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A Summer Night With Lots of Heart

One of the things I love about Minnesota summers is all of the great concerts (some outdoors) that we get to see. The “Mix Summer Spectacular” in August will be one such concert. Until that end of summer concert gets here, I kicked off the summer with my first outdoor concert of the season at the new Mystic Amphitheater.

It was the first night of the Heart tour with opening act Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Both acts seemed to have made time stop by looking and sounding exactly as they did years ago. Joan in her trademark black jumpsuit and rough gravelly vocal, complete with straight ahead hard edged guitar playing. And The Wilson sisters, known to the world as Heart. Ann Wilson in all black dress with black fringe shawl sporting  one of the best female rock voices ever to grace a song. Along with Nancy Wilson in the prerequisite skin tight black dress sporting just enough cleavage to be sexy and that awesome guitar playing. Through the years I’ve often thought when guys listen to Heart songs they think of Ann’s great voice and Nancy’s great looks, but do they realize just how talented a songwriter and guitar player Nancy is as well.

This was one of those concerts that brought a sold out crowd to a new venue cause both acts have a loyal legion of fans. And speaking of the venue, whose brilliant idea was it to turn this empty plot of land adjacent to the Mystic Casino into a concert ground complete with seating and concession stands. There was plenty of security, medical backup and ample parking, complete with shuttle busses.The staging was great with fantastic lights and sound system. My only complaint was a bit of audio distortion on two of Hearts signature hits, caused by either the sound man not watching his levels, or a power amp working to hard. Outside of that the sound all night had plenty of punch, was tight and right in the pocket.

Both groups played all their hits. When Joan Jett played “I Love Rock & Roll” and her cover of “Crimson & Clover” the Blackheart fans jumped to their feet and joined in. She also got a good reception to a brand new track called “Reality Mentality”. Heart has so many hits, the crowd was basically on their feet for the entirety of the show. Jamming out to “What About Love”, “Barracuda”, “Heartless”, “Straight On”, “These Dreams” and others. They’ve got a new album dropping in October and performed for the first time ever live, a single from that soon to be released album – “Dear Old America”, which is a tribute to our troops returning home from war.

You can check out this new Heart track at http://www.heart-music.com

Whatever your musical taste may be…get out and enjoy a summer night and listen to great live music under the stars!  I’ll be looking for you! HK.

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