Ann Wilson of Heart
Slays The Hard Rock
April 9, 2018
Ann Wilson, the incredible lead singer of Heart, played a brilliant solo show at the Hard Rock on Saturday night. Not that the Hall-of-Famer has anything to prove, Wilson seemed to put her heart and soul into this performance.
Perhaps it’s because she's been rejuvenated by her new band which allows her to play the music that she wants to play. Or maybe it’s because her "other" band is currently on hiatus and she wants to let everyone know that she's still one of the best lead singers in the business.
No matter what the reason, the nearly sold-out crowd got to witness one of the best vocal performances they’ll hear this year.
Appropriately, she kicked off the show with The Who’s “The Real Me.” She would continue The Who vibe throughout the evening by covering “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and an epic version of “Love Reign O’er Me.”
Of course, she didn't ignore her former band's catalog. Her crack four piece backing-band which includes Heart guitarist Craig Bartok, bassist Andy Stoller, drummer Denny Fongheiser and keyboardist Dan Walker, played a blistering version of “Barracuda.”
Other Heart tunes in the set included a slower, steamy version of “Crazy On You,” deep cut “A Million Miles,” and the number one smash hit “Alone.”
However, most of the evening was dedicated to the songs that have made an impact on Wilson. She noted that she's currently working on a new record that has a "thread of artists who I like, who seem to be all dying at once.” She dedicated the next song to Glenn Frye as they played “Life In The Fast Lane” with a slower arrangement.
Other covers included a great version of “Your Move” by Yes which segued into The Black Crowes' “She Talks To Angels.”
Telling the audience that she wanted to “write a Blues song about a new type of sin,” she decided that a culture that has their noses perpetually buried in their cell phone or tablet to notice what's going on around them seems to be the new sin of this generation. The song “Fool No More” spoke to that issue.
In the only misstep of the evening, Wilson decided to encore with the Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What It’s Worth.” Not that the song was a poor choice, or it wasn’t sung well, but the faster arrangement just didn't suit the song.
She easily got back on track with the last three songs as she played a great cover of Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put A Spell On You” and Percy Mayfield’s “Danger Zone.”
We don't really know how long the Heart hiatus will last. If Ms. Wilson keeps pumping out tunes like this with a voice that sounds as good now as it did thirty years ago, does it really matter.
Make sure you get to see her, for not checking out this legacy artist would be the real sin.
Review and photos by Greg Drugan