Joan Jett could have fizzled out after becoming a teen-punk icon with the Runaways in the late '70s, or disappeared after hitting it even bigger in the '80s with such anthems as "I Love Rock 'N Roll." But her new album, "Pure and Simple," proves Jett and her band, the Blackhearts, to be a resilient force in rock, regardless of the climate.
Thursday, she and her three band mates seemed just as enthusiastic about playing in the intimate setting of the Roxy as they were in the arenas they packed a decade ago.
The thin and muscular Jett slapped down rough and raw vocals, hissing the Runaways' classic "Cherry Bomb" early in the hour-plus set. She interjected her infamous "OWWS!" into songs frequently, shaking her black hair and breaking into wide grins as fans shouted along to the lyrics.
Some audience members held up old Runaways records for Jett to sign, others pumped their fists in '80s metal style, while still others sang the words to all her new songs.
The music was solid and steady, tried and true, losing momentum on only a few slower ballads that wilted in the sweltering heat.
At times Jett and her band sounded dated, and her music didn't take a whole lot of chances, but she still came off as exciting through sheer sweat and dedication, justifying her status as an inspiration for a whole new crop of female rockers.