Live Review: Jenny & Johnny; Black Cat; 9-16-10

Last night’s Jenny & Johnny show at the Black Cat marked my third show this week (second in two nights, fifth in the last nine days), and quite frankly, i’m getting too old for this shit. Hell, i’m getting ready to retire next week, for the love of Benjy! i don’t see how Megan pulls this shit off, but i hope you kids realize how lucky you are to have us out there in the trenches for you.

i’ve got to be honest, i’m not overtly familiar with either of the artist’s work beyond some of Jenny’s solo stuff. After last night, i see i’m going to have to rectify that situation.

i was assured by my friend and rabid fan of both artists that they played a bunch of tracks from the new J&J album, as well as a few from each’s solo work. For me, the highlight occurred as the set was ending, with the encore adding a brilliant touch. After 45 minutes of nice rock showcasing Lewis’ vocals and Rice’s brooding skills, things took off from there. The Next Messiah kicked things into high gear. Just as the audience started grooving hardcore, the band left the stage, naturally returning moments later before launching into an acoustic set to send folks on their merry way. The duo pulled a handful of young ladies from the crowd to sing back-up vocals on “Acid Tongue,” arguably the high point of the evening. i thought it was a bit unnecessary for Rice to insult them on their way offstage (“Let’s hear it for the ‘Keep Your Day Job” Choir”), but who am i? The two closed with a cover of the classic “Love Hurts.” Kind of a low vibe track to end the evening, what i was later told by the aforementioned fanatic is standard practice for them these days.

Other than fully realizing what an absolutely incredible set of pipes Jenny has, the best thing about last night’s show was the contagious happiness coming from the stage. While Johnny didn’t open up too much, Jenny’s beaming smile was only outdone by her obvious joy at being there. And that, children, is what a good show is all about.

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