Monday’s show at a sold-out Starlight Theatre was a celebration of recognition: All three bands on the bill for the Three for All Tour are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cheap Trick, inducted this year; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, in 2015; and the headliner, Heart, in 2013.
All three delivered sets stocked with hits, favorites and covers. And two tossed in songs from albums released this year. All three sets were pretty nuts-and-bolts, filled with the classic rock songs that led to their enshrinements.
Most of the crowd of nearly 8,000 was in place and the sun was still well above the western horizon when Cheap Trick opened the show with an old favorite, “Hello There,” the perfect salutatory song: “Hello there, ladies and gents / Are you ready to rock?” They remain a four-piece fronted by three founding members, including Robin Zander, who can still muster a hefty howl.
The set list included one new song, “When I Wake Up Tomorrow,” from “Bang, Zoom, Crazy … Hello,” their 17th studio album, released in April. There were covers like “California Man,” a Move song, and the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man,” performed by Tom Petersson, who also played the 12-string bass. Classics and favorites included the classic power ballad “The Flame,” then “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender.”
Jett followed Cheap Trick, which is no enviable task. But she inflamed the mood right away, storming into “Bad Reputation,” the Runaways classic “Cherry Bomb” and then Gary Glitter’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah).” Her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Light of Day,” the title track to the 1987 movie she starred in with Michael J. Fox, was another highlight.
She tossed in some material from her most recent album, “Unvarnished,” released in 2013, including “Any Weather,” a song she co-wrote with Dave Grohl, and “TMI.”
She closed with a flurry of favorites: “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” her signature song; her cover of “Crimson and Clover”; “I Hate Myself for Loving You”; and then a splendid cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” which closed her set.
Heart opened with “Wild Child,” a modest hit from its 1990 album “Brigade,” then the classic “Magic Man” from its solid-gold “Dreamboat Annie” album. Lead singer Ann Wilson still has a voice that has no trouble filling a large amphitheater while belting out brawny ballads like “What About Love” and “Alone” or a rocker like “Kick It Out.”
Their set list included two songs from “Beautiful Broken,” their 16th studio album, released in July: the title track and “Two,” a song written by Neo and performed by guitarist Nancy Wilson.
They closed with a flourish: “Crazy on You,” which featured some guitar antics by Nancy Wilson, and “Barracuda,” then two Led Zeppelin covers, “Immigrant Song” and “Stairway to Heaven.” One of their own songs, like “Little Queen” or “Heartless,” would have been preferable to two Led Zep covers, but on the other hand, it gave the Wilson sisters a chance to prove they can hang with the best of their Hall of Fame colleagues.
Cheap Trick: Hello There; Heart on the Line; Big Eyes; California Man; Tonight It’s You; When I Wake Up Tomorrow; If You Want My Love; Baby Loves to Rock; Stop This Game; I’m Waiting for the Man; The Flame; I Want You to Want Me; Surrender.
Joan Jett: Bad Reputation; Cherry Bomb; Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah); TMI; You Drive Me Wild; Light of Day; Soulmates to Strangers; Love Is Pain; Fake Friends; Any Weather; I Love Rock ’n’ Roll; Crimson and Clover; I Hate Myself for Loving You; Everyday People.
Heart: Wild Child; Magic Man; What About Love; Bebe le Strange; These Dreams; Two; Straight On; Kick It Out; Beautiful Broken; Alone; Crazy on You; Barracuda; Immigrant Song; Stairway to Heaven.