JOAN JETT / CHERIE CURRIE (Live show review) Pacific Ampatheater Costa Mesa, Ca, 8.11.10

Okay let’s start with Joan Jett. She was great; she is always great! Joan had her everyready growl and prowl that states the obvious to me… Joan rocks… case closed on that deal. Joan played all the hits we expected to hear, coming out strong with a nice quick version of Bad Reputation and moving on down the line with Love Is Pain and a very sweet version of Androgynous that gave Joan the chance to take her guitar off for a moment and bond with the crowd. No suprise everyone went nuts when the band kicked into I Love Rock and Roll; it was anthemic. The contributions Joan has made to rock and roll and to female rockers is obvious, and for that she deserves a medal.

Here is where I need to go back in time for a moment… The opening band was Cherie Currie and I for one was excited to hear some of The Runaways music that I have loved for so many years but have never really heard live (except for the few Joan puts in her set). Thanks to The Runaways movie (not a great film but entertaining and full of great music), there is a renewed interest in The Runaways and its original singer Cherie Currie. What I did not expect was a moment – you know the kind I’m talking about – where you are in the right place at the right time. Boy was I in the right place at the right time. When Currie hit the stage at age 51 it was like she never missed a beat. She was on fire with the spirit of rock and roll and I was in heaven. And if that wasn’t enough, she was actualy grateful (not the usual ‘we love you all’ rap). At one point she said, “I gave up on my dream 21 years ago, so thank you all so much for this!” For those of you who don’t know The Runaways music, the three best records are the first three they did with Currie: The Runaways, Queens Of Noise and my personal favorite, Live In Japan. If you don’t have these three, you are missing out on some kick ass 70′s rock and roll. Although The Runaways have been clasified often as a novelty, anyone who knows music knows that’s just not true; they were very good musicians for their age, and it was a time and place that was unchartered in rock and roll and therefore has it’s own spot in our history. After leaving The Runaways Cherie Currie did two more records, most notably the one with her sister Marie that came out in 1980.

Cherie and Marie Currie Messin With The Boys is fun, especially in a retrospective way. Although it has some misteps for sure, there are some great moments here like a spirited version of Russ Ballard’s Since You’ve Been Gone, and some extremely mature moments in songs like This Time and Secrets. Anyway as usual I digress, so back to the show… Cherie Currie looked and sounded amazing. She was luminescent in her well-deserved limelight, as 8,500 adoring fans cheered and sang along to such songs as Queens of Noise, Rock and Roll, California Paradise, American Nights, and of course the crowd wen’t absoulutely bonkers when she launched into her closer: Cherry Bomb. Currie’s entire set (save one Bowie cover) was The Runaways music, so it was almost like hearing Live in Japan. I really cannot say enough good things about Currie and I only hope that she and her band will continue to play shows so more people can see what I saw, which was a bad ass rock star laying it down for real. My daughter is a big fan of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, as well as The Runaways, so I took her along and it was funny to me that she knew so many of the songs that Currie performed and was rockin and boppin along to every great moment. So how cool is it that I caught a genuine moment and got to share it with my little girl? Ummm… very cool indeed. Thanks to people like Joan Jett and Cherie Currie my daughter will never have to wonder if girls rock. They Do. Currie ended her set by saying “God bless you all and God bless America”. So in return I will offer “God bless Cherie Currie for having the courage to once again stand upon the stage and give us everything she’s got!” She went away for a long time and had to battle some demons but she has risen like the phoenix and retuned to claim her rightful place as one of our national rock treasures… You can’t fake this stuff – you either got it or you don’t – and Currie’s got it in spades.

5 (out of 5)


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