Gig review: Heart, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: John Devlin
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: John Devlin
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Although Heart’s greatest commercial success has been in their native US and Canada, fans throughout the UK have been waiting a long time to see this veteran Seattle rock band, fronted by the mighty Ann and Nancy Wilson, in action.

Heart | Rating: **** | Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

There were many heckled professions of love throughout a whistlestop set of their back pages, from their early days as hippy chick heavy rockers in the 1970s through the power balladeering 1980s to brand new material from forthcoming album Beautiful Broken.

The title track demonstrated that Heart still have teeth. Ann Wilson certainly still has the larynx, combining her belter power with a clipped, raspy, rawness on the hokey hippy Magic Man, mean bluesy garage of Kick It Out and Bebe Le Strange’s winning just-do-it attitude.

Even the soft rock ballads had a certain edge, Wilson sounding frayed and tormented on a powerhouse Alone. Sister Nancy fronted the softer contours of These Dreams and made the most of her time to shine with the flamenco-inspired flourishes of her extended acoustic intro to the melodramatic Crazy On You.

This was swiftly followed by their venomous garage rocker Barracuda but, having saved their two greatest numbers for last, where was that dessert Ann Wilson had promised for our patience? The riposte was an encore of Led Zeppelin covers – The Immigrant Song, a bombastic No Quarter and nimble Misty Mountain Hop – which made explicit their classic rock influences.