Roxy’s Best Of… New Jersey

The Best of the State of New Jersey, from entertainment and events to kid stuff (including birthday party venues and summer camp) to restaurants to art galleries and shopping

Oct
24

Joan Jett Rocks the House at the Mayo Center of the Performing Arts in Morristown, New Jersey

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Now, just because I’m home in bed and out in the blogosphere before midnight, don’t think that Rex and I didn’t have a blast tonight at the Joan Jett concert at the Mayo Center of the Performing Arts in Morristown, New Jersey.

We started the evening with a family dinner (Kraft mac & cheese for the kids, delicious take-out eggplant parmesan and pasta carbonara from Dante’s Ristorante in Mendham, NJ, for the grown-ups) at our friends Susan & Mike’s house. At dinner we joked about being too old for opening bands, but we took off in time to reach Morristown by eight o’clock. We left London and Maddie there, over the moon with excitement about their pumpkin painting, band practice, brownie baking “late-over” with the girls’ adopted third singin’ Van de Kamp sister. Rex and I drove in to Morristown in our new red jewel GMC Acadia, found a parking space not too far from the Morristown Community Theatre, and retrieved our tickets from “will call” just as the opening band was getting started inside. Like our favorite New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ, there’s not a bad seat in the house at the Mayo Center, at least not on the lower level. Rex and I had seats on the aisle in the back, row CC, with a perfect view.

The opening band turned out to be Antigone 4, four of the members of Antigone Rising, and to our delight they were definitely worth seeing and hearing. Unlike so many opening acts, Antigone 4 was not uncomfortably loud, and I actually considered purchasing one of the CDs they had for sale in the lobby. I’ll plan to check them out on Napster or iTunes over the weekend.

I was surprised to see that much of the crowd seemed to be older than I am — mid-50s, meaning that they would have been in their 20s instead of teenagers like I was in Joan Jett’s heyday…is heyday an old people’s word? There were a few kids there, even younger than London and Maddie…did I really see diapers under leather pants?

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts started promptly at nine, with a couple of surprises. Joan’s arm was in a black sling due to surgery on the ligaments in her arm, so keyboardist Kenny Laguna did double duty on guitar. Her drummer Thommy Price’s wife had had a baby the night before, so there was a highly competent replacement named Bryan on drums…Joan said it was his first time going through the complete set…all in all, an impressive “show must go on” attitude from Joan and her band.

After arriving on stage to the sounds of Blitzkrieg Bop, the band launched right into Bad Reputation, one of my all-time teenage favorites, followed by Cherry Bomb from Joan Jett’s girl band days with the Runaways. I struggled all night to remember the name of the girl band…was it Jailbait? Hello daddy, hello mom, I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb!

Despite the discomfort of her arm in the sling, Joan Jett brought the crowd to their feet with a couple of old favorites — Light of Day and Do Ya Wanna Touch (Oh Yeah). The band must have played most of the new album, The Sinner, which wasn’t half bad, incuding Change the World and a cover of The Replacements’ Androgynous…that one flashed me back to a bizarre year of Maddie’s pre-school that prominently featured a dad wearing a skirt!

The rest of the Joan Jett set list:
Five
Love Is Pain
Naked (from The Sinner)
Love Is All Around (the theme from Mary Tyler Moore show?)
Riddles (from The Sinner)
Fetish
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll
Crimson & Clover
I Hate Myself for Loving You…Joan called this one a “great dedication song” and while I remember those days (of Johnny Moneybags), I paused to reflect that I’m sure glad they’ve been over for the twelve years since Rex and I have been together.

Encores:
AC/DC, the first single from The Sinner…which brings me to those rumors about Joan Jett and Carmen Electra. According to Star Magazine, it comes out that Carmen may be into more ‘fun, girl stuff’ than she led people to believe. Having attended a concert of her close pal Joan Jett, the model was seen kissing, hugging and touching her in a way that could not be mistaken for a simple friendly greeting. “[They] got hot and heavy and they certainly were not trying to hide it. They were fully kissing and going at it. They were very physical with hugging and kissing and touching. It looked like the real thing for them - like they were totally in love,” a spy told the mag. The source’s claims may not be as unfounded as we might believe. A while ago, after starring in the video for Joan Jett’s cover of The Sweet’s ‘A.C.D.C’, a song about bisexuality, Carmen said: ‘”Remember the video where she comes out with a trench coat on and she opens up the trench coat and she’s wearing a bikini and then she’s rocking out with a guitar? She’s hot.” Joan Jett’s sexual orientation has been the subject of much speculation. Several of her songs have implied she is either bisexual or a lesbian. I remember our teenage whispers when she left the feminine pronouns in her cover of “Crimson and Clover.” However, Jett won’t publicly discuss her sexuality. She said: “But I do it in my music, and I always have. If you don’t know who I am from listening to my music, then you’re not going to figure it out from me talking to you, either.”

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts ended the show with a rockin’ cover of Everyday People, and we were out on the streets of Morristown by 10:10pm. Even though Joan Jett only performed for an hour and ten minutes, I didn’t feel like there were many songs we didn’t hear…maybe her cover of Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap), but I’ll challenge you to name one of your favorites that didn’t appear on tonight’s Joan Jett set list.

 

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