Friday, August 26, 2011

ZZ Top, Joan Jett Rock Marine Museum

Despite bombardment by hail and thunderstorms earlier in the day, the Calvert Marine Museum’s Summer Concert Series featuring rockers Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and ZZ Top opened to sunshine this past Sunday.
Without hesitation, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts started off the night with the song “Bad Reputation.”
Clad in a studded black leather leotard, Jett moved around stage, communicating with the audience through winks, smiles and waves while performing a multitude of songs spanning her career.
Although most of her set focused on her work with the Blackhearts, a handful of other songs were incorporated. Jett noted that her first band, The Runaways, originated in Rockville and in memoriam played a few of their songs, including “Cherry Bomb” and the first song they recorded, “You Drive Me Wild.” Another song performed by the Blackhearts that was not their own was a cover of Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
Sam and Liz Rider of Lexington Park won tickets to the concert through local radio personalities. Of Jett, they said, “She was right on with how she sounds on her albums.”
ZZ Top’s entrance incorporated a smoke machine, multicolored track lights and lights inside the drum kit, making it more of a production than Jett’s. Beginning with “Give it Up,” ZZ Top started its portion of the show by playing through three straight songs without stopping.
Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill transitioned through several sets of guitars during the duration of the show, including their recognizable white, feathered pair. Choreographed two-step moves and guitar sways marked Gibbons and Hill’s stage presence. Although Hill occasionally did small tricks with his guitar, neither he nor Gibbons performed his famous guitar spin.
Following the Blackhearts’ lead, ZZ Top played a gravely version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” with Gibbons on lead vocals. The band’s set ended with the hit “Legs.” However, the band returned for an encore performance of a medley of “La Grange” and “Tush.”
Lisa Smallwood, who had seen Jett perform 34 times previously, said, “Both groups were amazing. They played longer than I had expected, too.”
“The fact that they’re near 70 and still rocking is pretty amazing,” Ryan James said.
Throughout the night, barbecue, pizza and beer were made available for purchase around the premises.
Attending a show at the Calvert Marine Museum for the first time, Sandy Breweny said, “The venue had great seats all around, and was very easy to access.”
Her friend and fellow St. Mary’s County resident, Sharon Phipps, said, “ZZ Top was fantastic. They sound the same as they did 25 years ago.”
The Calvert Marine Museum’s next concert is Oct. 21, and will be showcasing Gordon Bok.

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