Day 92: A song by the last band you saw play live.
“Alone” – Heart
I mentioned in the “Crazy On You” post some time back that we would be going to see Heart. They are a band I’ve liked to varying degrees for many years. (I got my major exposure to them like many teens did in the mid-80s, with their self-titled album.) But I had never seen them live. I was pretty excited about it.
I was not let down.
The show, incidentally was today. (Or it would be if I wasn’t a few days behind). Thus, that makes Heart the last band I saw play live.
Both Laura and I are in agreement that Ann Wilson has, somewhere along the line, made a pact with the devil. It’s the only explanation for her being able to still sing the way she does. It is just not natural for someone of her age (63 as of this writing) to sound so good. There were times during the performance where you would not have known it wasn’t the Ann Wilson of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago singing. She is still that good.
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We were treated to “Barracuda” as the opening song. And “Crazy On You” was the closer for the main set. (And I’ve got to say, live versions of “Crazy On You” are good, but it’s nothing like actually being there. It just rocked.)
Yeah, yeah, I know. I already talked about “Crazy On You.” Cut me some slack, I’m getting there. I’m actually here to talk to you about a song that was never a favorite of mine, really. And that would be “Alone.”
Yes, it was a decent enough song. Yes, it was a #1 single. Yes, it propelled Bad Animals to #2 on the album charts. But at the end of the day, it was your typical mid- to late-80s power ballad. I never thought there was very much that was special about it.
Until this show.
The song itself is still not that special, but the performance made it a highlight. It was done acoustically (well, except for the electricity pumping through the keyboards, but go with it). Although we kept mentally expecting the bombastic drums and crunching guitars to come in, those guys had actually left the stage. So it was just Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson (on acoustic guitar) and their keyboard player. And it was fantastic. Ann hit all the notes. And didn’t just hit them, she belted them out. If there had been any question up to that point about her voice, all doubts were erased. We were more than duly impressed.
“These Dreams” was another personal highlight of the show for me, as well. Nancy Wilson’s vocal wasn’t all that great, but when they reached the chorus, I was still transported back to the mid-80s and I got my (in)famous “face flush.” It was a nice moment.
The best moment of the show, however, had nothing to do with the venue, or even the music.
Given that Heart has been around for nearly 40 years, the age of the audience trended, shall we say, older. Most people sat for the majority of the show, but there we some hardcore fans front and center that stood the whole time, and were even leaning against the stage. About 20 minutes in, some guy in a suit approached the security guy in the front and said something to him. After a chat with the security guy, Mr. Suit proceeded to walk across the front telling people to back away from the stage and sit down. Some did. Others just looked at him. But the classic moment was, as soon as he had passed by her, Ann Wilson got a baffled look on her face, then immediately motioned for people to come right back up. Whether Mr. Suit was affiliated with the theatre somehow or just a crotchety old guy who doesn’t know how concerts work is unknown, but he disappeared, apparently in defeat, and the band played on.
I’ve previously stated in this blog that I wasn’t much interested in live shows anymore, but I think I’m changing my tune on that. Seeing Heart in the intimate setting of an old-style theatre was nice. And something I think I’d like to do again. Minus the crotchety old guy, of course.