Heart strutted their stuff to a packed house at Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg last night.
Touring in support of their critically acclaimed 2012 album "Fanatic," the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, delivered a high powered, hit filled set, culled from their four decade career
The night opened with sister Nancy, who celebrated her 59th birthday the previous night, cranking out the chugging opening guitar intro to the band’s snarling 1977 hit "Barracuda."
Ann Wilson quickly proved that she still possesses one of the most powerful voices in rock, delivering the song's soaring high notes with all the range and power it had when originally recorded.
Criss-crossing the decades, the veteran Seattle, Wash. rockers next performed the title track to their most current release, "Fanatic," a smouldering rocker, that fits in comfortably with the band's harder edged pre-80s work, and followed with their 1978 hit "Heartless."
After a brief introduction, Heart delivered the first 80's power ballad of the night, their 1985 "comeback" single, "What About Love," followed by another "Fanatic" track, titled "59 Crunch," that Ann claimed "was named after a chocolate bar."
Continuing the pattern of weaving between early and modern material, the women next led their tight 4-piece backing band, consisting of Debbie Shair (keyboards), Craig Bartock (guitar), Dan Rothchild (bass) and Ben Smith (drums) into the classic album track "Love Alive," from 1977's "Little Queen," before launching into a string of hits, which included: 1980's "Even It Up, "1976's “Dreamboat Annie,” 1979's "Dog & Butterfly," and 1976's "Magic Man."
In the home stretch, both sisters then had a chance to show off vocal chops on power ballads - with Nancy, who dazzled the audience throughout the night with her guitar and vocal harmony prowess, contributing lead vocals on their 1986 Bernie Taupin-penned smash "These Dreams" and Ann delivering a mesmerizing performance of "Alone," earning a standing ovation.
"Stop crying - you'll make me cry," the singer joked, as many fans standing at the front of the stage were left sobbing after the song.
She then announced another new track titled "Dear Old America," which Ann said was written about their father, a former U.S. marine who served in WW2 and Korea who was "really beat up but came back home."
Nancy's brilliant acoustic guitar work introduced their soaring set closer, their 1976 debut single "Crazy On You."
Following a lengthy, well deserved standing ovation, they wrapped the night with a two-song encore, which included a smoking rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" and were then joined onstage for a cover of The Who's "Quadrophenia" classic, "Love Reign O’er Me” by Simon Townshend, brother of iconic Who guitarist Pete Townshend, who opened the show with an well received 40-minute solo acoustic set, featuring original material from his latest album "Looking out for Love."
The tour’s next Canadian stop will be tonight in Thunder Bay, ON at Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.
See Heart’s official website for more details.
Did you know? Heart and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience will team up this summer for a 30-city North American tour, which will feature the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees along with the Black Country Communion drummer, son of the late Zep founding member John Bonham, who will each perform sets with Bonham opening, then returning at night’s end for a half hour Led Zeppelin tribute.