Nobody sits down during a Joan Jett show.
It’s high-energy rock that brings fans to their feet and admiration for a woman who has truly been rocking out for almost 40 years. Even the most casual of fans will recognize Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ 1982 hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.” The song spent seven weeks at No. 1, and even more than 30 years later people can sing along with the iconic lyrics. “Singing I love rock and roll, so put another dime in the jukebox,baby. I love rock and roll, so come and take your time and dance with me.”
Jett began her career in 1975 as a founding member of the all-girl punk rock band “The Runaways.” One of the more famous songs from the group is “Cherry Bomb.” After The Runaways disbanded in 1979, Jett spent a few years pursuing a solo career before placing an ad in the L.A. Weekly “looking for a few good men.” These men would form the Blackhearts, and their first hit would be “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.” The song is No. 65 on Billboard Magazine’s list of songs of all time. Other hits and sold-out tours followed. In 2003, Jett was named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. This was quite an honor considering only one other woman, Joni Mitchell, made the list at that time.
In April, Jett was the first woman to win Revolver Magazine’s Golden God Award. With multiple nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including 2012 and 2013, it is most likely just a matter of time before Joan Jett and the Blackhearts achieve this honor, too.
I saw Joan Jett when she came to downtown Raleigh in 2009. It was a high-energy show and truly nobody sat down. In honor of her return visit to the N.C. State Fair, I offer the following advice to prepare for the show:
- Download a few classic Joan Jett and the Blackhearts songs to your iPod. I would recommend my favorite, “Crimson and Clover,” or other hits such as “Love Hurts,” “Bad Reputation,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You ” and, of course, the classic “I Love Rock N Roll.” You also might check out newer songs such as “TMI” or “Hard to Grow Up,” which have the same energy and edginess of her classics.
- Rent “The Runaways,” this biographical film about the all-girl rock band. Jett was one of the executive producers. Actress Kristen Stewart played the young Joan Jett.
- Right before the show, get a good night’s sleep, have an energy drink, or at least a cup of coffee, and come to Dorton Arena ready to ROCK.
Tickets to see Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are $15 each, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.