Janet Gardner, lead singer from the all girl band Vixen, made a tour stop at the Fish Head Cantina in Arbutus, MD promoting her new self titled solo album and it just as well may have been one of the best concerts that I’ve seen all year. Playing with her guitarist/husband Justin James on this club tour, Gardner is considered one of the elite female vocalists out there and after witnessing first hand her show, more than proved herself. The new album, out now on Pavement Entertainment, is ten new songs, all with the Vixen flare, but with a different kind of Gardner fire.
Gardner came right out of the gate with new songs “If You Want Me,” “Your Problem Now,” and “Hippycrite” before the first Vixen fan favorite, “Rev It Up,” was played. And Gardner was having fun the whole time to boot. Coming out to the crowd for sing-a-longs and just because she wanted to, Planet Janet as her tour is nicknamed, showed a more laid back and just pure fun approach to her that I have never seen. “Candle,” was a heart felt song about her father that was very personal to her, but sung beautifully. James, who helped co-write this new album is no rookie here too. His guitar playing was meticulous all night and it showed on “Lost.” The crowd patiently waited for Gardner to play some of her Vixen hits and she would not disappoint them by cranking out “Cryin’,” and “Edge of a Broken Heart.” In all, she played eight of the ten songs off the new album and I was more than satisfied and wanted more.
Now being the last night of the east coast leg of the tour, Gardner will be heading out west for the next leg after a few Vixen performances. Not very many artists these days look like they are having fun playing live for the fans, but this is not the case for Gardner and James. Not only did they stay afterwards and sign for fans and take a million photos, but they did it without hesitation, had a fun time doing it, and thanked the crowd numerous times, which is very rare these days for artists to do. The fans out west are in for a treat seeing this duo perform and I can 150% assure you, you are in for a hell of a show.