CONCERT REVIEW: A Great Party with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at Stir

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts perform on Friday, May 27, 2022 in Council Bluffs, Iowa (Photo by David Taylor)

BY DAVID TAYLOR | Go Venue Magazine

On May 27, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts played Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs. Joan Jett has been leading the charge of women in rock ever since the Runaways formed up. Since then, she has albums that have gone gold and platinum and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. What a perfect act to kick off Memorial Day weekend!

You can never go wrong with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts because they are straight-up, pure, no-frills rock n’ roll. They kick off their set with “Victim of Circumstance” off I Love Rock ’nRoll, and we were off to the races! The crowd seem appreciative to have her back in town. It was a concert full of good vibes. I am still impressed by Joan’s incredible guitar playing and Dougie Needles’s guitar playing, just knows how to groove and solo when allowed. I want to shout out to keyboardist Kenny Laguna, who has been collaborating with Joan for over forty years, even having a storied music career since the late 1960s. He told this story about selling records with Joan from the back of his car because every record company wouldn’t want to work with her, which inspired the song “Fake Friends”. She ended the main set with the sing-along classic, “I Hate Myself for Loving You”. The shocker of the night came from not necessarily an encore, but a full-on acoustic set, in conjunction with their all-acoustic album featuring acoustic versions of her songs that came out in March, Changeup. It was an interesting way to end a concert, but I was here for it. I’m so glad Joan Jett is still getting her flowers for leading the charge of women to rock. You’d love to see it.

All photos by David Taylor
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