Oh, my friends, last night Mr. R. and I enjoyed an amazing date night three-fer. We attended the last performance of the Rock Hall Three for All Tour, featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Heart. It was, to say the least, incredible!
Mr. R. is a huge fan of Cheap Trick, who were, in fact, the first concert he ever attended. They came out first and rocked it with a full set of around fifteen songs, including all our favorites. Not bad for a band whose lead singer, Robin Zander, is 63. Keeping the energy high was Rick Nielsen, age 67, in spite of the fact that it was a sweltering September night in South Florida in which the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater felt more like a sauna than a concert venue.
Of all the Cheap Trick songs, I had forgotten about this one, The Flame. It was as beautiful last night as it was nearly 30 years ago.
After Cheap Trick was my personal favorite and hero, Joan Jett, the baby of the group at age 58. She came out kicking ass with Bad Reputation, and this video is from the tour. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again–when I grow up, I want to be Joan Jett.
Last to perform was Heart, who we nearly missed. Friday nights are actually Mr. R.’s Sunday nights–he hits Saturday and Sunday with 12-hour shifts as a steely-eyed newsman. We were in agreement. Heart is nice background music. Maybe we could afford to sneak out and get home at a reasonable time.
Seated next to us was a couple of Heart’s biggest fans who’d seen the Tampa gig the night before and they decided they’d drive across the state for one show more before they headed back to Lakeland. The wife helpfully informed me that when Joan Jett had started playing the previous night, she recognized some of the songs. How cute are you? I thought.
Our new friends really wanted us to like Heart, and we stayed for most of their set, leaving before we got stuck in the parking lot for 5 hours (it’s happened before, believe me). In spite of my Scotch-Irish stubbornness (never tell me who I have to like), I found Heart exceptional. The Wilson sisters, Ann, age 66, and Nancy, age 62, brought the house down. You know how aging rock stars tend to cut corners on their boldest, highest notes? Not Heart. Ann attacked those bits with gusto, and Mr. R. and I were super impressed. Here’s a clip from 10 days ago. Amazing!
So I know the tour is over. But I’m telling you, when you get the chance, you should see any or all of these acts. Yes, including Heart. Because you never know when you’ll get the opportunity again.
Have a very happy Saturday night!