I was not sure what to expect on Friday night, when I went to see Ann Wilson of Heart solo. I had not seen Heart since the late-80s and was fortunate enough to see the The Lovemongers in the mid-90s. Ann has been belting out rock classics for 45 years now and I just had to wonder what would be left of that amazing voice she has had all these years. Well I must admit, my worries were all for not. Ann Wilson dazzled the sold out crowd at Emerald Queen Casio with a unique mix of Heart classics and classic rock-n-roll hits.
Right from the start, the show went into high gear. Ann opened with “The Real Me“, “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You“. That is a pretty spectacular start to a concert. “The Real Me“, being a Who classic, sounded great being sung by Ann and she hit the big notes all throughout. “Crazy On You” gave me goosebumps her voice was so perfect. She changed the tempo of the song a bit in places, but it made the song better and more dramatic. After three songs, we had all been put under Ann’s spell. Her voice still having that great classic rock raspiness to it and a great range as well.
As the show continued with a mix of Heart songs and classic rock songs, here are some of the real highlights to me. “What About Love” was another song she changed up a bit, as well. You could just feel the raw emotion throughout the whole song. I could just feel being back in the mid-80s and that song coming on MTV. “Fool No More” a recent Ann Wilson song that is very bluesy was also a stand out. I felt like I was in a blues club in Chicago listening to that classic blues sound which fit Ann’s voice perfectly. It is so hard to pick out a few songs to highlight, they were all so good.
Another surprise was “She Talks To Angels“, a Black Crows classic and I would think a very hard song to sing. Not for Ann Wilson however, as she effortlessly sang it and made it her own. The crowd roared in appreciation once again for another great performance. The first set ended with a flurry of great songs. “Won’t Get Fooled Again“, “Alone” and “Love Reign O’er Me“. Two more great Who songs that Ann has just mastered. “Love Reign O’er Me” is such a classic song and one of my all-time favorites. You always get nervous when someone else sings one of your favorite songs, but Ann did the song justice and it was spectacular.
The encore started with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth“. This is another big time rock classic that I would think would terrify someone to do a cover of this song. Once again though, Ann just crushed it. The song was great and had a lot of people singing along. The drums and bass in this song really stood out and gave it a bit of a funk feel. At this point I really could not believe what I had seen. So many great songs, by so many different artists in one set sung by a lady who has been in the business for 45 years! I took a moment to just soak it all in and realize the gift I had been given to attend such a great show.
The final three songs on the set were “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin, “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and “Danger Zone” by Percy Mayfield. Three more iconic songs that all were a treat for the ears. I really liked “I Put A Spell On You“, as once again, Ann just made it a special version all her own that was chilling. The crowd was great and really showed their appreciation after such a great performance. As people filed out of the concert everyone was talking about the unique set list for the night and how they really enjoyed the variety. I am glad I was there to take this in and enjoy a ride through 45 years of rock-n-roll history. I can’t recommend enough if Ann Wilson comes to town you should buy tickets and get ready to enjoy a special night out. I don’t know how much longer Ann will be performing live, but don’t regret down the road that you did not take the time to see her perform. It will be a magical night of music you will really enjoy!
Full Picture Gallery can be found here: Ann Wilson Concert Gallery
Review by Eric Pefley