Monday, April 18, 2011

Mini Review: Wanda Jackson at Visulite

Wanda Jackson took her audience on a journey through her 50-plus year career Saturday at Visulite Theatre and what a treat it was. She could've simply played the highlights of her catalog and tracks from the recent Jack White-produced album that's serving to introduce her to a new generation. She did both of those things, but what added to the show was how Jackson engaged the audience with personal stories from her life.

She talked about dating Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to lend her feisty growl to the new fangled rock n' roll genre that was bubbling up in the `50s. She admitted to having the ring that Presley gave her checked out by a jeweler (yes, it was real) and bending to the whims of White to record an Amy Winehouse tune.

I rarely think of 73-year-olds as adorable, but shimmying in her hot pink fringed jacket during "Shakin' All Over" and joking with the folks on the front row, Jackson was exactly that. She introduced almost every song by year and put each into context. The bulk came not from the White-produced "The Party Ain't Over" but from her long storied career. There were rockers like "Shakin'" and "Nervous Breakdown" (from "Party") and one of her biggest hits "Fujuyama Mama." She also did a tribute to Presley, played the single that served to transition her from country to rock in the mid `50s, and nodded to the gospel career she pursued through much of the `70s and `80s.

I'm sure at least half the crowd left thinking about how vibrant they'd be in their `70s. If only. (Sorry, no photo since my phone died).


  1. So you trot off to see a performance of a rock and roll/rockabilly living legend, and you depend on your phone for photos? Jeez, digital point and shoot cameras are ultra cheap. Maybe next time you'll be better prepared.

  2. um.. pretty sure the show was on Saturday.

  3. @Anonymous about the phone camera. My camera does a better job of pictures than a regular camera. So tone it down. I understand where she is coming from.

  4. I enjoyed this review, nicely written, with a positive attitude. Just ignore Mr. Negative.