HEART KICK IT OUT FOR THE CROWD IN GLASGOW AND SHOW THEM NO QUARTER
Heart, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Saturday 2nd July 2016
Heart may still be the name of the band but for a long time now it's just been a vehicle for it's two stars, Ann and Nancy Wilson. Tonight that is exactly who the crowd in the sold out Royal Concert Hall have come to see, rising to their feet as soon as the first of the sisters sets foot on the stage.
In this Internet age, news of setlist choices travels fast when a band are on tour so it's a surprise to everyone when Romeo's Daughter cover 'Wild Child' is the opener for the first time on the tour. It sounds a little hesitant and it's really only during the following seventies classic 'Magic Man' that the true class of the band starts to show.
Heart only tend to tour the UK once every ten years or so which means you can see how the passage of time is affecting the two iconic ladies in the band. Nancy has slowed down a little since the last time I saw her but she still looks great and every inch the rock star that inspired generations of women to pick up a guitar.
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There is still a lot of energy and a skip in her step as she churns out the heavy riff to the title track of new album 'Beautiful Broken' and the lighter side of her skills are still impressive too as she delivers some sensitive mandolin and a really pretty lead vocal to their eighties classic 'These Dreams'.
Sister Ann has one of the most recognisable voices in rock music and despite the ravages of time (the band formed in 1973) she still sounds in great form both on the rocking tracks like 'Kick It Out' and the simpler balladry of 'Sweet Darlin''.
'Alone' is a song they are known the world over for but the vocal performance it requires is a real test and it doesn't always show up in the live set. Tonight it is included, although done in a slow acoustic style and the result is simply stunning. The whole hall is spellbound by this latest interpretation from the veteran singer and the extended ovation at the end is totally deserved as can be heard on the amateur video below.
The band were really in the zone now and I have to say that Ann was probably in the most confident mood I've ever seen her in on stage. 'Straight On' was so funked up she slipped some James Brown into the intro and revelled in getting the crowd to get their hips moving along with the song.
Nancy returned to the spotlight for her long, teasing acoustic guitar intro to 'Crazy On You' and the more no-nonsense straight ahead riffing of set closer 'Barracuda'.
The encore on this tour is a matter of some debate among Heart fans. The Wilson sisters have never hidden their love for all things Led Zeppelin, including a cover of 'Rock And Roll' on their first greatest hits album and even getting John Paul Jones to play with them for the live album 'The Road Home'.
Tonight they finish with three Zep songs, all of them are performed very well, 'No Quarter' in particular being delivered in fine style but I, like many others would have preferred to hear some more songs from their extensive history.
Only a small blemish though on what was an excellent night. Heart defied time and gave a performance to rank with any others I have seen from them over the years. I hope they don't wait ten more years before coming back to the UK.
Our review of 'Beautiful Broken' is now online here