Friday, April 13, 2018

Ann Wilson Concert Review

If you came to the Ann Wilson Soundstage Television Taping expecting to hear her perform a bunch of Heart songs, you probably came away from the show a little disappointed … she only did three. (“Barracuda,” her second song in, followed by a completely slowed down, drawn out version of “Crazy On You” and, about two thirds of the way in, a slowed down version of what is already a slow ballad, “Alone,” a #1 Hit for the group back in 1987.)  To keep that number in perspective, she also did three songs by The Who … the show-opener “The Real Me,” a kick-ass version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Reign On Me.”  She also did songs by The Eagles (“Life In The Fast Lane”), Amy Winehouse (“Back To Black”), Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”), the obligatory Led Zeppelin / Robert Plant song (“Misty Mountain Hop”) and an amazing version of the Yes classic “Your Move.”  With a new LP out (“Immortal,” paying tribute to many of the artists who have recently left us), her current solo tour (as well as a new one coming up … “The Stars Align” tour, teaming her with rockers Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers) and now this PBS television special, one could get the impression that she was trying to distance herself from her past with the band she devoted over forty years of her life to, earning Heart countless accolades and, finally, recognition for those efforts by way of induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  (When a fan in the audience held up a Heart album, Ann mumbled something under her breath to the effect of “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m trying to get away from.”  Wonder if that’ll make the final TV edit!  Lol)

If you came to the Ann Wilson Soundstage Television Taping expecting to see her perform this incredible show, you had better be prepared to stand for the entire performance … because the audience was up on its feet the whole evening … screaming and cheering every step of the way.  There were times it was deafening (and everything was certainly amped up a notch or two for the benefit of the television cameras, preserving the event for all posterity.)   

What you did see and hear was an energized performance.  She looked and sounded great. (Ann Wilson has one of the most powerful voices in rock and roll … but she is just as easily able to channel the blues and soul that clearly inspired her along the way … and she can tear your heart out when she sings a ballad, too!) she rocked the jam-packed Arcada Theatre to the rafters.)  One point was made abundantly clear … no matter what material she chooses to feature (she even did “I Put A Spell On You” for God’s sake!), THE GIRL CAN SING!!!

One of her several encores featured her brand new version of the Lesley Gore tune “You Don’t Own Me,” which is getting quite a bit of press in this current “Me, Too” age ... an anthem again of sorts, thanks to its powerful message.  (WTG to our long-time buddy John Madara, who wrote the tune some 55 years ago … this song is truly timeless and one of my all-time favorites.)

And her reading of an old blues track, “Danger Zone,” accompanied only by a piano, which ultimately closed the show was simply beautiful.  The band then came back out to take their final bow to well-deserved thunderous applause.

No official word on exactly when this Soundstage PBS Special will air other than “Fall” for right now … but we will definitely keep you posted.
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits