Joan Jett and Huey Lewis Concert Review


Show Date: August 10, 2008
Location: Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.
Venue: Illinois State Fairgrounds Grandstand
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Websites:

Be still my heart – Joan Jett looks amazingly sexy for almost 50 years old.

I certainly don’t hate myself for loving her because the opening act performance exhibited by Joan Jett And The Blackhearts seemed more like that of a headliner.

All of my life I have wanted to see Huey Lewis And The News live. Laugh all you want fellow sleazeroxxers, but it’s true. As ingrained with Heavy Metal D.N.A as I am, there has just always been something about Huey that appeals to me. Maybe he appeals to me because that’s in fact what Huey Lewis And The News offers – mass appeal. In the great decade known as the 80’s it didn’t matter if you were 4 or 40; Huey Lewis‘ infectious pop hits appealed to everyone despite your age. And why shouldn’t they be enjoyed by everyone? Songs like The “Power Of Love”, “Hip To Be Square”, and “Heart Of Rock N Roll” had an old school rock and roll vibe updated with the pop hysteria of the 80’s.

Huey Lewis looked great and still played a mean harmonica and the entire band was top notch, but as entertaining as the show was, something was missing. Huey suffers to hit the high notes and therefore overtly shies away from the mic at the high times making it difficult to hear the lyrics. Perhaps the songs would be delivered better if he just sang the high notes lower, but still sang strong into the microphone. Despite his low singing moments, Lewis still ran around working the crowd in a comical fashion reminiscent of the bands quirky videos.

Quite a few Huey classics were left out of the less than 90 minute headlining set. “Hip To Be Square”, “Stuck With You”, “Bad Is Bad” and “Doin It All For My Baby” were all absent from the concert. Let’s put things in perspective; You’re Huey Lewis, you owe it to your audience to play the greatest hits they all know and love. The Who can get onstage and get away with leaving certain songs out, but Huey Lewis can’t. Why leave an adoring crowd only 75% fulfilled? With the addition of those four simple songs the crowd would have been overjoyed with the nostalgia they were seeking.

On the other hand, the unbelievingly attractive and youthful Joan Jett kicked arse and took control with her 60 minute opening set. Unlike Huey, Jett without a doubt fulfilled her contractual obligation to the fans by playing all of her staples incredibly. “Bad Reputation”, “Crimson & Clover”, “I Love Rock N Roll”, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, “Cherry Bomb” and “I Hate Myself For Loving You” were delivered loud, dirty and alluring in the Joan Jett trademark style and proved she sounds just as good as she did in the black and white days of MTV. Joan Jett even had the fans that were there strictly for “The Power Of Love” mesmerized and joining in during her sing along choruses.

Both bands gave a great show, but Joan Jett proved metal chicks age more gracefully.