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July 01, 2007

6/28/07: The Dollyrots, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Just got home, and all I can say is…Joan Jett rocks! In a world where pop princesses somehow reign supreme, thank goodness this 80’s icon is still going strong. I’ll admit, I didn’t know what to expect when Billboard gave me this first assignment, as punk/indie rock isn’t usually my thing, but hearing classics like “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah),” “Love is Pain,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and one of my faves “Crimson and Clover,” reminded me of how many JJ songs I grew up on and love…and how much fun a good ole rock ‘n roll show is.


Die hard fans had already secured themselves in front of the stage by the time I arrived, but I managed to squeeze myself up to the front, albeit on the side, for a good amount of the show. Despite the initial rainy weather, Pier 54 was packed with all sorts of fans, from older veterans to the pierced/tattooed to those not even born yet when JJ was first topping the charts. Probably the best quote of the night was when she yelled out to us:  “Good. You’re all rowdy & wet, just like I like ‘em.” Not like this NYC crowd needed any riling up! “Five” and “Riddles” are definitely two of the best live ones off of the new disc. Signature raspy voice and hard-core guitar riffs aplenty, JJ definitely knows how to put on a kick-a** show. She looked like she was having just as good of a time as the rest of us…thrusting and dancing on stage and even smiling for some of the camera phones a few times. Ending with a cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” was definitely a highlight for me. I’m psyched that I got to catch this show. Had such a great time!

  Set List:   Bad Reputation   Cherry Bomb   Light of Day   Touch   Change The World   Androgynous   Five   Love Is Pain   Naked   MTM   Riddles   Fetish   I Love R&R   Crimson   Hate__________________   AC/DC   Everyday People       Now on to the Dollyrots, who I was lucky enough to hang out with for a bit after their set.


Due to the stormy-looking skies, performance times got pushed up a bit, so when I arrived at Pier 54 a little before 8:00, the Dollyrots were nearing the end of their set. I got there just in time to hear Kelly (their lead singer) yell out that there was a dog up on the stage…looking like he was having a great time…as well as the trio’s last two tunes. Fortunately, I was able to make up for missing their punky/pop set by interviewing Kelly backstage! This girl is super sweet and really down to earth. I couldn’t believe how willing she was to plop down on a couch and chat with me…I felt like I was hanging out with one of my girlfriends! She told me that after meeting Luis (Cabezas) in 8th grade and having him teach her how to play guitar (she got her first one on her 16th b-day), the two knew they were destined for a rock & roll future together. Kelly met Joan Jett on the Warped Tour last year and, like most star-struck fans, she said she was petrified when she came face to face with her. She was still giddy when telling me about it a year later—“OMG, it was Joan Jett!” Unlike most of us though, who probably never get the chance to meet our idols, Kelly has now been taken under the wing of her icon. She said the Blackhearts are like a big family, and she feels like she’s “being taken care of”—Joan even comes out to do vocal warm-ups with her before shows! “To have an idol validate what you do—there’s nothing better!” Well…maybe getting to join JJ on stage for “Bad Reputation” would be a close second.   Tonight was “the weirdest show” Kelly’s ever played, due to the fact that her ENTIRE family was in the crowd. I mean…parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, boyfriends and girlfriends of cousins…you name it, they were there. She wasn’t even nervous though. In fact, she said she felt fantastic knowing they were watching her do her thing. I’m sure they were more than proud! We said goodbye as Kelly realized that JJ & the BH were almost done, because she wanted her dad to get a chance to watch the show from the stage before it was over…..aw! After chatting with Kelly, I was even more disappointed that I missed her complete set. I will definitely go see the Dollyrots when they come back to NYC, and I’ll be hoping they throw “17” into the set list. “I’m loving this song live,” she told me, “because I mean every word of it. I imagine screaming it at the person the song is about.”



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Sounds like a great show! Wish i was there.


Good job! Really enjoyed the blog. Love JJ and it was great how Kelly from Dollyrots gave you a personal interview to share with us. Sounds like a girl who appreciates her good fortune. Thanks.

Meredith Hanson

Wow! What a great way to kick off the summer! Please think of your little round friend while enjoying the music!

Margie v

Way to Blog! I am totally jealous that you got to see Joan Jett, she does indeed rock. I loved her in the stage show of Rocky Horror as Magneta, I believe. Older veterans like me don't have the clearest of memories. I do remember that she was HOT!!

Margie v

BTW, I love the photos! And I had a typo, MAGENTA not Magneta


Wish i was there...sounded great. Thanks for the review

Randi Simon

Way to go! Great recap of the show...wish I was there. I love a little JJ.


You rock! Sounds like a blast. Happy Blogging.

Marc H.

Those pictures are nuts. You are so close to the stage it looks like you are the one performing and looking out at the crowd. Let me know when you are going to a Busta Rhymes concert - that's more up my alley!

Jody W

What an awesome show! Can't wait to hear about the next one!


Sounds like a blast!!! This sounnds like an assignment that was made for you! Can't wait to read the next one

randi p

what a blast from the past. great to know JJ is still going strong. made me feel like I was there!!!


Sounds like fun! I Love Rock n' Roll has always been one of my favorites......


Leslie LOVES rock & roll...now put another dime in the jukebox BABY! Rock on Les.

Megan R

Great blog, Leslie! I felt like I was at the concert. This is an awesome summer project!!


Sounds like a great time, and totally makes me feel so old! Love the 80's!


You have truly found your calling! It's even better than "traveling with the band!!" Happy concert going, Les!


Sounds like a great time. I forgot all about Crimson & Clover.


Felt like i was at the show, with that blog! Hearing your enthusiasm gives me the concert bug! Way to go, Les! You are the best (wo)man for the job!


Good to see that Joan Jett isn't on life-support and can still rock a crowd!

Also, this has to be the best summer "job" ever! Congratulations and relish every moment.

Maybe you'll even get to see Duran Duran this summer (Ross would be extremely proud!)

Lindsay S.

What a great show and great review! Makes me want to pull out some JJ and rock out. Thanks for sharing.

Jack L.

As a certified member of the geezer rock crowd, got a real kick out of this nostalgic journey. Thanks Les, keep on rockin in the free world -- or something like that


This was awesome! I felt like I was right there at the concert with you. From the moody weather to the rockin tunes, I could almost hear Joan shout, "Good! You're all rowdy and wet! Just like I like 'em!" Rock on, Leslie! Keep us in the rock n roll groove!


no crimson & clover?

Laurie K

Wow-you landed quite the GIG. By the end of the summer you will have opened my eyes to something more then R&B. GREAT JOB Les!

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