Concert Review: Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, August 1, Budweiser Stage


Ann Wilson wasted no time upon taking to the stage Wednesday night, immediately launching into a cover of The Who’s “The Real Me” to start things off and following that up with “Barracuda,” the lone Heart composition she would play during her set.

Taking a break from her main gig with Heart after a falling out with her sister Nancy over some family conflicts, Wilson was touring in promotion of her upcoming solo album Immortal, a collection of songs by artists who have died, but whose music will live on long after them – hence the name. With Wilson covering everyone from Leonard Cohen to Amy Winehouse to Chris Cornell on the album, it looks to be an eclectic song selection and she noted that when choosing songs, she went for what she thought were the best ones, rather than just the obvious hits. Highlights of her set included a cover of the Yes song “Your Move” (which she described as being “pure light”) and a beefed up version of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”

“You made the right choice this evening,” she said to the crowd, adding that we would get a good night of music “if you come in with your soul open and your ears open.” It almost felt like she was giving a sales pitch for the show with these comments, which seemed a bit odd to me. Everyone’s already paid to get in, Ann. You’re kind of preaching to the choir here.

Speaking of choirs, Paul Rodgers followed Wilson with a set full of hits from throughout his time in both Free and Bad Company that got the crowd singing along, most notably during set closer “All Right Now.” Rodgers has one of the quintessential rock voices and it was great to hear him belting out classic rock anthems like “Can’t Get Enough”, “Shooting Star”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”

Closing out the night was Jeff Beck, an impressive guitarist, but also a man of few words. Having seen Beck a few years ago during his co-headlining tour with Brian Wilson, I knew this coming in, but it seems he spoke even less this time around, addressing the crowd only once at the end of the night to thank them for coming and to briefly introduce his band. Still, the people weren’t here to hear Beck chat them up – they were there for some guitar heroics, and on that front, Jeff Beck certainly delivered.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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