Photos by Micah Gummel
Review by King Dale
What could be cooler on a hot July night, then a triple bill of ass-kicking Rock n’ Roll? The festivities started off with an energetic set from Cheap Trick. Their enthusiasm really set the tone for the evening. Whether they were showing off their hard rock heroics, or playing their classic hits, they were certainly a crowd pleaser. The people in attendance really got fired up, as they closed out their set with “I Want You to Want Me”, “The Dream Police”, “Surrender” and a fitting “Goodnight”. They really set the tone for what was yet to come.
As I was watching the roadies set up for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The Rock n’ Roll gods granted me with a ticket upgrade. Sorry folks, I’m sworn to secrecy. By the time Joan Jett hit the stage. I was cozily settled up front around center stage. And what a difference that makes. You can really feel the energy of the crowd.
The hard rocking goddess’ set started off with “Bad Reputation” and “Cherry Bomb”. Followed by a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Do You Wanna Touch Me”. Of course my response was “Oh Yeah”. With her being one of the original “Runaways”. She really knows how to work a crowd. And that she did. By the time she got to her big hit, “I Love Rock n’ Roll. She had the crowd fired up. Followed by the Tommy James cover, “Crimson & Clover” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You”. Joan Jett reminded us all that girls can kick ass too. The set ended with the Sly & the Family Stone classic “Everyday People”. Which is kind of funny. The week before this show, I saw the Tedeschi Trucks Band. And two days after this show, I saw Joe Walsh. The funny thing is, all three of these artists played this song. I think there trying to tell us something folks. Like my friend Butch Trucks always says “Wake The Fuck Up”!
It’s time to bring on the “Little Queens” of Rock n’ Roll. Heart has been amazing audiences for over forty years. And they still sound as great as ever. Coming out of the gates with “Wild Child” and “Magic Man”. They displayed why they still reign supreme. They certainly rocked the house with “Bebe Le Strange”, which is one of my personal favorites. After jazzing up the crowd with the classics “Straight On” and Kick It Out”. They played the title track off their new album titled “Beautiful Broken”. The song showed how after all these years. That they still have the passion and desire to rock with the best of them.
I’ve got to tell you. I have never been a big fan of eighties ballads. But the job Ann Wilson did singing the song “Alone” was incredible. She had the hair on my arms standing up. Girl, I’ll be your boy toy anytime. If that were not enough, they closed out their set with “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda”. Nancy has still got that leg kick working. With the crowd not ready to leave, we waited for them to come out for an encore. And they did not disappoint. The band played an awesome tribute to their heroes Led Zeppelin. Starting off with a great cover of the ‘Immigrant Song”. Followed by a sweet rendition of “Stairway to Heaven”. Proving once again that Ann Wilson will go down in history as one of Rock n’ Rolls premier vocalist.
I’d like to thank all three of the artists for coming out and sharing their gifts with us. I’m not surprised that you’re all in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. You’re all great entertainers. Keep on Rockin’.