Wherever RTX frontwoman Jennifer James Herrema goes, my heart follows. Why? ‘Cause she’s a grown-ass woman, dawg—a stone Southern belle with her skinny legs, fur pelts, surely blackened lungs and all; alumnus of Royal Trux (one of the best bands of the ’90s); and current engine behind one of the few pure rock-‘n’-roll acts left. JJ Got Live RaTX officially crowns her the Queen of Metal, too: Stop sitting vigil for Chinese Democracy and raise a pimp chalice in salute.
Her helpful hint: “We got it covered/We do it like no other.” No one’s more badass than Herrema—tell me true, can you name a boy-leader who doesn’t leave his balls on the shelf when he takes the stage? (Lemmy aside?) JJ Got Live RaTX shows an x-panded lineup finding its true center; it’s a complete, and completely epic, recording that ought to once and for all silence the Amen choir of Trux cultists alienated by (the great) early RTX works Transmaniacon and Western Xterminator. The funk, lo-fi blues, and experimental flourishes in Herrema’s arsenal are temporarily restrained here, as she’s got her pointy boot-heels firmly planted on the rock. Her powerful rhythm section—bassist Kurt Midness and drummer Nadav Eisenman—perpetually take us on the freedom flight, too, while remembering what badass bitches always want to do: D-A-N-C-E. And when pickers Jaimo Welch and Brian McKinley soar together on the epic “Too Badd,” sho’nuff Ronnie Van Zant’s smiling from the Great Swamp-on-High. Here in the City, we’re crying over the cancellation of the RTX tour, but know we’re rockin’ out to this closing anthem/instant classic till the cows come home.