Monday, September 20, 2010
Though Heart continues its legacy in the hands of 13 year old boys playing Guitar Hero, this was mom and dad's night out and the kids could stay at home raiding the liquor cabinet. This was a night for power ballads, for high kicks, for rape and murder (in a Rolling Stones cover), and a chance to get to know Meatloaf's daughter Pearl, who opened the show.
When Ann Wilson emerged from darkness carrying a flute, three-quarters of the room forgot how to breathe. She said, "Nothing left to do but open each other up and let our soul sing out. Ok? Ok!" and led us through Heart's discography without missing a hit. There was a time in Heart's career when cameras were all on Nancy, but at this show Ann was center-stage and in focus the whole time, with Nancy preferring to loom in the shadows, hopping and high-kicking. The only time Nancy seized all attention was in the inimitable intro to "Crazy On You." Many of us played along as if a black plastic guitar materialized before us, counting red, yellow, red, blue, red-yellow, blue, red-yellow, green+whammy...
"Alone," "These Dreams," and "What About Love?" brought back the glorious '80s, when the power ballad found its most enduring form. Heart also offered some new songs, such as "Red Velvet Car," which may sound like a euphemism for genitals but actually refers to the person you call when you're super drunk to pick you up.
The highlight of the night belonged to the 1970s, in a back-to-back "Magic Man, "Crazy On You," and "Barracuda" triple slam as well as a badass Led Zeppelin cover during the encore. There was a moment during "Crazy On You" during one those amazingly high notes when Ann reached down and scratched her wrist. She held the attention of thousands transfixed by her voice (which is sounding tip-top), and could still just scratch her wrist like she was waiting in line at the supermarket. It reminds us that humans are capable of wondrous things and still remain human.