Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Led with their Heart

Sisters bring Zeppelin's music to life

  • Print
Legendary rocker Ann Wilson of Heart showed she still has the voice, particularly on a pitch-perfect rendition of Barracuda.

DAN HARPER / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Legendary rocker Ann Wilson of Heart showed she still has the voice, particularly on a pitch-perfect rendition of Barracuda. Photo Store

Heart and Led Zeppelin almost go hand-in-hand during discussions about 1970s arena rock, so it's fitting that Heart continues to keep the Led Zep fires burning.

Sunday night at the MTS Centre, Ann and Nancy Wilson, the sisterly duo behind Heart, joined up with Jason Bonham, the son of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, whose death in 1980 led to the split-up of the band.

The Heart-Bonham combo picked up steam after they appeared together during the Kennedy Center Honors concert in December 2012 as part of the organization's tribute to Led Zeppelin. While rumours always swirl that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones will reunite for a tour, the closest Led Zep fans will get to hear those 1970s arena rock anthems again is from the Wilson sisters and Bonham.

The combo brought a powerful take of some of Led Zeppelin's biggest songs, like the mandolin-influenced The Battle of Evermore, the opening song of the set, the drum fiesta Four Sticks and a creepy No Quarter.

There are few singers around today who would, or should attempt to match the vocal histrionics of a young Plant, but Ann Wilson bravely gave it a go Sunday. She did pretty well on shriek fests like the Immigrant Song and Kashmir, but it would be hard to imagine a 21st-century Plant take those on these days.

The band, led by Nancy Wilson on guitar, provided the requisite rumble that made Led Zeppelin a legend. Their awesome version of Kashmir, an early set highlight certainly wound up the crowd and it's famous riff was faithful to the original.

Stairway to Heaven, which Bonham and the Wilsons performed at the Kennedy Center, was expected to be played to massive cheers and flicked lighters after press time.

Prior to the elegies to Zeppelin, Heart came out with a hit-laden 75-minute set that showed their songs are no slouches in the arena-rock department either.

They kicked it off with what is arguably their trademark song, a pitch-perfect Barracuda, and singer Ann proved she's still got the vocal chops other singers from the 1970s dreamed they had then and their accountants wish they had now.

It was the first of a string of six Heart classics that led to their being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Fans roared their approval when they heard Trudeau-era classics Heartless, What About Love?, Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen and Even It Up.

The Wilsons, backed by a four-piece band, mellowed out a bit with 1985's These Dreams, with Nancy at the microphone, and then Ann took over with a rousing rendition of Alone. The song was a sappy power ballad when it went to No. 1 in 1987, but a quarter-century later, it was more power than ballad, with Ann turning it into another showcase for her vocal prowess.

Magic Man and Crazy On You, again note-for-note from the 45s that boomers have in their treasured record collections, finished the opening set.

While many bands from the 1970s have lumbered into irrelevancy, it's a credit to the Wilsons that Heart, no doubt older, but no doubt wiser, continues to matter.

alan.small@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2014 D5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The Creation of Wicked

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google