August 23, 2010
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Emily Erwin
Making Dreams Come True
As a pseudo-yogi, and one who has a new found interest in Buddhism, I have an appreciation for finding balance in life. All work and no play definitely do not keep the doctor away. I know that's nowhere near the original saying, but you get my point. As a die hard fan of music from the 70s and 80s, I am always incredibly excited when I find out the bands I grew up listening to, thanks to dear old Mom and Dad, are back on tour. Unfortunately, this gal being excited about said concerts usually equals a huge build-up which often leads to what can only be compared to 'blue balls'. I get "piss in my pants happy" about a show, only to be somewhat disappointed to see that these artists, who have been making music since before I was born, are too busy trying to reinvent themselves than to play those rockin' anthems we have all come to love so much. When I saw ZZ Top live, I absolutely expected to hear all about how "Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man." Call me lame if you must, but I speak the truth. As much as I love hearing the classics I grew up on, I do appreciate hearing new material as well. It's nice to see how the artist's songwriting has evolved and matured over the years. Here's where that balance I rambled on about comes in - I want both. Is that too much to ask?
Having said all that, Heart made all my dreams come true on August 23rd at the House of Blues in Dallas. Well, maybe not all my dreams, but pretty damn close. I've been listening to Heart for more of my life than not, so it would've been relatively easy to disappoint me considering all the build up. As a music reviewer, I find it is much more fun to criticize than praise, but I just can't find a reason to do that in this case. No blue balls here. Ann Wilson (the crazy good lead vocalist of Heart) announced that we, as the audience, would be taken on a "journey" of Heart. Translation – the lucky listeners were getting to hear the music from the good ole days, while also getting a taste of their latest release Red Velvet Car. I was truly amazed at how these performers brought songs from decades ago to life. "Straight On", "These Dreams", "What About Love" - I'm getting chills just writing about it because it was truly an experience I will never forget. I know that sounds cheesy, but when it comes to the Wilson sisters, I don't play around.
In addition to their well known hits, I was truly impressed by the music from their latest project. As I said earlier, I have issues with bands who spend the latter portion of their careers trying to distance themselves from their musical roots. Why would you put so much effort into not sounding like yourself? I understand the importance of not making the same record over and over, and there is something to be said for those bands that can keep us guessing, but when I go to a show and I don't even recognize the band by their new music, I tend to be a little put off. It was clear that Heart embraces the "journey" that got them to where they are now. The music from Red Velvet Car was so obviously the brain child of Heart, but it was definitely not the same stuff we've heard before. Is it possible to find that balance between honoring where you came from, while also being innovative and fresh? Apparently, for this legendary band, it is entirely possible. I know, because I was one of the lucky ones to see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears.
I would be remiss if I were to leave out the performing aspect in any concert review. So, I'll continue to rave about the gloriousness we know as Heart. Let's just say that my opinion of the performance itself will be no surprise if you've read thus far. Consistency is the name of the game in the case of this review. The show was so passionate and full of energy that I have no words. If you know me, you know rendering me speechless is no easy task. Ann and Nancy have become famous for their undeniable onstage chemistry and it is still present in their live shows. These siblings get each other. I also have to say that this concert made me feel a bit lazy. I'm 27 years old and I'm relatively sure that, if you put me on a stage and told me to entertain thousands of people for two hours, I'd most likely pee my pants and promptly run for the proverbial hills. And this is why the Heart show made me question what exactly I'm doing with my life. Here are two sexy, talented, energetic rockstars that are not exactly in my age bracket and they can put on a hell of a show; I'm not exactly on their level, but I'm so glad I could go along for the ride. At some point during most concerts I've attended, there is a bit of a lull and I almost always sense it as soon as it happens. It's completely understandable, but this simply did not occur during Heart's performance. Somehow, these musicians managed to get the energy level up and maintain it throughout the whole show. The audience was engaged the entire time and so was the band.
I have gone on and on about the amazing talent of Heart and I know it all sounds too good to be true. I can assure you that I always speak the truth when it comes to my thoughts on music. However, I cannot think of anything negative to say about the concert. Don't believe me? Add them on Facebook and buy tickets next time they are in your area. See for yourself. The show is truly candy for all the senses, a spiritual trip throughout decades of amazing music, and the perfect balance between the old and new.