How are Ann and Nancy Wilson doing these days, you ask? Still cool, actually. Last night, the Heart show at Hard Rock Live started out a little awkward and sorta slow, we will admit, but that's probably because they all knew something we didn't: Ann, the pipes, had a cold.
But these veterans of the stage are fucking troopers. They don't mess around. Even with a cold and voice on the verge of being totally blown out, Ann sang the crap out of their whole set and even a two-song encore. It was sick (as they say), had a lotta heart (as you wish we hadn't said), and the delightfully supportive crowd loved it.
Like we said, it seemed like the night might be a downer two songs in. And opening act one-hit-girl-music-wonder "Sunny Came Home"'s Shawn Colvin tried to keep us entertained before the show. It kind of felt like a coffee shop turned dive bar in there. It was like we sipped huge cappuccinos to Colvin's pretty voice and guitar strumming, and then we threw our arms up and swayed around drunkenly to "Barracuda."
Two older dudes danced with total abandon in the aisles before the lights went down. Truly an admirable pair. The stage was mostly bare, but the spaceship lights lit up the room. Nancy shredded the guitar, Ann belted out tunes, and both gave us magical sibling harmonies. Once they got to "What About Love," well, our chests swelled with joy. What a flawless power ballad. They got their first standing ovation of the night for it.
Nancy seemed like a lot of fun. Sort of the goofball, doing David Lee Roth jumps all around the stage. Ann has all of the soul of a Sunday afternoon gospel choir and a perfectly raspy rock and roll voice. But it was a bit too raspy last night. Halfway through the show, she said she was giving us "a human performance," but asked us not to worry, saying those are "just angels you're hearing in my throat," and later admitted she was sick.
"Dog and Butterfly" brought down the house, and they followed it up with a newer song "Walkin' Good" for which Ann brought out the big guns, a flute. Definitely an instrument fitting for a night of awesome women (full disclosure: we played flute in high school. Love the flute!). During "These Dreams" Nancy helped with the vocal duties quite a bit and a breakdown-less "Alone" went over well too. Another standing ovation and total devotion from the audience showed that they were totally forgiving of this "human" performance and loved them more for it.
Finally, the skinny ladies with platinum hair and boob jobs and middle aged dudes in short-sleeved button-downs went wild for "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda." It was a freaking good time. And even when they left the stage, no one was letting them go home. For about 10 minutes, the crowd cheered for an encore, and they got a good one with "Magic Man" and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Top."
It was moving. Honestly. Heart, most certainly, is a fitting name for the Wilson sisters' ever enduring rock and roll act.
Personal Bias: My only sadness was that they didn't play "All I Wanna Do" for us late '70s babies. That was the first Heart song I loved. It was like R. Kelly but rock and roll.
The Crowd: Love the Hard Rock venue and their crowd. Especially last night, they were just wonderful and devoted. It was also 90% ladies and, sure, not all of them jammed out, but they cheered a lot, and that was good.
Personal Bias 2: I can't wait to be one of those ladies with the platinum hair and skimpy top dancing drunkenly to "Barracuda" at any and every bar in the USA. God bless America, no lie.