Sunday was a mammoth day for rock and roll and the BB&T Pavilion, featuring a triple bill of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick. All the performers did a solid, representative set of their music that cut through the humidity with a vengeance.
Cheap Trick — featuring the original trio of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson — opened to enthusiastic applause. Nielsen threw out handfuls of picks and even donned his signature five-neck guitar. “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender,” among others, conjured up memories of a past millennium that still thrives live and on the airwaves.
Next up was Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. No official photos could be taken, but there is no way anyone could walk out of the amphitheater without having her indelible punk energy etched in thought. Jett and her tight band rocked through “Cherry Bomb” and “Bad Reputation” as well as 12 more originals and covers.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart — whom Gail Ann Dorsey cited as a major influence last week — got Camden’s blood pumping with their brilliant mix of pop and rock. Ann’s voice can still carry “Magic Man” and Nancy’s guitar work was appropriately front-and-center on “Crazy on You.” And their treatment of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and “Stairway to Heaven” to close out the night was monumental — a superb conclusion to a stunning night of rock.