Heart – Fanatic Live (CD/DVD) (review)

Heart – Fanatic Live from Caesars Colosseum (Frontiers) review

Hands down, Heart is the best classic rock band you can see in concert today…period

While most veteran rock bands are a mere shadow of what they used to be, Ann & Nancy Wilson, and Company are still providing high energy performances that rival anything they did back in the Seventies.  Seems unbelievable?  Fanatic Live from Caesars Colosseum, a new CD/DVD set, is proof.

The 14-song show kicks off with some Middle Eastern-flavored keyboards that preface “Fanatic,” one of the hardest songs the sisters have ever written, and a statement of purpose for still kickin’ it in 2014.  Along the way, the band grabs highlights from their entire career.  “Heartless” still has that unmistakable ethereal quality, while “What About Love” has some crazy high notes that Ann can still hit effortlessly.

The Fanatic album was one of the band’s finest in years (go back and read our review here) and from that “Walking Good” seems to breathe a little more in the live setting, while “Dear Old America” is pure hard rock, as they reminisce about the early days of the group.

There are some surprises here too – “Dog & Butterfly” features an interesting string arrangement, while “Alone” is slowed down and sparse, giving plenty of room for Ann blow everyone away.  The concert ends with the one-two punch of “Crazy on You” (featuring the signature intro from Nancy) and “Barracuda,” which is just jaw-dropping good.

There’s also an accompanying DVD of the exact same concert, shot with the kind of intimacy that makes you feel like you’re on stage with the band.  Under the “Bonus” footage you’ll find a great rendition of “Magic Man,” which was oddly left off the original running order.

Most classic rock concerts have become pleasant sing-a-longs. Yet, Heart still brings the goods, night after night.  I’ve seen them twice recently and was blown away both times.  Fanatic Live is an excellent showcase of a band still surprisingly at their peak.  —Tony Peters