Four songs come to mind that define my first year in college: “Candy” by Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson, “Love Shack” by the B-52s, “Groove is in the Heart” by Deelite, and “Joey” by Concrete Blonde. I remember sitting around the Pink House (where I lived) with my fraternity brothers singing “Joey” at the top of our lungs. Concrete Blonde is back together to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their eponymous 1990 album, Bloodletting.
When reading up on the band before the show, I discovered that R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe (another rock idol of mine) suggested the name Concrete Blonde for the band’s name. It represented the contrast of their rock roots and introspective lyrics, and it was also a derogatory term for Sunset Strip hair bands of the 1980s. So, in case you were ever wondering, now you know.
Front woman Johnette Napolitano is fierce. I thought she looked rough when she came on stage, but when I found out that she’s 55-years-old, I changed my tune. A hard core rocker chick at heart, Napolitano has one of those voices that can haunt you. A lot of women lose their voice as they age, but this woman can still wail. While I’ll admit I’m not a hard-core Concrete Blonde fan, I really did enjoy the show. They opened with “Bloodletting: The Vampire Song” (from Interview with the Vampire) and “Joey.” That’s all I wanted to hear, but wound up liking almost everything they played. Rock on CB.