“Heart: Dreamboat Annie Live”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
October 23, 2007

Thirty-one years after Heart released its breakthrough album Dreamboat Annie, the Seattle-based band has made a DVD companion to that record.

The concert performance for Heart: Dreamboat Annie Live was recorded in April 2007 at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. The rest of the DVD includes documentaries on the band, along with interviews with Ann and Nancy Wilson–the sisters who are Heart.

When Heart exploded onto the rock music scene in the 1970’s, they were an anomaly: Women were either in girl groups or played secondary roles in bands. Not the Wilsons.

With raven-haired Ann singing with a powerful voice that’s equal parts Janis Joplin and Robert Plant, and blonde Nancy playing the guitar the way only men are supposed to, they took center stage, literally and figuratively. Their bandmates came and went, but Heart was all about the working and familial relationship between the sisters.

Seasoned performers, Ann and Nancy shine in the concert footage. Age has barely tempered Ann’s vocals, which are strong and fierce throughout, particularly singing “Crazy on You” and “Black Dog” (a favorite Led Zeppelin song of theirs).

Heart purists will scoff that original guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael Derosier are absent from the DVD, but Craig Bartock and Ben Smith do a formidable job as their respective replacements. Heart has always been best heard live.

Yes, their songs sound crisper and clearer on CDs, but it’s their live performances where their passion and energy truly shine through. Dreamboat Annie Live doesn’t replace a concert experience, but it’s a worthwhile simulation.

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