Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heart at Pier Six Pavilion

'70s hard rockers-turned-'80s balladeers-turned classic rock mainstays Ann and Nancy Wilson brought their 2010 tour to Pier Six Pavilion Sunday night, with a well-rounded set list and pleasing performance.

Heart's multi-generational fan base was on hand, including a sizable number of sidewalk freeloaders and boat-dwellers.

Just as sunset hit the Inner Harbor, Heart made their way to the stage for a 100-minute set that featured every song the casual fan wanted to hear as well as a number of lesser-known tracks ...

From the start, it was obvious that Ann Wilson's voice is still in fine form, and Nancy Wilson is still full of rock 'n' roll front woman spunk after 35 years in the business. The group tore through two songs, "Hey You" and "WTF" from their 13th studio album, the forthcoming "Red Velvet Car".

Mid-set, they mixed in a faithful rendition of "These Dreams" and a stripped-down take of '80s megahit "Alone", which Ann noted came in at an octave lower than it was 25 years ago. It was a sultry and full as ever. Change is good.

The group back loaded their set with '70s classics "Magic Man", "Crazy on You", and "Barracuda." Near the end of the show, it seemed like Heart had finished, and a few fans left. They missed out on an encore that featured covers of Led Zeppelin and The Who. Heart has a powerful rendition of "Love Reign O'er Me."

As with most classic rock shows, last night's Heart concert was not without its cliches, including an unnecessary video montage of machine-generated visuals. Fire! Black light! Flaming donuts (I think)! But the cliches did nothing to take away from the power and professionalism of Heart's current incarnation and the ageless vocals of Ann Wilson. The Wilson sisters have still got it.