July 25th 2016 and some of today’s biggest bands are from the 80’s. We are at the Oakdale
Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut on the Cheap Trick, Joan Jett and Heart tour. I don’t really have a Bucket List but, if I did covering these three amazing group would be on it.
There was a last minute Wah Wah Wah – apparently some photographer pissed off Joan Jett so she banned all photographers at the show and a few upcoming gigs.
Up first was Cheap Trick – Since the 70s they’ve been blending elements of pop, punk and even metal in a way that is instantly catchy and recognizable. With timeless classics such as “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender,” and the late 80s lighter-waving favorite, “The Flame,” CHEAP TRICK are a musical institution. Anyone familiar with Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report will note that CHEAP TRICK wrote and performed the theme song.
With more than 5,000 performances, 20 million records sold, 29 movie soundtracks and 40 gold and platinum recording awards, the band was honored in October 2007 by the Chicago Chapter of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) for their contributions to the music industry. CHEAP TRICK was featured in the John Varvatos Spring 2008 ad campaign.
In September 2009, CHEAP TRICK performed the classic Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, complete with an orchestra and guest artists Joan Osborne and Ian Ball for nine critically-acclaimed shows in Las Vegas.
Their current music available for download is titled Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello.
“Next to hit the stage was Joan Jett”, Joan is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking Blackhearts, with whom she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015, she’s had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” and “Crimson and Clover.” She sits at the head of her own independent label, Blackheart Records. Jett has acted in movies and television, including 1987’s Light Of Day, and in a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Show. She has appeared on such acclaimed television shows as Oprah (the last season) and Law and Order.
As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs’ LA punk masterpiece, GI. Her music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture. A version of “I Hate Myself for Loving You” has been NBC’s Sunday Night Football, performed this past season by Carrie Underwood, and her music is heard in countless films and TV shows including Easy – A, Kick Ass, The Runaways, Shrek, Baby Mama, and many more.
Since co-founding the Runaways, the pioneering all-girl punk quintet, at age 15, Jett’s determination and drive have kept her in the public eye. Jett was able to see her story told in The Runaways, the film based on (lead singer of The Runaways) Cherie Currie’s book Neon Angel starring Kristen Stewart as Jett, and her fellow A-lister Dakota Fanning as Currie. Jett was close to the project: She served as an executive producer.
Jett and the Blackhearts continuously tour across the globe to throngs of adoring fans.
….. and then “Heart”
Heart is a rock band whose founding members came from Seattle, Washington in the early 1970s. Going through several lineup changes, the only constant members of the group are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music. After diminishing in popularity by the mid-1980s, the band created a major comeback in 1985 experiencing further success with their power ballads throughout the rest of the decade. By the mid-1990s, Heart left their 1980s’ sound and went back to their hard rock roots which they continue to play today. They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Ann and Nancy Wilson
The Wilson sisters grew up in Southern California and Taiwan before their Marine Corps father retired to the Seattle suburbs. After Ann graduated from high school, she joined Roger Fisher in the band Hocus Pocus where she met Roger’s brother Mike in 1971 and followed him back to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Meanwhile, Nancy finished high school then went to college where she majored in art and German literature. She then played solo gigs until 1974 when she quit college and moved to Canada to join Heart.
In the US, Siegel released the album first in Seattle where it quickly sold another 25,000 copies. With two hit singles, “Crazy on You” (#35, 1976) and “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), “Dreamboat Annie” eventually sold over 1 million copies. Songs of this era can be played on Canadian radio to satisfy CanCon content requirements.
“Little Queen”, with the hit “Barracuda” (#11, 1977), became Heart’s second million-seller; “Magazine” and the double-platinum “Dog and Butterfly” followed suit in 1978. After the 77-city “Dog and Butterfly” tour, the Wilson-Fisher liaisons ended. In 1984, Ann Wilson recorded a duet with Mike Reno of Loverboy called “Almost Paradise”. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the movie, “Footloose” and hit #7 on the pop charts. Then Heart’s first album for Capitol, simply titled, “Heart” (#1, 1985), sold 5 million copies on the strength of 4 Top-10 hits: “What About Love?” (#10, 1985), “Never” (#4, 1985), “These Dreams” (#1, 1986) and “Nothin’ at All” (#10, 1986). By that time, Heart had abandoned their earlier hard rock aspirations to make slick, radio-friendly pop music.
In 1989, Ann Wilson and Cheap Trick’s lead singer, Robin Zander, had a #6 hit with their duet, “Surrender to Me”. “Brigade” (#3, 1990) became Heart’s 6th multi-platinum LP and added 3 more Top-25 hits to its catalogue, the most notable of which was “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You”.
In 2005 the Wilsons appeared on the CMT Music Awards as a special guest of Gretchen Wilson, (no relation), and performed the Heart classic, “Crazy On You”, with Gretchen. Heart performed again with Gretchen on VH-1’s tribute to the band, “Decades Rock Live”. The special also featured Alice in Chains, Phil Anselmo, Dave Navarro, Rufus Wainwright and Carrie Underwood.
Heart was honored at the second annual VH1 Rock Honors (24 May 2007), and also performed along with Ozzy Osbourne, Genesis and ZZ Top. This, along with the inclusion of “Crazy on You” in “Guitar Hero II” and “Barracuda” in the “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” video game, renewed interest in Heart once again.
The Wilson sisters were AMZING – they look and sound incredible. It felt like a throwback to the 70’s, Ann’s voice is strong and clear – while Nancy’s guitar playing is on point.
Not that I need to sat this but, if you are thinking about seeing a KILLER show – THIS IS IT!