Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Hail The Queens

Rock ‘n roll wouldn’t be the same without these women. It was a world dominated by men but these queens didn’t just break into mainstream and become household names, they also paved the way for other females to pursue their passion in music and be just as badass as their male counterparts.

The following rockers helped change and shape the sound of rock. From their vocals and style to their songwriting, their contribution to rock is invaluable.

Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart

Heart first found success when its members moved to Canada, in part to avoid the draft, then later in the United States, and ultimately worldwide. Heart rose to fame in the mid-1970s with music influenced by hard rock and heavy metal, as well as folk music. Their popularity declined in the early 1980s; but in 1985, Heart launched a successful comeback which continued into the 1990s, releasing numerous hard-rock songs and ballads. Heart disbanded in 1998, then resumed performing in 2002. In the summer of 2019, Heart ended their 2016 acrimonious break-up by launching their “Love Alive” tour. Iconic hits include “Crazy on You” (1976), “Magic Man” (1976), and “Barracuda” (1977).

Psychedelic Lunch

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On this date in history, 8/7/2019, Heart brought the Love Alive

Tour to Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. Along with the Wilson sisters, we were rocked by stellar sets from Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Elle King.

It was a smart move by the veterans to bring fresh new talent along for this all female front line tour, because Elle King got that crowd pumped up from the very beginning.

I hadn’t heard much of her music prior to this show, but I was impressed with her powerful vocals, her energy, her easy rapport with the audience, and her musical diversity. Elements of rock, blues, country, and pop all weaved in and out of her songs that were born for the stage.

Her song Ex’s & Oh’s is an anthem for certain. That one had the crowd in the palm of her sassy hands! I was an immediate fan watching her play a Flying V guitar that was nearly as big as she was…and handling it like a boss.

Speaking of bosses, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts wasted no time in asserting their badass brand of punk tinged hard rock. Jett is beloved nearly universally, and she effortlessly exudes cool confidence and sexy swagger.

Even on the big screens, one can see that glint of playful excitement in her eyes, and it is as contagious as a rock ‘n roll epidemic. When she lights into Bad Reputation, Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah), and I Love Rock ‘n Roll, everyone in the venue feels like they are 16 again, at least in spirit.

Heart proved beyond a doubt their legendary status with a sterling selection of their career spanning deep treasure chest of classic songs.

Not content to just play their own stuff, Heart tossed in some absolute gems of cover songs, including Your Move by Yes, The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel, and an absolutely breathtaking tour de force rendition of Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Ann Wilson’s voice was a force of nature throughout, and younger sister Nancy played electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin with masterful intensity, contributing some lovely lead vocals and harmonizing beautifully with her sibling.

All 3 bands were comprised of men playing their roles with anonymous but fierce contributions; content to let the legendary ladies claim the spotlight. My only complaints about this show were that it was too quiet (crank it up!), and that the crowd on the lawn were too lazy to get off their lazy asses and feed these amazing artists with some well earned energy. Everyone sounded great, but it was almost like someone has decided that the audience is old and tired and might want to just sit in their trendy little lawn chairs and not have to deal with that loud rock music.

I sure hope that doesn’t become the norm, because these artists deserve a better fate than that.

On This Date in History

Oooooohhh…Barracuda! With this lead off song, 1977’s Little Queen by Heart fully captivated my young imagination with vivid images of the fabulous Wilson sisters rocking out in all their glory. I got to see them live the following year and my fantasy was pretty close to the mark. Ann sang with a fierceness to rival Robert Plant’s, while her sister Nancy kicked major ass on both acoustic and electric guitars and sang angelic counterpoint whenever needed. The guys in Heart were all amazing as well. Roger Fisher was a severely underrated lead guitarist. Another Led Zeppelin trait that Heart excelled at was the range of lighter folk inspired tunes to balance out the hard rock attack. Love Alive is one of my favorite of all Heart’s songs, and Kick It Out rocked nicely. Nancy got to show off her lead vocal skills on Treat Me Well, and the song Little Queen displayed a bit of a funk influence. Heart had proven conclusively that Magic Man off their debut was no fluke. This band was here to stay.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

On this date in history, 9/3/1982, Heart and John Cougar (back before he officially changed his name to John Mellencamp) played a show at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. This was my first time seeing Mellencamp (or Cougar, for the purpose of this memory!) and he clearly was on the path to stardom.

His band was ultra professional, executing his songs with precision and confidence. John sang with authority and carried himself with the ease of someone born to the rock and roll stage. I recall being pretty irritated when a large chunk of the audience left after his set was over.

Heart took it in stride and played their hits and deep cuts with passion and intensity. I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic Wilson sisters and they balance each other so well…Ann, with the more powerful voice and jet black hair…Nancy, with the softer voice that compliments her sister so well, but also possessing her own fierceness, which she unleashes on acoustic and electric guitars. When they lit into “Barracuda”, all I could do was smile and think how foolish all those folks were who left early.

On This Date in History

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On this date in history, 8/22/1978, I saw Heart for the first time. The show was at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds, and Walter Egan was the opening act. I don’t have much recollection of Mr. Egan’s set, but I remember his one and only radio “hit”, called “Magnet and Steel”, and it was a pretty lame song by my teenage estimation. Mercifully, he only played about 45 minutes and was quickly forgotten as we all awaited the Wilson sisters and their band.

Heart were on fire that night, with Ann Wilson’s soaring vocals and bewitching stage presence, and her sister Nancy playing some fine looking Ovation acoustic guitars and singing angelic backups for her older sibling.

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Nancy was a vision to me in those days…a super hot chick playing guitar in a rock band? It was love at first sight, but even with all that sensory overload it was the music that hooked me in the first place. “Barracuda”, “Magic Man”, “Love Alive”, and this song called “Devil Delight”, where Ann shrieks, “I see the devil” and the sound man panned the vocals left to right on delay so every time she hit the word “devil”, we heard it 3 or 4 times…a truly spooky effect.

Needless to say, I found myself at several more Heart shows throughout the years, but the first time was always my sentimental favorite.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History