Home For The Holidays

Heart & Friends

In 2013, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart and a number of guests played a special Christmas show in their hometown of Seattle at the Benaroya Symphony Concert Hall. A year later, filmed and recorded for prosperity, the set is now a CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc called Home For The Holidays.

Beginning with Joni Mitchell’s “The River,” we basically get Ann Wilson’s powerful pipes over synth keys. “Rocking,” featuring Shawn Colvin on lead vocals with the Wilson sisters backing her up, fares better and the band starts picking up steam in the next few tunes, especially when Sammy Hagar joins in for “All We Need Is An Island” and hos own “Santa’s Going South (For Christmas),” a 50s style rocker with lyrics espousing the merits of Saint Nick going down Mexico way when it gets cold.

The band kicks through “Barracuda” (not really a holiday tune but certainly one of this band’s signature staples). A slightly funkier than usual “Even It Up” follows, with Ann Wilson sounding especially on fire, even when she talks through a few moments. Her voice is still one of the best in rock and roll.

"Remember (Christmas)," a Harry Nilsson tune, is not so much about the holiday, but it’s such a poignant and cool song that Ann Wilson manages another wonderful moment. There is a stab at “Stairway To Heaven,” not as jaw-dropping as the version played at the Kennedy Center Honors, but a classic all the same with the Total Experience Gospel Choirs adding the perfect touch. The whole set ends with “Ring Them Bells” with everyone but Hagar. Altogether, Home For The Holidays is an excellent way to share a special night of music during a very special time of year.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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