From the new album “Fanatic”!
BuffaloNews.com: After the energized audience twiddled its thumbs for an hour, Seattle-raised sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson led their quintet to the stage, getting off to a slow start with the forgettable title track to their upcoming 14th album, “Fanatic.” They kicked into gear with the first Top 10 hit – “Magic Man” – off of their 1976 debut album, “Dreamboat Annie.”
Over a simmering pace-and-punch rhythm, primary vocalist Ann Wilson proved her voice was in fine and fiery form from the get-go, reaching back for even bigger notes than the song’s recorded version. Nancy Wilson offered occasional dialed-in harmony along with her gloriously loose rhythm guitar work, while lead guitarist Craig Bartok wailed between the song’s signature spaceship synthesizer lines served by Debbie Shair.
Ann owned “Heartless,” another late ’70s hit that the Wilsons wrote together, afterward pausing to take in the majesty of Artpark. “What a place,” she marveled. “Let’s take advantage of this beautiful air … and fill it with power.”
Power ballads, that is, as Ann poured it all out on their 1985 comeback hit “What About Love.” They dug deeper for “Mistral Wind,” the opus that closes their 1978 two-phase effort, “Dog and Butterfly.” The song incorporates both of the album’s offerings of Nancy’s graceful acoustic pacing and the riff-rock that was then their stock and trade.
As was the case at many points in the 70-minute set, “Even It Up” saw Nancy jumping around and gripping her guitar by the neck as Ann reached back to hold the kind of notes that make hairs stand on end. They did so on their biggest hit “Alone,” which earned an ovation with an understated offering of only Ann’s voice, Nancy’s acoustic guitar and Shair’s keys.
Showing that they’re not just sitting on the hits, the standout among the handful of new cuts offered was “Dear Old America,” a rockin’ military ode written by gals who know the life – the Wilsons are daughters of a Marine Corps colonel. Hammering the set home with hard-hitting hits in the full-spectrum vocals of “Crazy on You” and all-time great riff of “Barracuda,” Heart showed they’re not done giving the classics a good workout, either.
Niagara-gazette.com: The sell-out crowd was treated to a flawless performance that began shortly after 8:15 p.m. with the title cut from the bands forthcoming album, “Fanatic.” The Artpark crowd received the song well. They continued the set with blazing versions of their hits, “Magic Man,” and “Heartless,” before Ann Wilson commented on how beautiful the venue was and how they should “fill it with love,” after which they played “What About Love.” Ann Wilson’s vocals on the rockers was stellar, but it was on the ballads like “What About Love,” that one could truly appreciate what a force of nature that her voice really is, and that it must be experienced in a live setting to appreciate its depth. More from this review
Backstage Axxess: “Heart has never been better live in my opinion. They have the perfect backing band and the seasoned Dan Rothchild (Beck, Shakira, Melissa Etheridge) is starting to find his niche along with the others. Ann and Nancy both seemed pleased with the overall crowd response and fed off it for one of the best Heart shows I have ever witnessed. That’s saying something since I have seen them approximately 20 times! Like fine wine they keep getting better and better!” More from this review.