Having been around since the ’70s, Heart knows the secret to a good show: play the hits and give the people what they want to hear. It’s that simple. While some bands may tease out the hits, dropping a couple early on and then peppering them in amongst the new stuff, Heart threw out a whole whack of them right off the bat, opening strong with “Barracuda” (which sounded a bit sluggish to my ears, but still sounded good) and following it up with “Heartless,” “What About Love,” “Magic Man,” and “Kick It Out.” It was only after running through these that Ann Wilson addressed the crowd for the first time with a “Thank you, good evening.”
As I said, the band played hits and people love to hear hits. As Nancy Wilson noted, they had a lot of songs from a lot of different eras to choose from, but they didn’t seem to leave too many of the big ones out (I was a bit bummed that they didn’t play “Dreamboat Annie,” but whatever). The biggest crowd responses came for “Crazy On You” and “Alone,” with “Alone” getting a particularly long and sustained ovation from the crowd. This just goes to show what we already knew: people love the ’80s power ballads. They did also play a few newer numbers, including one song, “Dear Old America,” that they dedicated to their father, a former marine.
While Heart have a lot of hits to choose from, they didn’t just confine themselves to playing their own hits. While this was a Heart show, in many ways, it was just as much a celebration of the music of Led Zeppelin. It’s no secret that the Wilson sisters are big fans of Zeppelin. They covered “Battle Of Evermore” for their Lovemongers project back in the day and were also a part of the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Led Zeppelin. So it’s not really a big surprise that, aside from the fact that Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience opened the show, Heart would also close the show with an encore set comprised entirely of Led Zeppelin songs with Bonham and bandmates sitting in. It had been announced beforehand that this would be the case, so I knew it was coming, but it still seemed a bit strange. Still, it’s not like they skimped on playing any of their own songs, and everyone else in attendance was just happy to hear “Stairway To Heaven” to close things off so who am I to argue?