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Heart: Fanatic Live From Caesers Colosseum (CD/DVD)

Legendary Seattle rockers Heart have certainly been in a roll these last few years. Between their recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the release of their very fine studio album Fanatic, and superb performance of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" at the Kennedy Center Honors program, the Wilson sisters & Co. have certainly been back in the limelight. Now, their new label Frontiers Records is proud to bring us Fanatic Live From Caesers Colosseum, a live CD/DVD set (also available on Blu-ray) from a stellar show in Windsor, Ontario on the Fanatic tour.

The current line-up of Heart includes; Ann Wilson (Vocals/Guitar/Flute), Nancy Wilson (Guitar/Vocals/Mandolin), Craig Bartock (Guitar/Vocals), Debbie Shair (Keyboards/Vocals/Percussion), Ben Smith (Drums/Percussion), and Dan Rothchild (Bass). This current incarnation is as tight as any in previous memory, and if you prefer the hard rocking side of Heart, you've come to the right place with this performance. Most of the crunchy, energetic tracks from Fanatic make an appearance, including the heavy "59 Crunch", the grandiose "Mashallah!", the anthemic "Dear Old America", and the raucous, metallic title track. Toss in those unforgettable Heart classics like "Heartless", "What About Love", "Straight On", "Even It Up", and of course "Crazy on You" & "Barracuda", and you have a set that includes plenty of heavy rockers for everyone. Throw in a lovely "Dog and Butterfly" and a tender renditions of "These Dreams" & "Alone" for good measure, and the band just delivers an almost perfect set list. Ann Wilson is in amazing vocal form throughout the show...she still is one of rock's most powerful vocalists, and her sister Nancy contributes stellar rhythm guitar, incredible lead acoustic guitar, and gorgeous vocals as well. "Crazy On You" will just give you chills; for my money this is THE Heart classic, and the band deliver it just as good now as they did in the '70s. Bartock proves to be a great fit for the band, churning out all the heavy riffs on the hard rockers in fine fashion.

Great visuals, great sound...if you were looking for the ultimate Heart live album, this is it, and having it on DVD & CD is a real treat.

Track Listing
1. Fanatic
2. Heartless
3. What About Love
4. Mashallah!
5. Even It Up
6. 59 Crunch
7. Straight On
8. Dog And Butterfly
9. Walking Good
10. These Dreams
11. Alone
12. Dear Old America
13. Crazy On You
14. Barracuda

Added: February 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2170
Language: english

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Heart: Fanatic Live From Caesers Colosseum (CD/DVD)
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-02-02 12:32:27
My Score:

With songs from every era of their career, Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum is a true retrospective of what has made Heart such an enduringly popular outfit throughout the years. What it also proves is that the Wilson sisters may also be on the best form of their lives.

Recorded in 2012 before their Fanatic album was released, the setlist for this show from Windsor, Canada is understandably weighted towards new music (five tracks from fourteen), although surprisingly Fanatic predecessors Red Velvet Car and Jupiters Darling are passed over completely. However is it possible to argue with a set which contains "Crazy On You" from the first self titled Heart album, "Even It Up" from Bebe Le Strange, the ever glorious "Dog And Butterfly" from the album of the same name, or "Heartless" from Magazine? I think not. The now controversial mid-period 80s albums are also represented through the simply awesome and pleasantly restrained take on "These Dreams", "What About Love" and the mega-smash hit "Alone"; the latter completely and stunningly re-imagined as an acoustic/strings/vocal crawl, which is utterly wonderful. It's the addition of a string section on stage which allows the ear catching change of approach for some of the more recognisable numbers and it has to be said that the result is really very impressive indeed and obviously something the band and musicians worked very hard to achieve. And it has to be said that Fanatic album tracks "59 Crunch", "Walking Good" and the excellent title track aren't out of place at all next to the more established classics.

For a few years it seemed that through health problems, a struggle to come to terms with their legacy and dalliances as The Lovemongers, Heart were no more. However the Wilson sisters are in rude health here, Nancy tearing through riffs and solos, adding restraint where required, while Ann's vocals are simply amazing and her back up guitar work faultless. Although the rest of the band, Dan Rothchild on bass, Ben Smith drums, Craig Bartock guitar and Debbie Shair keys, are every bit is instrumental in this top-notch performance.

As is their recent fashion, Frontiers have packaged this live album together as a CD/DVD pack or as a standalone DVD/Blu-ray, allowing you to both listen in isolation or watch and listen, depending on your circumstances and it has to be said both work well. The sound has been left pleasantly rough around the edges, giving a real energy to the performance and a vibe that isn't too polished, while still being right on the nail. Never the most mobile band on stage, it is the songs which carry the DVD and hold the interest, although there are numerous camera angles employed and the expected video screens at the back of the hall, which when combined with the big crowd which gets thoroughly into the show, adds a huge amount of atmosphere.

For true Heart fans, this really is a great opportunity to sample once again this band at their best and embracing their entire catalogue, while for those lapsed Heart-ees, the chance to reacquaint yourself with a band this good and songs that prove so timeless is one you shouldn't pass up.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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