June 23 2014 – In my younger days, I would create cassette tapes of artists which would ultimately lead to songs by Led Zeppelin and one of my favourite tapes (which I still have) has Heart leading into a collage of Zeppelin tunes. On June 17th, 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Heart rocked the GM Centre in Oshawa, one of T-Mak World’s favourite venues in the GTA. It had been a long time since I’d listened to any Heart tunes and was totally taken aback by the way they performed all of their hits. Ann’s voice is larger than life and Nancy still rocks out on the guitar! Along with the Wilson sisters, Heart is comprised of touring members Craig Bartock on guitar, Dan Rothchild on bass, Debbie Shair on keys and Ben Smith on drums.
It took no time for the audience to come to life and jump on their feet as Heart started their set with Barracuda. This forceful hard rock number reached number 2 in Canada back in 1977 and the timeless classic is still loved today.
At one point during the show, Ann was playing a harpsichord and Nancy was dragging a bow across an acoustic guitar. The Wilson sisters were playing a song called Heaven which as they state “the (record company) suits just don’t get, but we love playing it for you”. We were all glad that they did. This was an awesome and mesmerizing tune.
As the show progressed, the audience became more and more engaged and how could we not? The set list was made up hits from every decade, from the early hits like Crazy on You, Magic Man and Heartless and their 80’s megahits What About Love and a stunning version of Alone. The Wilson sisters even performed Let Me Roll It, a Paul McCartney and Wings tune that they learned specifically for this tour. By the time they performed their hits Crazy On You and Magic Man, we were all singing and dancing along with the Wilson sisters.
After a short intermission, Heart returned with Jason Bonham (the son of legendary Zeppelin drummer John Bonham) to perform a set of Zeppelin songs. The Wilson sisters have long been known to be big Zeppelin fans and The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience is the gold standard for Zeppelin tribute bands. But in this case, it wasn’t JBLZE, it was Bonham joining Heart onstage which made the performance all the more astonishing. What followed was mind-blowing. Ann’s vocals were outstanding, no, phenomenal! Bonham and Smith were perfectly synchronized and delivered the big booming sound Bonzo made famous. The precision in which the band performed the songs coupled with the imagery being displayed behind them was the perfect homage for Zeppelin.
The Wilson sisters started the set with the Battle of Evermore and their rendition of this song was spot on. The audience was truly whipped up into a frenzy after this song and it just kept going from there! Kashmir in particular was hypnotic.
The Wilson sisters coupled with Jason Bonham delivered something special this night. Their finale was a spectacular interpretation of Stairway to Heaven. A small choir joined the band on stage for this song and they hit the nail right on the head. Everyone in the arena was singing along! On this night, there may have been lighting and rain pouring outside, but these ladies delivered the thunder in the GM Centre! An outstanding show!
5 out of 5.
• The Heart set list:• Barracuda • Heartless • What About Love • Dreamboat Annie • Even It Up • Little Queen • Let Me Roll It (Wings cover) • Heaven • These Dreams • Alone • Mashallah • Magic Man • Crazy On You
Led Zeppelin Set List• Battle of Evermore • No Quarter • The Ocean • Immigrant Song • Kashmir • The Rain Song • Stairway to Heaven