Heart – Love Alive Tour
August 19, 2019
Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Review and Photos by Robert Kern
With Ann and Nancy Wilson, Love is Definitely Alive in Alpharetta
The Wilson sisters are back. The acrimonious family drama that split the girls apart nearly 3 years ago is firmly in the rear-view mirror, and the aptly titled “Love Alive” 2019 tour drives that point home.
Arriving onstage to a rapturous welcome from the sold-out crowd at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA, the band launched into “Rockin’ Heaven Down” from the “Bebe Le Strange” album. Quickly following up that heavy rock anthem with “Magic Man”, the Wilson sisters proved they’ve lost nothing during Heart’s hiatus, and the knowing looks and smiles shared by Ann and Nancy stood like signposts signaling that all is good in Wilsonville these days.
Throughout the 90 minute set the audience was treated to an amazing cross section of Heart’s fantastic catalog of music. During “Love Alive” Ann unassumingly played flute before creating a thunderstorm with her vocals as the song reached its crescendo. Her voice is still an amazing and powerful instrument and those occasional sly smiles on her face confirmed to everyone in attendance that she’s keenly aware of how great her voice is.
During the concert unexpected detours showcased musical influences on the band and highlight their versatility as performers. Ann took turns with Yes’s “Your Move” and the Motown classic “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”, the latter morphing into “Straight On”; Nancy covered Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”.
Nancy then brought the crowd to its feet delivering an amazing rendition of the Heart classic “These Dreams”. It was one of several show-stopping moments during the performance and proved that while Ann Wilson is known for her vocals, Nancy doesn’t really stand in her shadow.
No Heart show would be complete without the requisite top 40 hit parade that these amazing women created. Other notable setlist highlights included “Dog and Butterfly”, “Little Queen”, “Even it Up”, “What About Love” and classic deep-track fan favorite “Mistral Wind”.
As the set closed, Nancy Wilson began the acoustic solo that leads into “Crazy on You”. Watching her play that bit is a thing of beauty – and she never seems to miss a single note. As the song broke into the full band intro, she leg-kicked and bounced around the stage as if her very life depended on it.
Briefly leaving the stage prior to the obligatory encore, the band returned for three more songs. Opening with the Led Zeppelin masterpiece “Stairway to Heaven”, you can understand why Robert Plant was moved to tears watching Ann and the band perform it at the Kennedy Center Honors program in 2012. Nobody covers this tune like Ann Wilson and her performance was stunning.
If that wasn’t enough to stop the show, Ann followed up by delivering a second jaw-dropping vocal on the song “Alone”. There aren’t enough words to describe witnessing those two performances back to back. Stellar!
The spotlight shined on Nancy Wilson one last time as she drove home the final exclamation point with the opening chords of “Barracuda”. The staccato chops from her guitar signified a perfect ending to a performance filled with wonderful musical moments. The Wilson sisters are definitely back….