Orlando, FL (6/24/21)
“Time·less /ˈtīmləs/ adjective not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.” This is how Webster Dictionary defines timeless. But they leave out something equally important, how it describes Ann Wilson, the powerhouse vocalist of Heart. On June 24th, 2021, everyone that was able to snatch up a ticket at The Hard Rock Live in Orlando FL. would get the rare opportunity to see this legendary performer in a smaller setting and judge for themselves just how brilliant she is.
With a new 5 track EP Sawheat8 recently released, and of course Heart’s massive catalog of hit’s there would be plenty of great songs on tap for all of her fans this night. Just like you hear on all the infomercials, wait there’s more, Ann would also be throwing in some great surprises as well. Indeed, the packed house was buzzing as everyone was absolutely thrilled and on edge as to how she would sound, and what would be performed this night.
As the stage lights came alive, and the band made their way to their instruments, it was finally happening, that moment that everyone was waiting for, a post pandemic concert featuring a living legend, Ann Wilson. As she made her way behind everyone and came out between the drummer and the bassist, wearing a beautiful blue sequined dress, she was beaming from all the adulation the fans in attendance were giving her. She launched into “The Revolution Starts Now” a cover of the Steve Earle song from her new EP Sawheat8. From the first note in its completely obvious that her voice hasn’t changed a bit. She followed it up with an original song from Sawheat8 “Black Wing”. Not only did she perform this song beautifully, but she also played an amazing flute solo as well. Obviously, this woman has other talents in addition to her well know singing abilities.
During a break between songs, Ann took a minute to thank everyone and said that she thought this was much better than staying home and watching Netflix. Obviously, everyone chimed in with agreement. She then said the next song was written by John Lennon and launched into a beautiful rendition of “Isolation”. When the iconic guitar riff at the beginning of “Magic Man” kicked off, everyone cheered and got up out of their seats. Ann Wilson’s performance was flawless. It was every bit as good as the version on Dreamboat Annie. The big surprise was when she covered The Who’s classic song “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. She didn’t just nail, she owned it. Every note was done to perfection, even Roger Daltry’s scream towards the end. That alone was a goosebump inducing moment.
As there was no opening act, they decided to use that time as a well-earned 30-minute intermission. After everyone got their drinks and settled back into their seats. Ann Wilson and the band came back out as her guitarist brilliantly played the introduction for “Crazy On You”, an instant electricity went through the air. Just like every single song she played so far, it was to utter perfection, and truly a timeless performance. Ann dived back into her personal catalog of songs and performed “Permission” and “Love Of My Life”. Another surprise cover was the Aerosmith classic “Dream On”. Once again, her performance of this iconic song was mind blowing, and once again she nailed parts that only Steven Tyler in his prime could do. Of course, she played more Heart songs, as that is what brought her to prominence. She did a deep dive and pulled “City’s Burning” out of the vault. But it was her rendition of the classic Heart song “Barracuda” that brought the house down.
After a quick break it was time for the encore. With so many great choices as well as her penchant for covering other artists it was definitely interesting to see how she would cap off the night. Another Heart hit, “Straight On” would lead things off. Just like every song that came before Ann Wilson absolutely nailed it. The Penultimate song of the evening was another big surprise. The artist that she chose to cover was none other than the mighty Led Zepplin! Her choice was “The Crunge”. Ann Wilson obviously was having fun with this ode to James Brown and his funk styling. As wonderful a show as it has been, it was time for the night to draw to an end, and to cap things off, Ann performed a stunning rendition of the Heart hit “Alone”.
While there have certainly been a few legendary performers in the rock genre, father time has done his best to catch up in some way or form. They may not move the same or more importantly not be able to hit all the notes they used to. Precious few have escaped his clutches. But one that has is Ann Wilson. Her performance was seemingly a trip back in time as her voice was truly ageless and as brilliant as it has ever been. For Heart fans, or even anyone that loves to hear a powerhouse singer still at the top of their game, catching Ann Wilson live is simply a must.
- The Revolution Starts Now
- Black Wing
- Magic Man
- Forget Her
- Won’t Get Fooled Again
- Crazy On You
- City’s Burning
- Love Of My Life
- Dream On
- Straight On
- The Crunge
Hard Rock Live Orlando: