Heart, Joan Jett & Cheap Trick Trifecta

Artist, Concert, Music, Photography

A trifecta of Rock N Roll Royalty reigned down on St Louis. Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, and Heart all on the same bill, what more could a girl ask for?

All rock legends that have earned their well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I feel so blessed to have seen all three of these legendary performers; the icing on the cake was that it was in one too short of an evening.

Cheap Trick was the first act to take the stage, and they did not disappoint. They played all of their well-known classics… Surrender, I Want You to Want Me, Dream Police, along with When I Wake Up Tomorrow from their recently released album, Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello. Robin Zander’s voice was as strong as ever which has the crowd amazed. Rick Neilson threw out handfuls of guitar picks to gracious fans. Neilson’s custom guitar choices are always showstoppers; the iconic black and white checkered Hamer Standard is my favorite. In addition to the high energy performance of the band, the sign language interpreters were putting on an entertaining show. Their enthusiasm was absolutely infectious.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts exploded the stage with Cherrybomb. Joan, clad in her all black leather ensemble, looked amazing with her contrasting white Gibson Melody Maker in hand! Joan gave a shout out to her close friend Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and co-collaborator on Any Weather. The audience was longing for more and Joan & Co. didn’t hesitate to deliver. They ripped through their catalog of hits to include, Bad Reputation, Do You Wanna Touch Me, and I Love Rock & Roll. Beautiful renditions of Everyday People and Crimson & Clover  were added to the setlist for good measure. Finishing with I Hate Myself for Loving You, had the crowd primed and ready to keep rocking the night away. It’s hard to believe Joan is 57; she rocked the stage with the spirit of a young teen performing with The Runaways. After Joan’s stage departure, I couldn’t decide if I had found my new idol or newest girl crush.

Up next, the ladies of Heart decided to blast us with Wildchild and it was quite evident we were in store for quite a show. The stage dynamic of Ann & Nancy Wilson together is truly magical. The voices of angels with the power to rock! Ann’s mystical vocals and stage presence had the audience spellbound. Nancy’s guitar solos were played with absolute precision, and I among others were in total awe of her ability. So many hits to perform in limited time. Included were, Straight On, Kick It Out, Crazy On You, Barracuda, and Jump, a track from the recent release of Beautiful Broken. Magic Man was the one to shut it down, and the ladies did exactly that. I have been a fan of this group for over three decades, and I feel so grateful to have been able to experience the insane talents of these beautifully gifted women.

I’m very thankful to have seen this Rock Hall Three For All! I can officially check this one off of the bucket list with complete satisfaction and would strongly encourage everyone else to do the same.

Breaking Benjamin

Artist, Concert, Music, Photography

Patiently waiting for the band to hit the stage, the unexpected booming sound of canons firing white streams of smoke into the air, was a pretty decent indicator that a kick ass rock show was officially underway! Talk about making a statement, it was full throttle from that point forward. The thunderous opener of “Breath” seriously took my breath away. The vocal ranges were dynamic and the band performed like a well-oiled machine. The audience was seriously amped as they played hit after hit and mixed in a few cover songs. Most notably, Nirvana’s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Ben claimed Nirvana to be the most influential band of his time; his inspiration. 

Grateful for the massive amount of fans in attendance, Ben spoke of the band’s humble beginnings when they barely had an audience. It was nearly 15 years ago that Breaking Ben first performed in St. Louis; after viewing a line of people that seemed to stretch for what seemed to be an eternity, he questioned whether or not the band was at the correct venue. He claims that night will be forever etched into his memory. A cherished moment when you realize your long, faithful journey is in the process of transforming into something that you’ve only dreamt of. I’m proud that Ben will forever have such fond memories of my hometown St. Louis. 

In honor of the recent violence against police officers, Ben was wearing a blue ribbon as a symbol of remembrance. A maniacal performance of “I Will Not Bow” was dedicated to all that serve and protect our country. The lyrics are powerful and assertive and it was an excellent song choice for the dedication. I truly believe lyrical artists have a genuine gift to bring our world together, if only the masses would open their eyes and pay attention to the message. The ability to write a song that has the power to touch people’s lives is truly a God given talent. An art of self-expression gifted to society that allows us to grow together and has the ability to unite us as a human race. To make this world more loving and accepting instead of a divided society full of hatred for one another based on irrelevant factors.

“The Diary of Jane” shut this high energy show down with a vengeance. This was a killer, hard rocking show with excellent stage visuals. Thank you Breaking Benjamin for giving it all you had and using your voices to unite rather than divide.