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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Review Wed Mar 23 2011

Review: Wanda Jackson @ Lincoln Hall, 3/22

Thankfully, in music, unlike monarchies, people are not simply born with royal titles; they earn them over decades of success. Last night at Lincoln Hall, it didn't take a genius to figure out why Wanda Jackson's been dubbed the Queen of Rockabilly. The 73-year old Oklahoman has been performing over 50 years, is a major influence on countless women in rock'n'roll and country music and has a thorough arsenal of hits.

Of course, being a queen also means there's a little bit of drama involved. She missed rehearsal for her first night with Nashville's Hi-Dollars, forgot lyrics and cues, rambled on tangents, lost her trains of thought, etc. Her signature growl is still in good shape and she was very animated and gracious, but the 70-minute set rarely built any momentum. She roared out of the gate with the Lieber/Stoller classic "Riot in Cell Block #9" and then gave a lengthy introduction that was followed up with two Elvis Presley songs, notably a rambunctious "Heartbreak Hotel."

From there she lauded Jack White for pulling her from the verge of retirement and played 4 songs from her latest album, The Party Ain't Over. She had amusing stories for each before getting back to some of what initially made her famous with "Fujiyama Mama." (I always thought it was crazy that that song was a phenomenon in Japan with lyrics like "I've been to Nagasaki [and] Hiroshima too. The same I did to them, baby, I can do to you.") An endorsement of the Lord almost completely lost the crowd, but "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" revived us. She ended the set with her smash "Let's Have a Party" before returning for a medley of hits as an encore. When she was performing from her regular repertoire, she was a tour de force. But when she ventured outside of her wheelhouse, results were a bit more mixed. Since last night was the first night of the tour, hopefully, those kinks get worked out.

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Steve / March 23, 2011 7:38 PM

So Jack White was not on stage with her? That would explain the brief disconnect in her performance.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
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Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


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Park West
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Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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Thalia Hall
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Symphony Center
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Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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