It felt like I stepped into a time warp last Tuesday night when rocker Lenny Kravitz strutted on stage at the Journal Pavilion with groovy bell-bottom pants and an afro as big as his larger-than-life presence.
Even before Kravitz stepped on stage, the crowd went wild for the Grammy Award-winning artist. As the music began to vibrate through the audience, two cannons on either side of the stage went off and sprayed the crowd with what seemed like thousands of paper “Lenny Bucks” with Kravitz’s mug.
With his mirrored aviator sunglasses and a jacket with long black fringe dangling to the ground, it was clear that Kravitz knows exactly who he is and that his music reflects his attitude — tough, with a lot of creative energy.
His 90-minute set began with “Bank Robber Man,” a single from his new album simply entitled “Lenny.” Other standout tracks that the rocker amazed the crowd with were “Dig In” and “If I Could Fall In Love.”
The stage was set with a large video screen that arched over the stage behind Kravitz. The screen exhibited both abstract patterns that moved along with the music and excerpts from Kravitz’s videos.
But when Kravitz performed one of his more popular hits, “American Woman,” the crowd couldn’t have been more excited. It was obvious that the crowd was there to rock, and Lenny couldn’t have been more appreciative. He must have thanked the crowd for their exuberance at least a dozen times before the night came to an end.
Kravitz also belted out “Let Love Rule,” “Are you Gonna Go My Way” and “Rock and Roll Is Dead” before closing with “Fly Away.”
Although Lenny definitely rocked the Journal Pavilion last Tuesday night, it was Pink who was the one with whom I was most dazzled.
The 22-year-old feisty newcomer, who gained fame when she was part of the “Lady Marmalade” quintet, impressed the crowd from the first moment she walked on stage.
As most of the fans were trying to dry off after a brief cloud burst, most were thrilled when Pink took the stage an hour after the concert was scheduled to begin. Because Abandoned Pools were a no-show, Pink took to the stage ready and more-than-able to belt out songs from her second album, “Missunda-ztood.”
Wearing tattered jeans and a black leather jacket, Pink started off her set with her first single from the album, “Get the Party Started.” It was clear Pink (who didn’t have her signature shocking-pink stripe in her hair) is unstoppable.
With that tough-girl exterior, Pink’s softer and, yes, vulnerable side is obvious in the songs she has co-written with her mentor Linda Perry, former frontwoman of the 4 Non Blondes.
She also paid tribute to Perry by performing “What’s Goin’ On,” the one-hit-wonder from the mid ’90s.
With memories of her childhood, school and even her parents’ divorce, Pink’s songs are more than tracks she recorded for an album — they’re a diary of her life.
It was clear that the audience was in awe of Pink’s strong, raw and demanding voice when she belted out a medley of Janis Joplin’s tunes: “Summertime,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Piece of My Heart.”
But what really got the crowd going was her songs, “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” “Just Like a Pill” and “My Vietnam.”
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.