Review: Rock band Heart amazes fans at New York's Jones Beach Theater Special

Posted Jun 28, 2013 by Markos Papadatos
On June 27, rock band Heart performed at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York as part of their “Heartbreaker” tour.
Nancy and Ann Wilson from rock band Heart
Nancy and Ann Wilson from rock band Heart
Courtesy of Norman Seeff
Heart is made up of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, both of which were recently inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, which featured Jason Bonham on drums, served as the opening act, where they played such Led Zeppelin classics as “Rock and Roll,” “Black Dog,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Houses of the Holy,” “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” as well as the closing number “Whole Lotta Love.”
Heart opened their set with “Barracuda,” which featured soaring electric guitar riffs from Nancy Wilson.
It was followed by “Heartless” and “What About Love,” the latter of which was a crowd-favorite that the Long Island audience was singing back to them.
They continued with two songs from the 70s era, which included an expressive rendition of “Magic Man,” which showcased Ann’s tremendous range and the up-tempo “Kick It Out.”
After switching guitars (from electric to acoustic), Nancy and Ann played “Mistral Wind.”
“Welcome, everybody. Hello,” said Ann Wilson. “It looks like the weather is going to hold up for us,” she added and went on to introduce their talented band members, including her sister Nancy, which she dubbed as her “lovely partner in crime and soul-mate.”
Nancy returned the favor and introduced Ann as “indescribable” and as a true force to be reckoned with.
Following their version of their 1980 hit “Even It Up,” which consisted of spot-on harmonies and perfect pitch, Ann passed on the microphone to Nancy.
“I am the other one,” Nancy said. “We are going to do all types of things tonight since you guys know who we are.”
Nancy noted that she grew up loving Elton John’s “I Need You To Turn To” and delivered a delicate solo performance of the tune, as she accompanied herself on acoustic guitar and was simultaneously able to silence an entire venue while doing so.
She also sang lead on “Walkin’ Good,” a tune from their latest studio album “Fanatic,” which featured Ann on harmony vocals, as well as on flute.
Nancy added that a few folk tunes were thrown in their set for good measures.
While “I Need You To Turn To” and “Walkin’ Good” were impressive and beautiful performances, the one vocal that captivated the Jones Beach Theater was Nancy’s stellar rendition of their first chart-topping single “These Dreams.” Her mellifluous vocals on this spiritual tune were reminiscent to those of such songstresses as Amy Grant and Alison Krauss.
As it started to drizzle, they immediately broke into the power-ballad “Alone,” which showcased Ann’s trademark pipes and ability to still nail the high notes. She sang it at a slower pace than the original, yet her delivery was controlled and emotional. This signature tune was well-received and garnered them a huge standing ovation.
Although this song has been covered by many artists in contemporary music ranging from Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood, it is safe to say that none of them perform it as good as Ann.
“Thank you,” Ann said. “Thank you very much!” she exclaimed.
Heart went on to dedicate “Dear Old America,” from their new CD, to the men and women that are serving in the military, as well as their father who was a marine. Throughout this vocal, the stage was graced in an electronic background that featured the American flag, which added to the song’s appeal.
Nancy commenced their closing song “Crazy on You,” with a stunning acoustic guitar solo and as Ann joined in on vocals, they had the crowd every step of the way with them and clapping throughout, thus earning them their second standing ovation of the evening.
“Thank you very much everybody,” Ann said prior to exiting the stage.
For their encore, where they paid homage to one of their musical influences, Led Zeppelin, Ann and Nancy sang “Battle of Evermore” and Jason Bonham joined them on drums for the remaining five songs which included “The Song Remains the Same,” “The Rain Song,” The Ocean,” “Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven,” which was a musical masterpiece.
The Verdict
In summation, Heart put on a phenomenal rock concert at the Jones Beach Theater. Vocally, Ann Wilson was in a league of her own and Nancy Wilson was spectacular on harmonies, lead guitar and mandolin. Heart was able to command the stage and connect with their audience. They garnered an A+ and proved beyond a reasonable doubt that their recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction was indeed based on merit and long overdue. There were no gimmicks: just two gifted women (and their supporting band members) who were able to rock out as they performed their classic hits and new material, thus giving their Long Island fans the best concert possible.
Their show is highly recommended for fans of classic rock, modern rock, pop and adult contemporary music.
According to Christine Nagy, veteran radio personality from New York’s 106.7 Lite FM, she remarked, “Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of the rock group Heart are extremely talented and they broke through many barriers for women in music, especially since it was a ‘boy’s club’ when they started. Ann is not only a great singer but her sister, Nancy, is a great guitarist. Now, almost forty years later, Heart is still going strong. Their performances are better than ever and they consist of their hits and new songs from their vast catalogue.”
For more information on rock band Heart, their music and tour dates, visit their official website.