NANCYAll Heart photos K. Dickson


Fanatic Tour- Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland

Pittsburgh, PA March 26, 2014

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

There are many reasons Heart has been around for 40 years. Selling over 30 million albums and being dubbed  “ the female Led Zeppelin “ top the list. But the Rock and Roll hall of Fame duo is not one to rest on its laurels. As if to prove their worth, the Wilson sisters packed the explosive energy of their arena show into Pittsburgh’s intimate  Carnegie Music Hall and torched it for 90 minutes.

They came out like a C4 explosion with a thunderous “Barracuda”  and rarely slowed to take a breath. Ann’s signature is her ability to wail. At 63, her voice is as strong and operatic as ever. She sings lead on almost every song and it occasionally comes at price. She is a little short on nuance and usually opts for a full voice high decibel beat down. It’s what makes “Alone” one of the best live vocal performances in rock.

HEARTLOGOThough touring in support of 20102’s “Fanatic,” they played just  two songs from that release. Having  only produced one album in the 90’s and one in the 00’s, a Heart concert is usually a greatest hits showcase and the exclusion of “Magic Man” on this night was both noticeable and disappointing.

The band managed to stay relevant  in the Eighties, a decade that many music historians would like to throw out as a mulligan. To that end, the tribute mini set included “What About Love,”  “These Dreams” and “Alone.” On the latter, Ann seemed to dial down the vocals a bit.

Perhaps as a compensatory gesture, Nancy followed with  an extended acoustic opening  shred to “Crazy On You” to close out the set.

The encore  fittingly featured three Zep classics; The Immigrant Song, The Rain Song and Misty Mountain Hop.


Ann cleared up any notions of a secret meaning behind “Dog and Butterfly.”  She said, “One day, I just looked out the window and saw my dog playing with a butterfly. And THAT’S IT”



With both sisters now in their early 60s, Heart’s core fans are baby boomers. Amazingly, they continue to attract a younger demographic despite a lack of material tailored to the Gen X members. It just goes to show that “sinnin’ in the name of rock and roll” transcends time and keeps material fresh. It’s the same Heart people fell in love with decades ago.