Sunday, August 18, 2013

You Gotta Have Heart

It's no secret,  John and I appreciate good music.  Over the years, we've seen A LOT of bands.  Everything from Chuck Berry, to the Punch Brothers, to the Black Keys and everything in between.  We've seen bands that have been around for 50 years and bands that are relatively new (at least as far as we know).  

About a year ago, we pulled all the ticket stubs we've saved and put them in an open frame (to add more).  Sadly, John didn't save a lot of his from Way Back When, but being the pack rat that I am, I saved most of mine. 

Looking at the ticket stubs from some of the concerts we've seen, the first thing that strikes me is the price tag.  Seeing The Who in 1982 cost $15.00.  Fleetwood Mac in 1980 - $13.00.  Elvis Costello in 1989 - $16.50. 

Guster in 2012 - $36.00.  Bodeans in 2012 - $46.00.  Train this year - $46.00.  Black Crowes this year - $70.00.  Roger Waters doing The Wall last year at Wrigley Field - well over triple digits a ticket.

Heart, in 1979 - $6.00.

Ann and Nancy Wilson's band has always been one of my favorites.  As of last night, I've seen them 4 times over the course of 34 years.  When I saw them in '79, it was at the Purdue Elliot Hall of Music - a place literally engineered for acoustic quality.  I remember Ann's voice giving me goosebumps all night long.  I saw them later with Joe Perry.  Good concert, but not a remarkable one at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.  I saw them there again with an up and comer from Indiana for an opening act - John Cougar.  All the tweens from southern Indiana showed up to see him and left after he was done.  My friends and I moved from the nose-bleed seats to the main floor and watched Heart put on a great show.  

Fast-forward a few decades.

I always liked the fact that John and I never "got stuck" with our musical taste.  I don't begrudge anyone who still deeply appreciates Rick Springfield and Donna Summer, but I like to think I can file the old stuff in the "Listen To This When You're Feeling Nostalgic" folder and enjoy new, unique and wonderful tunes. 

Then John told me that Heart was coming to St. Louis and he got us tickets.  Really good tickets.

We got to meet them, ever so briefly.  But I brought my ticket stub from 34 years ago, showed it to them, and told them I like them now as much as I did then.

After seeing them live again, I have to they they haven't skipped a beat.  (Pardon the pun.)  Nancy is still a guitar goddess and proverbial showman.  Ann's voice is still spot on.  The range she has at the age of 63 is incredible.  She sounds the same now as she did 34 years ago.  I don't know of any other singer who has come close to doing what she has done for that length of time.  

(My phone takes lousy photos of concerts.  Nancy looks much better than the white blob in these photos.)

Heart's opening act last night was Jason Bonham, and his band performed some Led Zeppelin's best - his dad's band.  After Heart's set, Bonham came back out and the whole encore was Ann singing LZ songs better than Robert Plant could 2 decades ago.  

As far as Heart is concerned, yes, I admit it.  I am stuck in the 70's and 80's.  And with Ann and Nancy, I'm happy to be there.  

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