The Farr Side: Show tugs at the Heart strings (By David T. Farr of The Sturgis Journal) -Grand Rapids MI Review
Ann and Nancy Wilson have mended fences.
The Heart of rock ‘n’ roll is still beating. And if last week’s show in Grand Rapids is an indication, the band is alive and well.
Ann and Nancy Wilson have mended fences and are back for the band’s new tour, which marks Heart’s legacy since the mid-’70s.
The Hall of Famers opened the Van Andel Arena show with “Rockin’ Heaven Down,” from their 1980 album “Bebe le Strange.” It was as if time stood still when Ann belted out the lyrics with little effort. I’ve revered Ann as one of rocks finest vocalists and she proved my opinion’s validity.
Ann briefly addressed the Wilson family turmoil that put the band on a three-year hiatus before stating this tour proves “anything can happen.” The respect these sisters have for each other is evident.
“Magic Man” garnered massive audience approval the moment Nancy strummed the opening chords. Hair on my arms stood up, it was that cool. “Love Alive” followed.
I realize this was a full-on rock and roll show, but I missed having a video screen backdrop. It would have been good to see closeups of the band, particularly Nancy’s guitar work. She blew me away, even after all these years. I would have appreciated seeing it up-close.
For being the legends they are and the catalog of incredible material they have on their own, they paid homage to a number of acts who they credit as influences including performances of “Your Move” (Yes), “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye), “Comfortably Numb” (Pink Floyd), “The Battle Of Evermore” (Led Zeppelin), and my favorite of the night, “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel). “The Boxer” was so beautiful. That song holds a special place in my heart, since it was one of my mom’s favorites. As the song played, it struck me that 15 years earlier, I had taken my mom to the same arena to see Simon & Garfunkel.
I loved every minute of “Back To Avalon” and “These Dreams.” “Dog & Butterfly” was nice, but “What About Love” took me back to my high school dances. Music is therapy and this was much-needed.
As if the night wasn’t already incredible, “Crazy On You” tripled the excitement in the arena. Nancy’s signature high-kick ushered in the iconic rock smash.
The encore was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. “Barracuda” rocked the roof off. But it was the band’s biggest hit, “Alone,” that capped the night. The slowed-down version of this power ballad was something else. Ann’s stunning vocals are unmatched by anyone in the business. The heart and soul of the lyrics in this song were brought to surface. It was an amazing moment and something I can cross off my bucket list.