NOT EVEN MOTHER NATURE CAN STOP ROCK ‘N’ ROLL! – Concert Review By: Janel Spiegel

Concert Review By: Janel Spiegel

Styx and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at MUSIKFEST 2018

August 3, 2018 at Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza Musikfest 2018

What a way to start Musikfest. If you attended the Styx and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts concert, you know that even Mother Nature appreciates Rock ‘N’ Roll. She wanted to be part of the show. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opened the show. Joan Jett is forever a legend. The Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza Musikfest was packed. The crowd was thrilled and energetic. Musikfest was prepared and ready for two of the biggest rock bands ever. Not even the rain could stop the Rock N Roll. The crowd was mostly prepared except for myself and a few others who seemed to just embrace the rain. As I walked into Musikfest and Steel Stacks, I spotted 99.9 The Hawk, ABC News, Service Electric stands and more. There are tons of food and drink stands. They had a merchandise stand set up for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Styx.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts started off with “Victim of Circumstance.” Joan Jett didn’t waste any time. They started off right away and she thanked the audience and she thanked us for staying in the rain. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are Joan Jett, Thommy Price, Dougie Needles and Kenny Laguna who told a few stories about how they started the record label, Blackheart Records Group and the new Joan Jett documentary, ‘Bad Reputation’ hits theaters and video on demand September 28, 2018.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts sang everything from “Bad Reputation” which was just amazing to hear live. The crowd went crazy. She sang her legendary hits, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” which is an anthem. That song is one of the greatest songs ever made. They rocked MUSIKFEST! Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are just as cool, punk rock and amazing as when they first appeared on the music scene. It was also incredible to hear Joan Jett briefly talk about The Runaways and she sang, “Cherry Bomb” and “Soulmates to Strangers.” She did “Fake Friends.” She also sang the cover of Tommy James & the Shondells, “Crimson & Clover” and the crowd was so happy.

Also, everyone around me was laughing, having fun. Concerts bring people together. You could have the worst day ever and you meet the best, most fun people at concerts. The couple next to me was so cute offering the group around us and me some of the snacks they picked up from one of the food vendors. (in the midst of dancing, singing and the pouring down rain, I lost my AMAZING, JOAN JETT bandana!!!)

The crowd was having fun and the couple in front of me were too funny. Because of the rain, a lot of people had ponchos that a lot of the vendors were selling. Those of us that did not have ponchos did not seem to mind. It was a modern day Woodstock.

Back to Joan Jett. She closed her part of the show with “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and a cover by Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People.” Joan Jett and the Blackhearts killed it. They rocked!

There was a bit of an intermission. Not much. They took down Joan Jett’s set and started setting up for Styx right away. Styx had a cool background and there was not much of a wait. They started off with “Gone Gone Gone” and then moved into “Blue Collar Man,” “Lady” (everyone was singing), “Crystal Ball” and the band explained the choices and thanked Bethlehem and the audience. They thanked us again for staying in the rain. One of the most beautiful, surreal moments and I have been to a lot of concerts was Styx singing, “Man in the Wilderness” while it rained. It was almost peaceful, beautiful and if you are a “Supernatural” fan, you know that song has a lot of significance to the “Supernatural” #SPNFamily so thank you for singing that song! (Dean Winchester and Sam are smiling somewhere.)

Photos by: Kimberly Kanuck

Styx is James “JY” Young, Tommy Shaw, Chuck Panozzo, Todd Sucherman, Lawrence Gowan and Ricky Phillips. This band still has it. The crowd was thrilled. It was packed and people were just so into the songs.

The amazing lead vocals and keyboard playing master, Lawrence Gowan was awesome. He was spinning the keyboard around and each one of them had their own thing going. You can tell they definitely love this so much. Also, one of the greatest things happen. During a short intermission, Lawrence came out and started playing keyboard and he did an incredible version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the piano in which he had all of us sing along and we did. We rocked it! Styx also performed, “Miss America,” “The Outpost,” “Too Much Time on My Hands” (The audience had a blast singing and clapping along!) “Khedive,” “Come Sail Away” and of course there was the return to of “Mr. Roboto” finally making its way back to the Styx setlist after years of its absence. It was the greatest!

But, could Styx, top themselves with the encore!? You BET THEY DID! The skies opened up and Mother Nature said, LET’s ROCK ‘N’ ROLL and the rain came down and after every person there seemed to be having as much fun as possible. They took a moment and you heard one of the best songs EVER start. “Renegade” started and you heard the legendary lyrics. “Oh Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law.” They continued singing and Mother Nature gave us one of the greatest shows ever. It was so much fun, I don’t even think people cared about the “typhoon” as one of the band members joked that “not even a typhoon could keep us away.” He was indeed right! This concert was incredible. Musikfest always has so many talented acts, but these two bands are ROCK ‘N’ ROLL! The make history each time they make music, sing a song or perform a concert.

The audience made it and we were the “the renegade who had it made.” Make sure to check out Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Styx and the Musikfest website for everything happening from August 3rd to August 12th!