House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
The Anaheim House of Blues was sold out and electricity filled the air in anticipation of Jet. Normally, Los Angeles/Orange County crowds are too cool for school, so they usually hang out that bar drinking or show up just for the headliner. This evening the floor was packed with fans of all ages, and even some families.
Openers Bloodcat Love, a Los Angeles band by way of New Zealand, delivered a short, 30-minute set of rock and roll, and the crowd was ready for more. The twin guitar attack of the five person line-up sounded reminiscent of late ‘60s/early ‘70s The Rolling Stones, especially with the lead singer taking cues from Mick Jagger, but there’s also some Iggy Pop and others in his antics. You wouldn’t know that Dion Lunadon had just joined the band in September, and although I shouldn’t be, I was surprised to see a young woman get out from behind the drums.
Jet had cancelled a couple of prior shows in Philadelphia and Toronto, which are going to be made up on Nov. 26 and 28 respectively, due to lead singer Nic Cester developing laryngitis, but they certainly weren’t going to miss out on appearing on The Tonight Show the day their new album, Shine On, was released. However, he returned to singing too soon and developed nodes on his vocal chords, so ten shows in Europe had to be cancelled with a promise of the band that they will be rescheduled.
Chester’s vocals are a combination of singing and screaming, so it’s no surprise his voice was raspy throughout this evening, especially during their big hit, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” As the narrator’s frustration grows, so does the intensity of his voice. It would have been understandable if his voice had gone out during the shrieking of the line, ”but you were with another man, yea!” To help shoulder the load, drummer/brother Chris sang lead on some songs.
Continuing to follow the blueprint of their fellow countrymen, AC/DC, Jet delivered a set of simple, straightforward rock and roll. They played an even mix of cuts, incorporating new material with songs from their 2003 breakout debut, Get Born. They augmented their live sound with a keyboard and some of the new material finds them expanding their sound with more melody. The crowd enjoyed both and there was never a moment when a new song played that it was collectively considered a good time for a bathroom break.
One drawback to having such short songs is that a set can fly by. Released from the shackles of radio-play confines, some bands extend their songs in a live setting, but Jet cranked out 14 songs in just under an hour. They did stretch out a little when they returned for the encore of “Shine On” and “Rollover DJ.” With each release, the band should expand their set, which is sure to please their fans that enjoy what they get, but are left wanting more.
Jet plays the equivalent of comfort food. They don’t challenge you or throw you any curves, but if you like what they are serving, you are sure to be pleased.