Heart is playing Hard Rock Live on Sunday, days after disembarking from a cruise-ship festival titled, justly, Women Who Rock. Probably no other band has the longtime legitimacy that warrants it most fitting to headline a festival with that name.
The Wilson sisters, Nancy and Ann, who front Heart are the queens of rock 'n' roll. Take a listen to classic rock radio playlists and among the Led Zeppelins, the ZZ Tops, and the AC/DCs, you will see that the only feminine voices to break that glass ceiling were Heart's. 1970s-era hits like "Magic Man," "Barracuda," and "Crazy on You" get heads banging, hair shaking, and pelvises gyrating.
As "women who rock," they influenced other females to write their own songs and play their own guitars -- from the Go-Go's to Courtney Love -- but Heart's recent and long-overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame showed it wasn't just one gender that was influenced by Heart. The Wilson sisters originally came from Seattle and were a big touchstone for the city's grunge movement in the '90s, as evidenced by members of Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden all partaking in the ceremony.
But there was a dark era of Heart called the 1980s, when they worked with outside songwriters on music the sisters now have mixed feelings toward. "We were on a desperate last gasp to jump up to number one, and we did make a sort of a devil's bargain," Ann Wilson told the Dallas Morning News in a recent interview. "Our fans knew it. Some of them cared. Some of them didn't, and today, our core fan base is a really strong mix of people from the '70s and '80s who like both sides of us, you know? And we keep throwing in new things."
Heart. With Brynn Marie. 7 p.m. Sunday, November 9, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $34 to $74 plus fees. Call 954-797-5531, or visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.