CONCERT REVIEW: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Rock Out at Clearfield Fair

By Mark Kolash for 

CLEARFIELD – Dressed in classic black, Joan Jett stepped up to the mic and her adoring rock fans erupted Saturday night at the grandstand stage at the Clearfield County Fair.  With a few guitar chords, she instantly took command of the stage with “Bad Reputation” from 1980.

Jett’s second song was The Runaways’ classic hit, “Cherry Bomb.” She continued her old-school rock storm with “Do You Wanna Touch Me?” The hard rocker reminded her fans that it was important to breathe while singing “yeah … oh yeah.”

“TMI,” (as in too much information) a track from the 2013 studio album, Unvarnished, was the crowd’s first taste of Jett’s newer rock material.  After that she rocked out another Unvarnished track, “Soulmates.”

As the sky turned black as the hard rocker’s attire, Jett’s charisma and energy escalated on stage with, “You Drive Me Wild.” And then it was time for “Make It Back” by Jett with the Blackhearts.

The classic rock sound took Jett’s fans back to the 1980’s with a New York City club feeling. Although the song is new material, it has the classic Jett rock feel, which continued with “Fragile” and “Love is Pain.”

Stage lighting and simplicity took over for “Hard to Grow Up,” a beautifully touching song about taking responsibility in life. However, it didn’t take long for Jett to ooze out her sex appeal with “The French Song.”

When Jett stood at her mic, fans shouted, “I love you, Joan.”  She shared that her song, “Any Weather” from Unvarnished, was co-written by Dave Grohl.  Jett was in pure perfection and left fans in a state of chill. But that was all about to change.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts kicked it up with “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” During this performance, fans danced, clapped and belted out the lyrics with the hard rockers up on stage before them.

And, the rock group’s performance got better with fans being taken to a completely different place. There was the sound of drumsticks, a vocal “ah,” the downward walking guitars and a bass drum double kick. It was “Crimson and Clover.” Fans joined hands, hugged each other and simply rocked out.

The roaring guitar didn’t end until the hard rockers finished their set with “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” The end of the rock show was momentary because with a cheer, there’s an encore, kicking off with “Reality Mentality” and “Wild Child;” it ended with a “feel good” moment during “Everyday People.”

Editor’s Note: Photographer Mark Kolash would like to thank Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and their management team for permitting him to capture an “amazing show” with his camera. He says, “It wasn’t just another show at a county fair, it was a Bucket List experience.”

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