Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Last night I got to cross another band off of my musical bucket list when Heart played at the Ryman. I have always heard that they put on a great show and I was ready to see for myself. I was really surprised when a ticket broker (read: scalper) actually sold me a ticket for only 20 bucks. Maybe those guys do have a heart, or maybe they just had too many extras and wanted to get while the gettin' was good. Either way I was in and I was pumped.
First off, I gotta say that a tight jeans wearin', Lenny Kravitz impersonating, teen aged four piece from Nashville didn't really seem like the right opener for rock legends such as Heart at the Ryman. They were alright, but their version of "Jailhouse Rock" just made me roll my eyes and go stand in the beer line. They would probably rock at the Exit In, but last night they didn't do it for me.
When Heart came out, I saw an all too familiar sight. Old fans stand up, wave their arms around for the first half of the first song, and then sit down for the remainder of the show. Whatever, I was standing in the back of the balcony and it was great. The sister Wilson ran through a mix of old ones and new ones from their new album Red Velvet Car. I felt like Homer Simpson at the B.T.O. show yelling "No new crap! Get to Workin' Overtime!" (or Magic Man as the case may be.) Then another familiar moment, banter about how lucky we were to be in Nashville with all of the musicians, and then, yes, a special guest. Lucky for us is was the angel Alison Krauss. That was pretty cool. That girl has just about the best voice in the world and combined with Anne-Cy, it was quite a treat. Finally, after way to much new crap including the title track from Red Velvet Car, and another one called "WTF", it was time for the real reason I was there. "Magic Man". I know it's hokey to go to a show only to see a couple of songs but I did pay attention for most of the time and really, the best time to see this band isn't right now, it's 25 years ago. Anyway, "Magic Man" was everything I'd hoped it would be. That fed right into "Crazy On You", with an extended intro from the hotty hot hot Nancy Wilson on guitar. With those two songs behind us, there could only be one song left for a set closer, and it was "Barracuda". It was good to see Nancy finally bust out a Les Paul and jump and kick around like a mid 20's punk rocker. Man she rocks. We were invited into space by Ann for the encore and were treated to "What Is and What Should Never Be" and "Love, Reign O'er Me". Ann's voice really made for great versions of these classic songs, even if half the crowd didn't recognize the latter.
Seeing Heart didn't exactly live up to my expectations. The other "members" of the band were adequate I guess, but they didn't blow my mind. The lead guitar player was a bit of a disappointment. All of the classic riffs should be no sweat for a professional rocker, except this guy I guess. It appears smooth cowboy boots and a leather vest aren't enough to win over everyone, some people want to hear the songs played right. That guy aside, "Magic Man", "Crazy", and "Barracuda" were totally worth the effort, even if the rest of the show wasn't.