Nancy Wilson & Road Case Royale- At the Rebecca Cohn

Posted: 08/20/2018 in Uncategorized

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I had no idea what to expect on this given evening…no…that’s not quite right. I expected a solid rock show as one half of the most successful rock bands of all time was appearing in Halifax. I had seen Heart in 2010 and was duly amazed. Assuredly Ann is the vocal heavyweight of the sisters though Nancy is no slouch. Buttressed by her own solid, acoustic guitar playing talent, I had little fear my wife and I would get a mediocre show.

What we got was outstanding. We got a classic rock montage, with aspects of R & B, funk and powerful soul. At the heart of this presentation is Liv Warfield, a former member of Prince’s New Power Generation. She along with Ryan Waters (lead guitarist), another former Prince protege,framed the band, filled out by Heart’s drummer Ben Smith, keyboardist Chris Joyner an bassist Dan Rothchild. Liv Warfield’s vocals are well…powerhouse. Alternating between sonic assaults like “Insaniac” and ‘Even it Up”, Warfield was no less adept at hitting all the right notes with “Barracuda” and “What About Love?”

If you came to this show expecting the harmonising you have come to know and love  between the Wilson sisters, you will not find its like here….what you will find instead is something different and refreshing. With the Wilson/Warfield pairing you get due homage to various musical styles. With Nancy Wilson, you get the refinement of strong backing vocals with the occasional lead foray. You also get some pretty slick acoustic and occasional electric guitar virtuosity. Ryan Waters proved himself equally capable with powerful riffs worthy of his rock predecessors. Stand out for Waters would have to be his solos through the group’s cover of ‘Comfortably Numb’.

Wilson  was very engaging, bantering with the audience while not appearing to do so to fill time. She presented a comfortable, confident and engaging presence borne form over four decades in the music industry and as a member of easily the greatest female led rock band of all time. Her version of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me” simply slayed and was framed by her admission that he was her first rock n roll crush. Equally solid was the group’s rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “No Way Back” allowing for their bassist to take lead vocals while backed by Nancy and Liv. “Comfortably Numb” previously cited brought everything nicely together in a rather dazzling display of talent.

Wilson presented a good amount of original material blended with covers. Another stand out with its world music style drum work and soaring vocals was Colin Hay’s “Hold on To My Hand”which opened the show. Wilson knew however that many had come to hear Heart music and in this she did not disappoint with beautiful version of “These Dreams” from Heart’s most successful self titled album. “All I Wanna Do” took a more  soulful turn in Warfield’s capable hands. “Barracuda” easily brought the house down and perfectly closed off an evening of nearly 2 hours worth of rock n roll dynasty excellence. Nancy Wilson still rocks and in “Road Case Royale” she demonstrates she can still make a mark outside of Heart. An evening with Nancy Wilson of Heart was simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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