Not just blessed with a Heart tour, we are also blessed to have an imminent new album. ’Beautiful Broken’ is a mixture of some new tracks and a reimagining of some deeper cuts from a particular period in the band’s history. The title track has already been released to the world in the form of a lyric video, and the fact that James Hetfield lends his recognisable vocal talents to the track reinforces the fact of how revered Heart are amongst the musical fraternity. The album is well represented tonight, with the title track being the first to be aired. Originally released as a bonus song from 2012’s ‘Fanatic’ album, it’s a short, sharp uptempo rocker that does indeed kick ass. ’Sweet Darling’ originally featured on the ‘Bebe Le Strange’ album, and this new version sounds incredible. Also aired were two brand new tracks, the gorgeous ballad ‘Two’ which features Nancy on lead vocals, and the Zeppelinesque ‘I Jump’, which has a massive drum sound from Ben Smith that fills the auditorium. Two very different sides to Heart that prove they can still cut it with new material.
People are here to hear the classics though, and it seems that the omission of ‘Alone’ from the Manchester show earlier in the week was a major talking point. Back in the set tonight, it is performed stripped back with both sisters accompanied by Chris Joyner on the keyboards. The crowd does indeed go wild, as the reaction is deafening. No idea why it was dropped from Manchester, but Jesus, it was breathtaking. ’Bebe Le Strange’ is aired with a brief introduction from Ann, where she explained back in the day, they used to get fan mail from females trying to make it in rock, and how inspired by Heart they were, so the song was written about them. Along with ‘Kick It Out’ and ’Straight On’, this was another magical trip back to an earlier era. Of course, no Heart gig would be complete without the heavy artillery of both ‘Crazy On You’ and ‘Barracuda’. Both are given a rapturous welcome. Nancy, Bartock, and bassist Dan Rothchild are having a blast on stage, flicking picks at each other as they are trying to play. Most end up in crowd, serving as a nice souvenir for some lucky fans. Nancy, especially, garners great applause for her acoustic intro on ‘Crazy On You’, which she doodles with for a few moments before the instantly recognisable opening chords.
After 75 minutes, the band take a brief moment of applause, then leave to the wings. When they return, they pay homage to their idols, Led Zeppelin, by performing three classics. Some have uttered grumbles about this, but considering how much the Wilson sisters love Zeppelin (and they were in the UK), then I’m of the opinion that the encore of ‘Immigrant Song’, ’No Quarter’, and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ is something to embrace and enjoy. After all,they did bring Robert Plant to tears with their jaw-dropping version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ in front of the Obamas. They have been covering Zeppelin since the early days, and Ann does all three songs incredible justice. Hammer of the gods? Hell, yeah!