The punk princess showed Reno Tuesday night at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino that her passion and power for what she does would prevail through the night and it did. Her raw, gritty voice retraced old favorites like "Do You Wanna Touch Me" and introduced her new material from her latest album, "Sinner."
The set opener "Bad Reputation" was welcomed wildly (in their seats) by the young and old.
It was after that first song, which set an effervescent tone for the
rest of the concert, that Jett briefly said she would be confined to a
stool as long as she used her guitar. Jett shared she had surgery a
few months ago and the doctor originally told her no concerts.
But that couldn't keep her down. Performing is like oxygen to the
woman who's only one of two female guitarists to make it on Rolling
Stone's top 100 guitarists of all time. And she occasionally savored
the freedom to move around – but only as long as a guitar wasn't in
But anyone who knows Jett knows she's too attached to her guitar. So, in utter
defiance, Jett gave another crowd-pleaser with "Cherry Bomb" set to
red spotlights, one of a few the crowd shouted along with, waving
The musical talent and enthusiasm on the stage kept everyone's toes
tapping, if even they felt the slightest bit inhibited. Jett's sound
was backed up with an intense, fresh sound from younger Blackhearts
lead guitarist Dougie Needles and bass player Enzo Penizzotto as well
as the keepers of the punk-rock spirit, the veteran band members,
drummer Thommy Price and keyboardist Kenny Laguna, who is an original member of the band Tommy James and the Shondells.
Laguna would occasionally shake a tambourine while Penizzotto worked hard at the microphone and bass. Price was the necessary underbelly of the beat, keeping it going.
Needles, whose stand-up hair stakes claim for his name, riffed with
energy and played off Jett's own talent, especially at one point when
it seemed they were dueling of sorts and he passed coy winks to her.
Penizzotto was the crowd encourager, often waving upwards to get the hesitant crowd of three generations to awaken from their lull. It was a difficult job, but someone had to do it to make it a true concert.
There was never much conversation from Jett in between the songs,
except to explain her newer "Sinner" songs, which included a cover of the Replacements' "Androgynous" and "Naked." But there was no need otherwise. The audience just wanted to rock out and by the end of the concert, just as they were starting to loosen up – lo and behold – about 50 percent of the people shot up for Jett's signature song, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."
Jett stuck to her promise of staying comfortable in the stool but her
final act of rebellion was when she started up "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"
and built up the excitement everyone was waiting for patiently. It was a burst of liberation to do the wrong thing.
"Damn! That felt good!" she said at the end to screaming and wild applause.
"I'm telling the doctor," Laguna quipped to Jett about breaking away
from her chair.
But even after Jett's famous piece, more voices were raised at the
following "Crimson and Clover" and Jett's smile turned brighter.
Finally, "I Hate Myself for Loving You" provoked everyone instinctively out of their seats.
The call for an encore said it all as she finished with "AC-DC," "A
Hundred Feet Away" and a cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People."
Jett's guitar infatuation makes her good, for sure, but her personality and grittiness are what make her truly great.
The best remedy for Jett at this point? To keep on rockin'.