Saturday, May 21, 2016
I haven't seen Heart since 1977 when they first started and were so unique and yeah hot. The old Omaha Music Hall, a run down 3000 seat annex to the old run down Civic Auditorium, featured bands like Heart, Bruce Springsteen, REM, Tom Petty, ya know up and comers back then. The type of bands that couldn't fill the 9500 seats but could get a decent crowd at a smaller place played this broken down dump. Oh I kid, in '77 it was a fine place. Cramped and dingy, a sort of symphony feel. Classy. Well for 1977 Omaha anyway.
Heart is still out there humpin it, making a living, playing songs from the 70's and 80's that were monster hits to old people like me. Now, I gave up on Heart long ago, Couldn't stand them. Talk about schlock. Songs that made absolutely no sense to me. But still, that voice. Ann Wilson was power. Her voice had the power of two hammers bashing your ears in on both sides. Goddam, the songs sucked, but that woman could fucking sing. American Idol singers made careers singing Alone. Can she hit Ann Wilson's notes? Can she blow this place away? Some could, most could not. So when a Groupon arrived, I assume due to poor ticket sales, saying hey Max's Dad, wanna see Heart for $20 measly dollars, I said I am in.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opened the show. I had never seen Joan Jett live. Never had I cared that much for Joan Jett. Damn, how sick she must be of singing that awful I Love Rock N Roll cuz I know I am sick of hearing it. So when Joan Jett walked out, on time like us old people like, and launched into Bad Reputation, Christ, I was hooked. 45 minutes of pounding power from this 57 year old tough chick who will always be a leather clad teenager to me. Personable as hell, tailored her remarks to her audience, and just played her guts out. I'm not sure why her niceness surprised me. I guess I was expecting a 15 year old in chaps to walk out and tell everybody to fuck off all night. Joan Jett, if you get a chance, go see her. Even her new stuff rocked.
Then it was time for Heart. From the start it made me cringe. Magic Man started it all. I should have left then. Ann cant sing anymore. Well to be fair, she is now just a shell of her former self, but still good enough to get out there. It's like watching Willie Mays with the Mets. You remember the great, and the mediocre just makes you sad. I stuck around for most of it, but after she sang Alone acoustically and quite frankly would have been X'd by Howard Stern for it, I took off.
Sometimes the legends just can't do it any longer. And sometimes a person who is a legend but you dont realize it, steps up and fills that void. Thanks goodness for Groupons.