After postponing last year due to Covid and a venue change due to closure, Jeff Hardy finally made his Louisville appearance at WWME this past Saturday. Kicking off the event, Jeff held a meet and greet with fans, who lined up for the event hours before to have the opportunity to shake hands with “The Charismatic Enigma.” After hours of signing and taking photographs, Jeff kept a smile on his face, enjoying spending time with his fans and chatting. After a brief intermission, so Jeff could get a short break, he emerged to the stage, along with his guitarist, before the shoulder-to-shoulder sold-out crowd. “Hardy! Hardy! Hardy!” chants engulfed the venue as Jeff stepped up on the stage, giving a humble thank you and nod to everyone on all sides.
“Obsolete” off of PeroxWhy?Gen’s “Within The Cygnus Rift” album, released in 2015, helped start the show off with fans singing along. It appeared Jeff would look around periodically, in the sense of awe with the crowd singing along word for word to his music. The crowd was entranced by Jeff’s ability to serenade the entire room, performing many of his original songs along with some fantastic covers. Jeff covered Randy Travis’s classic “Digging Up Bones” with a surprising “Twist of Fate” rock style. Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” was performed excellently, giving a respectful nod to the band with Jeff’s powerful eclectic vocals. Jeff paused and started talking about his wife Beth, who was also in attendance: “If it weren’t for Beth, I would be dead…” he explains as he leads into “Dreaming in Love,” an affectionate song he wrote for her.
After a while, Jeff took a break to explain some of his dad’s (named Gilbert) favorite jokes. Filling the room with laughter, Jeff keeps his father’s legacy alive and well through him and his stories. Jeff later asked, “Who do you think is my favorite cartoon character?” As answers spilled out from the crowd, Jeff finally pointed off to the right of the stage and said, “YES! SpongeBob!” Jeff stood up, faced away from the group, and moments later revealed his bright yellow SpongeBob boxers as he mooned fans; laughter erupted all around. Jeff, sitting on a barstool, stood up and made his way to the front of the stage, taking a seat among the fans for a more intimate moment as the show came to a close. Jeff performed an awe-inspiring cover of Pearl Jam’s “Black” to perfection. For the encore, Jeff asked his wife, Beth, to be close to the stage since he was going to perform his newest hit “Transcendence,” which she dearly loves. “Transcendence” is quite possibly the pinnacle song of Jeff’s career so far. Written seamlessly, this song resonates with anyone who has felt hardship during a long-term relationship and speaks to what it means to be vulnerable in fixing your wrongdoings.
Jeff Hardy, lead singer of rock band PeroxWhy?Gen is also a professional wrestler. During the show, Jeff made it apparent, multiple times, that he IS going to AEW; this will inevitably reunite him with his brother, Matt Hardy. It was great to see Jeff, who is in a great place mentally and physically. We can’t wait to see what Jeff does on both stages of his professional careers in the near future.
All photos and review by Ryan Pike. No photos should be used for any purpose unless given permission.