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Band Still Has A Heart For Rock 'n' Roll

Of the Oakland Press

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For the Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, spending the summer on tour with Journey and Cheap Trick has been like rock ’n’ roll old home week.

“It’s actually kind of like working at a rock ’n’ roll Costco — there’s forklifts everywhere and they’re moving a lot of rock ’n’ roll gear around backstage pretty quick,” says guitarist Nancy Wilson. “But it’s a really cool show. Cheap Trick is one of the great all-time rock bands and they really rile up people and get them going. And when Journey comes out it’s just a huge singalong. Everybody loves their stuff.”

Then there’s Heart, who last week objected to Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s usage of its hit song “Barracuda” to announce potential vice-president Sarah Palin, who was reportedly nicknamed Barracuda as a high school athlete.

“I think we sort of blow people’s minds,” says Wilson, 54, who founded the group with her older sister in 1974 in Seattle and Vancouver. “We’re not like anybody expects us to be. I think what they expect is the oldies show, but they sort of get a vital rock experience that they weren’t expecting. We’ve done some reinventing.”

Among Heart’s surprises are a stripped down version of “Alone” performed by the Wilsons and keyboardist Debbie Shair, the only other woman ever in the band. “So it’s less of the power ballad version of the song,” she explains.”

And while it is largely a (reinvented) oldies show, Wilson anticipates having new material for people to hear soon.

“Right now it’s a concept album,” Wilson says of what will be Heart’s first new album since “Jupiter’s Darling” in 2004. “I’m writing for it already, and it will all thread together thematically from top to bottom. It’ll be a complete experience instead of a collection of songs, and it’ll have more of a cinematic feel to it.

“I think it’s a really fresh idea, so I’m not quite ready to unveil it yet. I don’t want other people to rip us off. So I’m keeping the details quiet right now.”

Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 9) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $39.50-$89.50 pavilion and $27.50 lawn with a $75 lawn fourpack. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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