Joan Jett and the Blackhearts took the Stanislaus County Fair’s Bud Light Free Variety Stage by storm Saturday night, driving people wild and also showing a little softer side.
Towards the beginning of the band’s set, Joan Jett addressed the crowd asking them, “I mentioned earlier we’re from New York right?” talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and what it’s like to see disaster at home instead of on the news.
When you see it on television you say, “Man I feel so terrible for those people,” Jett explained. “But until you experience it you don’t really know.”
The crowd listened quietly to the rocker’s meaningful words as she went onto explain the potential for rising after tragedy.
At first everyone is shell shocked she said, but then something turns in people and everyone is saying, “Let’s get this going!”
Jett explained that when it comes down to it, we as people want to help each other, and that’s what gives her chills.
The band then performed her dedication song to the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, “Make it Back.”
After she shared such a personal moment with the audience, it was as if the crowd loved her even more. For all her black leather exterior they could see that inside she is a kind, determined person. And as for that black leather exterior? With the leather tank top and pants and the “Jett” black hair, Joan Jett is definitely one of those people you could swear doesn’t age.
One young fan was even in disbelief of the rock queen’s physical presence, exclaiming to her grandma, “Do you see that that’s Joan Jett and she’s right there? That’s Joan Jett, and she’s right there!”
The rest of the performance the band did a great job of mixing in huge hits amongst other favorites, keeping the crowd’s heads nodding and rock on signs up in the air to songs like, “Love is Pain,” “Hard to Grow Up,” “The French Song,” “Any Weather,” and the eternal anthem “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
To be sure, the strict seating arrangements at the Fair got a little wrecked that night at the Bud Light Variety Free Stage, as fans overwhelming crowded the pathways in between seats.
People were excited to see the rocker and her blackhearts, because Joan Jett knows what she is, and she is what she is.