JACKSON and GIRL FRIDAY
Live CD release show at Don Hill's, NYC
Monday, May 21, 2002
Review for Outvoice by Robert Urban
Lisa Jackson offers up a delicious trip down
the memory lane of MTVs first decade - specializing in songs
from 1980s era female-fronted rock bands. His natural ability
to sing in the vocal style of a wide variety of white pop rock divas is
phenomenal. At last monday's concert, the cross-dressing rocker
offered original songs from his new CD
(entitled simply "LISA JACKSON") along with the perfectly executed
classic 80's covers he so clearly loves.
I'm happy to report that Lisa's own songs are
as good any of the many solid-gold
hits he covered (no small feat!). I enjoyed his anthem-like
original lyrics - always eloquent and heartfelt - in songs
that praised the bravery of those who dare to be "different"
- or reached out to the world for tolerance in issues of gender
With his own band "Girl Friday" to back him -
Lisa has assembled one of the best (and best-looking)
hard rock groups this listener's heard in a long time.
Bassist Jeff Gurner and Drummer Fred Berman
are the perfect "in-the-pocket" players for Lisa's brand
of 80's style rock. These guys are so buff and tough-looking
they impart an extra power, muscle & excitement to the music.
Keyboardist Steve Lavner displayed an uncanny
genius for reviving all the classic analog synth sounds
so signature to Lisa's many classic cover tunes like
"We're the Kids in America" and "Hey, Mickey"
Lisa is utterly fascinating to watch onstage. She
deconstructs the typical, over-glitzed drag-queen look - and
instead goes for a softer, quasi Alicia Silverstone, quasi mall-teen
image. With hardly any makeup, no cheap glitter, no spike heals, no big hair,
there is nothing "gaudy" about him. He doesn't need it, as he
let's his considerable natural beauty shine thru. Lordy - the guy
doesn't even "tuck", as his revealing custom-designed
scottish plaid mini wrap-around dress revealed thruout the show.
With his realistic "everygirl" approach to the feminine, plus the fact that
he REALLY sings, AND plays great rock guitar - Lisa seems poised
on the cutting-edge of some kind of cross-dressing revolution.
His body language, his moves, his facial expressions
while he sings and plays electric guitar, are
fondly reminiscent of a type of girl many of us guys have met before...
perhaps one we asked to dance way back in high school...
you know - the pretty girl who was a little shy,
caught in the awkwardness of an intimate moment,
who'd glance down at the floor...then look aside,
then nail you with a quick glance right into your eyes...
It's a total dick-tease and it works.
Lisa's encore was a one-two-three knockout punch of
three 80's classics strung together -
beginning with a soft keys & vocal only ballad version of AHA's
"Take On Me/Take Me On" - (one of the most difficult &
stratospheric of all rock arias. Lisa sang it beautifully - instilling
it with a seriousness and ardor not even found in the original);
then bringing back the whole band for Joan Jett's "Crimson & Clover"
& "I Love Rock n' Roll"
OK - here's the buzz i get from everyone.
Is Lisa gay? I dunno. I've read reviews calling Lisa a "straight cross-dresser",
But here's a clue - After the show,
while Lisa was in his dressing room getting ready to
greet the many waiting fans gathered about,
I spotted his drummer Fred and bassist Jeff and asked them,
"when is Lisa coming out?"
Catching me unaware of my double-entendre,
they both laughed and answered simultaneously
"That's what WE'RE waiting for!"
URBAN PRODUCTIONS, NYC
Return to Home Page