Fan-a-tics: Heart leaves ‘em smiling in Morristown
Certain… mature bands should not be allowed anywhere near their early songs. It’s not fair to them. (“Out here in the fields…”)
Heart does not fall into that category.
More than four decades into the band’s career, Ann Wilson still hits notes that few singers would attempt at any age.
In fact, Thursday’s concert in Morristown was one of those rare shows where you almost wished for a larger venue. The Mayo Performing Arts Center could not contain Ann’s booming voice.
Ann’s sister Nancy Wilson rocked like there was no tomorrow–as always.
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If I were a girl, I would want to sing like Ann and move like Nancy.
Hmmm…that sounds pretty weird. Hey, it’s late!
Running about 90 minutes with encores, the show featured many of Heart’s best-loved tunes: Bebe le Strange; Heartless; What About Love–which brought listeners to their feet, where they stayed for most of the evening–Love Alive; Even It Up; Dreamboat Annie, with Ann on flute; Alone; These Dreams; and scorching versions of Crazy on You, launched by Nancy’s enchanting acoustic guitar intro, and Barracuda.
Dog and Butterfly was set against lilting, dreamy, dance-like keyboard backing from Debbie Shair. Craig Bartock (lead guitar), Dan Rothchild (bass) and Ben Smith (drums) ably rounded out the band.
For encores they did Magic Man and Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. Ann went for broke on that last one; her vocal cords have a few weeks to recover before the tour resumes in Canada.
Fans will recall Heart’s rousing cover of another Led Zep classic, Stairway to Heaven, at last year’s Kennedy Center tribute to that fabled group. For the Wilsons, their performance that night was one of many highlights in what may prove to be Heart’s biggest year.
The siblings published an autobiography, issued a CD boxed set and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In April, Heart will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
There is a new album, too, and it’s a worthy addition to Heart’s catalog. The band roared through the CD title song, Fanatic, along with the hard-charging 59 Crunch and Dear Old America, a tribute to the Wilsons’ late father, a Marine.
Keep ‘em coming, Ladies.