probably want to kill yourself. (And hit the gym extra hard, form a band, and buy a nice, tight black leather catsuit, all at once!)

Never have I seen a performer embrace a large audience right in the very palm of their little hands, even with the sort of smallish sound system and tiny stage at the Seaside Festival. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts overcame this, blasting out hit after hit, as well some very nice surprises (“Androgynous” by the Replacements! “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by the Stooges!). I swear to God, she is a genuinely hypnotizing performing, even glimpsed from yards and yards away, projected on large video screens so the worshipful audience could grab any glimpse that they possibly could.

Opening up strong with “Bad Reputation” and “Cherry Bomb” (first recorded with the Runaways), Jett and the Blackhearts did not once let their tight hold on the crowd up, racing and igniting themselves and the audience through a nearly twenty sweaty song set, that included some nice new songs, the old favorites. I have always loved this band, and Jett and her band plays a show that doesn’t so much soak you in fond reminiscences, but actually makes you thrilled that yes, you actually DID have pretty decent taste in music for a kid, right-on. The Blackhearts are lead guitarist Dougie Needles, Thommy Price on drums, and producer, long-time collaborator and keyboardist/percussionist- Kenny Laguna.)

Girl in A Coma (signed to Jett’s very own Blackheart Records) nicely opened up the show, but, alas, the punchy crowd was still filing in. The lead singer is compelling enough though, the riffs were great, and they pounded a few really thrashy and fun, do-wop-py tunes. Hats off to Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz, who is making sure this Seaside Summer Concert Series continues long and strong, for many years to come. (Look out-Cheap Trick is coming to Coney Island, for FREE, on August 18th- omg!) Hop on the sweaty F train, grab a dog at Nathan’s, for God’s sake, and brave the very brief, chatty wait-in-line. (Wasn’t that terrible. Really.)

Joan Jett - Coney Island - July 14th, 2011
Bad Reputation
Cherry Bomb
Light of Day
Do You Wanna Touch Me?
Go Home
Drive Me Wild
French Song
Love Is Pain
I Love Playing With Fire
I Wanna Be Your Dog
I Love Rock-n-Roll
Crimson & Clover
I Hate Myself For Loving You

I’m Everyday People


  1. Sorry I missed it due to having surgery, but I've seen Miss Jett many, many times before. Once I even saw her w The RUNAWAYS open for The RAMONES at the now razed Palladium on 14th St. in NYC. She is the epitome of a rock chick w balls, baby!!! -TRETNYC