Friday, August 13, Heart and opening act Erick Baker rocked the Portsmouth nTelos Pavilion stage.
Erick Baker kicked off the night with songs from his new album, Holding the Pieces in Place, and some of his older music including “Comfort You”, “Room to Fall”, “Stay Awhile”, “Crazy”, and “Next to Me”.
He also sang a new original called “Nothing at All” and an acoustic cover of the Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right to Party” which he slowed down to emphasize the words and sentiment. Baker performed with an amazing enthusiasm, intensity, and passion which you could read in his facial expressions and gestures as he sang and played guitar.
During his performance, he explained to the audience that his music is inspired by life and love. “Room to Fall” was inspired by his wife’s pregnancy and his desire to be a good parent to his daughter, Annabel. While “Stay Awhile” was inspired by his love for his wife.
Baker has a unique sound. Although his vocals and musical style are in some ways similar to that of mainstream artists Edwin McCain, Daughtry, John Mayer, and Train, Baker’s lyrics are deep, personal, and genuine like the thoughtful and vulnerable lyrics of the best coffee house poetry.
Heart performed some of their best known music and songs from their new album, Red Velvet Car which will be released August 31. The set list included “Cook With Fire”, “Heartless”, “What About Love”, “Straight On”, “Dog and Butterfly”, “These Dreams”, “Hey You”, “Even It Up”, “Red Velvet Car”, “In the Cool”, “Alone”, “WTF”, “Magic Man”, “Crazy on You”, and “Barracuda”. During their encore performance, Heart also performed a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be” and The Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me”.
Unlike other popular performers from the 70’s and 80’s who have recently performed in Hampton Roads, Heart still has IT. Listening to Heart Friday night was every bit as wonderful as listening to Heart for the first time in the 80’s. Their music was delivered with an amazing energy and showmanship that no CD or sound system could ever deliver.
Ann still has the vocal strength, accuracy, and range to give you goose bumps while Nancy’s vocals, energy, and rock star moves on the guitar remind viewers of what a rock concert should be.
Their music was accompanied by moving and stationary lighting, black lights, fog, and themed background images to go along with the band’s name and the songs they were performing. The stage was well lit with moving and stationary spots of blue, red, yellow, green, purple, and orange. Background images included everything from hearts and circles on fire, sunbursts, red velvet cars, montages of geometric and organic shapes, and kaleidoscopic images.
Heart also incorporated video clips into their performance to illustrate “These Dreams” and “Red Velvet Car”. These Dreams” was illustrated with clips of rapid movement through nighttime clouds, a misty forest, images of fall, and waves lapping into the shore which helped audience members envision the “dream”. “Red Velvet Car”, described by the sisters as a true love song, was illustrated with cartoon images of the sisters in dire straits being rescued by the “Red Velvet Car”.
Heart’s use of video clips, images, and lighting effects enhanced an already outstanding performance. The Wilson sisters continue to be not only talented musicians, but also talented performers. This was by far nTelos Pavilion’s best performance of the summer.