Written by Eddie Ferranti
May 02, 2009 at 06:00 PM
ImageJoan Marie Larkin, aka Joan Jett, has been a force in rock/pop music since the ripe old age of 15.  Some of the best tags she’s been given is the “Godmother of Punk” and thee “Original Riot Grrrrrrl”.  Whatever it is she can still bring home the bacon as she displayed this beautiful evening at the Sam Houston Race Park’s Showcase concert series.

Busting out on stage in a tight ass black leather outfit,  JJ looked in top form.  It was not long before she was glistening in her trademark sweaty hue rockin’ the stage down. Joanie displayed thee endurance of an athelete and still had some smokin’ hot pipes to churn out the hits, which were plenty.   I’ve been a follower of hers from way back. To show testimony to that I donned my 1988 bandana that I picked up on her “Little Lies” tour at the Agora back in the day in H-Town. How ’bout dem apples??

“Bad Reputation” kicked off this show and it rolled from there.  Gems like “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” and  “Crimson and Clover” just built up a tide of emotion that was very cool indeed.  Like I stated earlier, Jett’s vast vocal range is intact after all these years of growling. Hitting the Big 5- OH has not slowed this pepper pot down a bit.  Ever since she broke out on her own in 1979 (leaving the chick band the Runaways) she has been her own boss if you will.

She’s backed up by a bunch of twenty somethings now and she is still firmly in charge.  Girl passed out her latest CD “Sinner” for FREE at the gate as you came in.  Neato.   “Fetish” was the nasty cut she slashed thru from that CD.  It won’t be another of her eight platinum and gold albums to date, but I thought that was a nice gesture. The tunes that really got me going were the scorching hot Springsteen cut “Light of Day” and “Do Ya Wanna Touch Me”, which had the crowd joining in on the “Theyahs and the Whereyahs”  !!!

Another stalwart was “I Hate Myself for Loving You” complete with JJ doing her patented growls at all the right moments.  Girl did an old fashioned 3 song encore instead of the one song you get from most touring bands these days- if that!  Jett’s hard-edged, hard beat-driven rhythms never get old with this reviewer.  Anybody who looks and sounds this good since 1975 is alright in my book!

As far as thee other 3 bands who played this day, only the San Antonio based lady band “Girl in a Coma” got my attention. And did they.  These women rocked big time for a 3 piece squad!  I definitely put them on my radar for future glimpses. As far as the opening band, “The Crisis” out of Houston, they suffered from having volume way too loud. They tore off a nice Queen cover, but most of it was non-descript loud stuff. The main let down of the day was the “Smithereens”. They were billed as the 2nd band on the bill, but when they showed up SECOND in line I was like what is going on?!  Lead singer weighs like 500lbs and the whole band seemed a bit disinterested to me. Bummer.  I dug them in the 80’s and they just seem to be collecting a check.

I could not finish this review without tipping my hat to the “stable” of ladies at SHRP who make it all happen.  Sara Pfeiffer,  Mandy Love and super sweet Gina Rotolo got it together and make it happen smoothly everytime. Plus a special thanks, too to Emily Madison who has been a backer of HMR from the beginning.  God Bless y’all and we’ll see you a lot this summer!
Peace and LIVE music, Edge