Published: 12:00 AM, Thu June, 15 2017
Fans who check out Ann Wilson of Heart at Packard Music Hall on Saturday will see a show that reflects where the rock hall of famer is at this stage of her creative evolution.
The powerful singer will perform reworked selections from her band’s vast catalog, covers of other songs that have influenced her and also a few new ones.
Fans also should be prepared for an atypical concert.
“A beautiful, classy set with an elegant, artistic production,” is how Wilson described it in a press release. “The music will be a mix of songs that have powered my life ... iconic soul-stirring covers, songs from my years of solo work and the unforgettable songs of Heart.”
Wilson’s backing band will include Craig Bartock, a member of Heart for a dozen years, on guitar; Andy Stoller on bass (the Ann Wilson Thing member for two years); and Denny Fongheiser on drums and percussion (Heart member in the 1990’s for two years).
Wilson has one of the most respected voices in rock, with an impressive range. Her body of work includes several massive hits by Heart, including “Crazy On You,” “Barracuda,” “Magic Man,” “Dog & Butterfly,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up” and “Mistral Wind.”
The tour has garnered praise from critics.
“[The evening] proved nothing short of spectacular,” wrote the Seattle Music News earlier this year. “The two-set lineup included her dynamic solo work, Heart classics and exceptional covers. And Wilson’s delivery was thrilling. It seemed to be a very personal, almost storytelling concert that spanned her expansive career and influences. It wasn’t a Heart show, but it was a rock show.”
Wilson described the set list to the music weekly Aquarian Weekly.
“I just chose songs that I have always really loved, that have great messages, are well written and have powerful lyrics that I just really get off on singing. And then, strangely enough, when you put them all together in a set, they seem to have a unified message. The message is a lot about speaking out – about not just being a lemming or sticking your head in the sand. It’s a lot about mindfulness, really, and sticking up for yourself.”
Ann Wilson and her sister and musical colleague, Nancy Wilson, have not toured together as Heart this year after their much-publicized falling out last August when Ann’s husband, Deen Wetter, struck Nancy’s children during a tour stop.
But the Wilson sisters were already at a musical crossroads even before the August incident.
In an April interview with Rolling Stone, Ann said she and her sister had not shared the same vision for Heart in years.
“We didn’t want to see ourselves as an old, has-been legacy band just going out again and again to make the big bucks,” she told the magazine. “I saw that happening the last couple of years more and more. [Nancy] has a vision of playing the same old meat-and-potatoes set in Europe. ... I don’t mean to say she’s wrong. We just differ – that’s all.”