Nancy Wilson of Heart
I’m a huge fan of female vocalists and '70s-era rock, so seeing Heart is high on my musical bucket list -- San Diegans will have a chance to check that one of over the weekend.
While many respectable female vocalists emerged from the Me Decade, including such icons as Patti Smith and Deborah Harry, it’s hard to deny the awesomeness of Heart. Fronted by powerhouse sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson (who was born in San Diego, BTW), the band shamelessly crashed the music scene, redefining women’s role in rock.
The Wilson sisters have been widely heralded as musical pioneers and were among the first females to front a hard-rock outfit. Both sisters boast expansive vocal ranges and instrumental prowess, holding their own in the music world by kicking, screaming and making no apologies.
Heart delivers a healthy dose of girl power but balances it out with emotive, soulful lyrics that have mass appeal. Chart-topping power ballads like “Barracuda,” “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You” have been getting stuck in our heads for decades.
Even though the Wilsons' hair has significantly mellowed over time, Heart hasn’t lost any of their musical ferocity. A lot of bands stage half-hearted comebacks, but the veterans of Heart returned from their decade-long hiatus to make yet another splash with the 2010 release Red Velvet Car, which reached the Top 10 slot on Billboard charts. The band still throws down classic rock riffs and killer vocals without skipping a beat.
Heart was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, securing a ranking in the greatest artists of hard rock.
The band is currently on the Heartbreak Tour, continuing to support their 2012 release, Fanatic. You can catch Heart -- with support from former Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham --on Aug. 26 at San Diego State’s Open Air Theatre. Ticket information is here.