It seemed like it was going to be one of those days here in the Seattle area where it looked like it might storm and spit rain due to all the overcast and gray clouds, however, that wasn’t the case on the day of September 15th, 2015 as the wind picked it all up and blew it away with good timing, as Heart was beginning to take the stage at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.
The beloved band led by the Wilson sisters with Ann on vocals and Nancy on guitars created quite a high pressure system of sound at the Columbia Bank Concert Stage Tuesday night before a phenomenal hometown crowd.
Heart started the night off right with the 1977 hit from the Little Queen album Kick It Out and they did kick it out With Nancy on guitars, Dan Rothchild on bass, Ben Smith on drums, and lead guitarist Craig Bartok attacking the guitar riffs fiercely while Ann Wilson raged over top with what was (and remains) one of rock’s premier female voices most certainly delivered to the Northwest masses.
Heartless came early, the second song, and it was remarkably true to the 1976 Magazine album version. Ann worked in the same high register and soared up to every note, and guitarist Craig Bartok navigated the intricate solo almost perfectly. Even the synthesizers sounded just right, as they did all night in the hands of Chris Joyner, who really shined on Dog and Butterfly, making it sound like a delicate string section.
Ann and Nancy spiced up their set list with hits such as What About Love, Straight on, There’s the Girl, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, These Dreams, Alone, Even It Up, and more from their amazing chart topping albums. A song that really seemed to grab Nancy’s heart and soul as she spoke about her father was performed and titled Dear Old America, which is a soldier’s story written from the point of view of a military father. It all sounded like the same Heart that fans know and fell in love with decades ago.
The Wilson Sisters and company kept the heat alive and rolling as they still had plenty left to let it rip on killer versions of Barracuda and Crazy on You (complete with Nancy’s lovely acoustic intro) sandwiched around a new Duesenberg guitar she’s now playing called “The Star Player TV.” To end the audience’s thrilling evening of listening to one of the greatest performers of our time was their encore, complete with three Led Zeppelin cover’s consisting of The Immigrant Song, No Quarter, and the final song of the night, Misty Mountain Hop.
The only complaint a Heart fan could have with the hometown performance is that the band wrapped up 17 songs in about 90 minutes without venturing into deep cuts or punctuating the set with just a couple more songs such as Magic Man or All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You, but if that’s the price to pay to keep Ann Wilson’s voice in peak form, so be it.
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