Few people have the respect of so many of their peers as sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. Their success was honored by the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013. Ann picked up Best Vocalist by the now-defunct Hit Parader Magazine, and they were ranked at 57 in VH1’s Top 100 Bands Of All Time. Yet in my opinion, they still seem like one of the most underrated bands in musical history.
Heart has also had many ups and downs. In addition to having sold more than 35 million albums worldwide, they have dealt with fighting within the band, personal tragedies, breakups, and their lives being thrown out in public. Yet their fanbase remains loyal as their musical influences keep evolving. Mending wounds since their 2016 breakup, Ann and Nancy brought their Love Alive to an enthusiastic crowd at Xcel Energy Center.
I have never seen Heart perform live despite their being one of my favorite bands. Tonight’s show was a bucket list event for me since discovering them as a teenager while listening to classic rock. To see them on stage with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett was a bonus for those in attendance.
As the founding member of The Runaways, at 61 Ms. Jett has youthful energy. She performed classics “Cherry Bomb,” “Crimson and Clover,” “Bad Reputation,” and her number one Billboard hit “I Love Rock and Roll.” Her stage presence remains as strong as the barriers she broke and the roads she paved for the women of rock by waving the middle finger to those who thought rock and roll was a ‘guy thing.’
Heart took the stage performing “Rockin’ Heaven Down” from 1980’s Bébé Le Strange before unloading Dream Boat Annie’s “Magic Man,” highlighted by Ann authoritative vocal. Nancy’s guitar playing style matches her ability, which has elevated her to iconic status as a guitarist.
Performing songs spanning their 46-year career, each song seemed as relevant today as they were when I first heard them in my youth. I waited for years to see these musical legends live, and I was not disappointed. The musicianship and mastery lyrical writings of Heart have a way of seeping into your soul in the same way it did when it moved Robert Plant to tears when Heart covered his “Stairway to Heaven” at the Kenedy Center Honors a few years ago.
Tonight was a happy check off my musical bucket list with this incredible setlist:
Rockin’ Heaven Down
I Heard It Through the Grapevine / Straight On
The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Dog & Butterfly (followed by band introductions)
Even It Up
What About Love
Crazy on You
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)