In 2002, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Heart took to the road once again for their “Summer of Love Tour.” The successful tour ended in the group’s hometown of Seattle at the iconic Paramount Theatre on August 8, 2002. The glorious homecoming was captured by director Dave Diomedeid and produced by Katie McNeil and Jordan Berliant for Sony Legacy. The concert was released as a 2CD/DVD package and is now being reissued as a Blu Ray single DVD.
The sold-out crowd welcomes their hometown heroes back with open arms and are on their feet from the first notes of opening track “Crazy on You.” From the get go it is easy to see Heart is happy to be home as they are impassioned as they move about the stage. Ann Wilson’s voice sounds perfect as she belts out a mixture of hits, new songs, and rarities. She is moving about the stage like an angel dancing, jumping up and down and pumping her fist throughout the sets. Sister Nancy rocks her guitars with the greatest of ease, punctuating her playing with her legendary leg kicks and angelic backing vocals. Scott Olson plays lead guitar, burning up the fret board in an impressive fashion, while Alice in Chain’s bassist Mike Inez holds down the low end next to him. Tom Kellock brings keyboard magic to the songs, and Ben Smith is a rhythm beast on drums.
The band runs through the standards, “Straight On;” “These Dreams;” “Alone;” “Dog & Butterfly;” “Magic Man;” “Barracuda,” as if they were new songs, playing with a fiery passion and loads of energy. They bring that same passion to several cover songs: “The Witch” from the influential Seattle band the Sonics; “Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters” by Elton John; and of course, two magical Led Zeppelin covers, “The Battle of Evermore” and “Black Dog.”
The most surprising fact about “Alive in Seattle” is the band plays a handful of fantastic new songs: “Sister Wild Rose;” “Heaven” (where Nancy plays a bow on an acoustic); “Two Faces of Eve;” and “Break the Rock” (which Ann says will be on their new album in 2003), but none of them have seen a studio release to this day. This could make the DVD release that much more special if you dig these tracks.
All in all, Heart are consummate rock and rollers who always bring a great live show night after night. The band has released a few live offerings now, and for my money, ‘Alive in Seattle” is the best of the lot. These were good times for the Wilson sister and we can only hope to see many more in the years to come.