Heart Beating Its Way To Tulsa

Heart Beating Its Way To Tulsa Gig

Heart won't ever deteriorate into an oldies, play-only-the-hits machine.

That promise comes from Ann Wilson, the rock band's lead singer, who said passion and creative fire, not a ho-hum obligation to fans, drive Heart on the concert stage and in the studio these days.

"You can take the songs that may be older songs and really bring them to life when you perform, to keep the fire burning," she said during a recent telephone interview. "It has to be alive and awake. That's a must. We will never be a jukebox that just throws the songs at the people. It will never be a meat-and-potatoes set."

Founded and led by Wilson and her sister, guitarist Nancy Wilson, Heart will prove they still have fire in their playing and singing when they join Def Leppard for a concert at 7:30 p.m. July 19 at the BOK Center, 200 S. Denver St. in Tulsa. The show will include Heart's radio staples like the aggressive, galloping No. 11 hit "Barracuda," which was named the 34th best hard-rock song of all time by VH1 in 2009, as well as tracks from Heart's latest compact disc, "Red Velvet Car," Ann Wilson said.

"It was rewarding to make ‘Red Velvet Car' and it's rewarding to play those songs in concert now, just like it has been when we made all of our albums," she said. "Nancy and I love to write songs and we still have something to say, as all artists do."

Known for the songs "Magic Man," "Crazy on You," "Dog and Butterfly," "Dreamboat Annie," "Alone," "What About Love" and "How Can I Refuse," Heart is set to play an 80-minute set before Def Leppard, but the Wilson sisters are days -possibly weeks - away from composing a set list.

"We always switch the set up," said Ann Wilson, who frequently plays bass for fun and has worked with Elton John, Alison Krauss, Alice in Chains and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, among others. "We'll probably do ‘Crazy on You,' among others. There will be lots of stuff heard."

Ann Wilson's nature is more rigid when it comes to her caring for her voice.

"I don't smoke anything and I don't drink alcohol," she said as her tone grew serious. "Those are drying irritants for a voice. I stay away from those, and I take lots of vitamin C. I try to remain healthy."

Heart has been hailed by fans and critics as a trail-blazer for other female artists like Pat Benatar, The Go-Go's and Madonna over the years. That acclaim draws both respect and a sense of awe from Ann Wilson.

"We really didn't imagine doors opening for other female musicians and writers back then," she said. "The idea was to just go out and play and sing. We were focusing on getting that next club gig back then, and it eventually shot us into the future."

In Concert

Def Leppard and Heart

When: 7:30 p.m. July 19

Where: BOK Center, 200 S. Denver St. in Tulsa

Tickets range from $35 to $125 and can be purchased by calling (866) 726-5287 and at www.bokcenter.com. For information, visitwww.defleppard.com and www.heart-music.com.