Okay, I must admit I went begrudgingly to Jack’s Third Show with my friend Brad. It wasn’t the bands so much as the idea of driving down to Irvine… after an early day of Northwestern Football… 5-0 for the first time since 1962, baby!!! The line up… The Psychedelic Furs… okay, they have a few great songs… Twisted Sister, yeah, not so much… Fun, but silly… Blondie. Okay, I like Blondie. REO Speedwagon… I like their music, but my friend Brad plays them non-stop so I’ve hear it all… over and over and over… although, I have gotten him to a few Bruce shows and he now adds that into the mix. Billy Idol… yeah, I guess. Devo… I’ve never seen them before and even though the woman next to me told me they look like old, fat dads now, I was kind of excited to see them.
We get down to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre… formerly Irvine Meadows, and find a ton of booths and stands selling food and pricey drinks… but the parking was free… nice touch… and you were actually allowed to bring in one sealed bottle of water… we didn’t… and a baggie filled with food… didn’t do that either, so that’s our dumb fault. The first booth was for an Orange County Spa and I was all too happy to let the girl slather me with sunscreen… nope, did not bring that either.
The crowd was crazy eclectic and ranged from the very young, to our age of classic rockers, to a bit older. Lots of tattoos and lots of drunken, rebel yelling. And it was a little odd to see the two women in front of us getting their 60 year old moms stoned. But not too odd to see another young woman take her tube top down several times. Nice. I should have been a rocker!
The Furs were pretty good, except the vocal mix was off and the lyrics were hard to understand… and dang, they must have all been hot as they were all dressed in black. We both dug Richard Butler’s black jumpsuit. If only my mechanic could sing like that!
I wanted to walk around during Twisted Sister’s set and get some free shit that I did not need, but Brad convinced me to stay. And you know what… and get ready because I am going to curse here… I have no choice because that is what Dee Snider did… they were fucking awesome, and easily the highlight of the night. The drummer looks like he has seen a bit too much of the hard rock side of life, but Dee looked great, and when he said, “Not bad for fifty fuckin’ three years old” I nearly fell out of my seat. Man, I better get to the gym. They rocked hard and were having such a good time, you could not do anything other than rock right back and have a great time doing it. They also made a point of saying it was a no-cursing show… yeah, right with Dee at the mic. So in order to avoid arrest or at least make us all accessories (I think he was joking) Jay Jay made the crowd all shout “Oh Fuck” so we could join him in the slammer.
Blondie – After being a bit pitchy on her first number, she sounded great for the rest of the set.
REO – Always good and they did all their hits… although, I could easily skip a few of the new songs. And Kevin loses me when he gets preachy. His out of breath, talking falsetto lacks the resonance it needs to be taken seriously.
Billy Idol – Definitely had the most people on the sides of the stage to watch him, and he and the guitarist Steve Stevens definitely rocked. And yes, a bra made it’s way on stage, which he used to wipe off some sweat and then toss back to it’s very happy owner.
Devo – You know, they were the headliners and most of the crowd started leaving as they came on. That was rude. Although, I have to say… they did look like fat dads, and while it is hard to deny the musical prowess and the genius of Mark Mothersbaugh… after Whip It, we decided to hit the road, too… along with what seemed like a mass exodus. I felt kinda bad, but we were exhausted and still had an hour and a half ride ahead of us. And it seems they would have been a better fit after Blondie. Ah well. You can’t always get no… satisfaction. Hey, hey, hey…
All in all, it was a great day… and yes, Twisted Sister was fucking great. Man, it feels good to toss out a few F-bombs.