There is something so intoxicating about the power of endurance, the kind of stamina that can still yield a wildly howling audience four decades later. Heart fits this bill without any doubt in my mind. In 1976, the U.S. radio waves were flooded with two hits that soon became iconic rock songs of that day and for always: “Crazy on You,” and “Magic Man.” Heart, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, have now sold over 35 million albums worldwide to date. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2013?? It was about damn time, wasn’t it??) as well as receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are seemingly superhuman with their various musical talents ranging from Ann on the vocals, flute, guitar, keyboards, percussion, violin and autoharp and Nancy mastering the guitar, mandolin, keyboards, synthesizers and even harmonica. Simply put, these two chics rock like no other women ever have. Although I missed HALF the show thanks to a Friday night LA rush hour from hell, what I did catch of the show was totally outta sight!
I took my seat JUST as “Straight On” was starting. Thank the Lord Baby Jesus I made it in time for one of my all time faves by Heart. Ann sounds absolutely incredible. That raspy powerhouse voice with the force of a herd of wild horses and a range equal to the seductive Sirens of Greek mythology. It’s like something in her voice is saying, “come hither little one…but mess with me and I will kick your ass.” Even Royalty have their struggles and thankfully Ann was able to defeat her demons, and embraced the importance of treating her body and vocal chords with the respect and TLC that they deserve. This in turn extended her life and allowed her to continue singing her songs as they were written all those years ago. So inspirational! Kudos to you, Ann!
And then there’s Nancy. Looking better than ever, she is truly a gifted musician. She seems to be able to jam on just about any instrument you put in front of her. She can play it hard. She can play it soft. She can even rock the mic. The girl can rock it any way she wants. Through all the twists and turns both of their lives have taken, these two women and their music have stood the test of time. Their performance was fun, intense, personal, and edgy.
Who has the cajones to cover “Let Me Roll It” by Wings? The crowd went completely BANANAS as Nancy struck that first, ever-recognizable riff. Outstanding! I hate to say it, but their version gave the original a run for its money. Hard, sexy, passion-filled and in your face. Right on!
They continued with their smash hits “Heaven,” “These Dreams,” and an absolutely bone-chilling acoustic rendition of “Alone”, as all the memories surrounding those days washed over the audience.
Nancy loved teasing and torturing the crowd as she held back from the start of “Crazy On You.” The crowd screamed and cheered and begged for her to get on with the song. She was loving every second of it as she jumped around on that stage with more verve than guitarists half her age. She is incredible. The crowd went mad as Ann flawlessly threw out those high notes. My God. What a voice.
As if that weren’t enough, they came back to treat us with a mind blowing seven minute encore version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” Again begging the question, WHO ELSE COULD POSSIBLY PULL THIS OFF?
For all the trouble and headaches the commute down to Pomona caused me, I would say it was well worth it to see these gals in all their glory. And I went through 5 hours of hell to get there. That should tell you something.
I didn’t get to hear my most favorite song from early childhood “Dog & Butterfly,” but I will leave you with this:
“We’re getting older the world’s getting colder
For the life of me I don’t know the reason why
Maybe it’s livin’ making us give in
Hearts rolling in taken back on the tide
We’re balanced together ocean upon the sky….”
The best words are those written from the Heart.