Joan Jett and the Black Hearts shine at the Kentucky State Fair with Devour the Day.

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Devour the Day and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were scheduled to close the Kentucky State Fair concert series. However, a massive storm washed out their show. This year, under a picture perfect Kentucky Sky, Devour the Day and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts came back for another try, this time resulting in a magical evening.

Local radio station, 95.7 WQMF, disc jockey Charlie Steele greets the largest crowd of the entire fair season kicking off the night’s festivities. Memphis-based Devour the Day take the stage, starting their set with “Respect,” the opening track off their 2013 debut album, Time and Pressure, which immediately grabbed everyone’s attention. Their hard driving, hard rock set rolls right into “Blackout” and “Get Out Of My Way,” which everyone enjoys.

Taking a quick breather between songs, guitarist David Hoffman pauses a moment to snap a panoramic photo of the crowd. He says he plans to post it on his “Myspace” site (actually, it is on the band’s Facebook page). The guys are clearly enjoying themselves, taking in the energy of the crowd and the great evening; they were all smiles on stage.

Launching into the last half of their set, Devour the Day perform “Move On” and “Handshakes To Fist Fights.” The later features a great line, “I ain’t going out like that!”

Devour the Day perform two final songs; they play the band’s newest single “Faith” and close with their hit single “Good Man”. Before the group exited the stage, they announce they will be at the merch booth to meet fans, take pictures, and sign autographs, which is always great to see. Devour the Day is Joey “Chicago” Walser (bass, backing vocals), Blake Allison (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ronnie Farris (drums), and David Hoffman (guitar).

As the house lights drop, the roar from the crowd signals time for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts to take their place at the front of the State Fair stage. After a quick minute to get situated, Joan Jett catapults into their opening songs; fan favorites “Bad Reputation,” the classic Runaway’s song “Cherry Bomb,” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

With the crowd now revved up, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts don’t let up. They perform a number of their classic hits along with some newer songs, including “TMI,” “You Drive me Wild,” “Fragile,” and the Bruce Springsteen-penned staple, “Light of Day” (from the 1987 film of the same name).

As the evening proceeds, the band seems to be having a blast; there are smiles everywhere, and Joan winks at the occasional fan in the crowd with whom she happens to make eye contact. More than halfway thru their set, Joan Jett treats everyone to performances of “Fake Friends” from their third studio album; “Any Weather,” co-written with Dave Grohl; “I Love Rock and Roll,” the classic rock anthem; and the Tommy James and the Shondells cover, “Crimson and Clover,” where many were sing along without much prompting. Joan Jett ended their main set with the ever-popular anthem, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts close the incredible evening with an encore of “Different” and “Wild Child.” They close with their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” which many in attendance sing along to. It is a great fan moment and the perfect way to end this evening of rock from a Hall of Fame singer and band.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are Joan Jett, Thommy Price, Dougie Needles, Hal B. Selzer and Kenny Laguna.


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
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Devour The Day
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Kentucky State Fair
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