Ann Wilson of Heart to rock the stage at Centennial Terrace
There’s a line in rock and roll band Heart’s hit song “Crazy On You” that goes, “But I tell myself that I’m doing alright.”
Ann Wilson, who together with her sister, Nancy, sold 35 million albums with their band Heart, might find that lyric relevant in her life now more than ever.
“I feel more free and more inspired and more energized than I have probably since the early ’70s,” the musician recently told The Blade. “Artists always say this whenever they have a Renaissance moment, but it’s totally true for me. I feel like, what took me so long to step outside of the box?”
Ann Wilson, widely known for her contribution in Heart, will perform a solo set Thursday at Centennial Terrace, 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania.
Broken into two parts, Wilson’s show includes Heart covers to excite the crowd, followed by covers of various songs from other artists and a few originals, while an added video program plays throughout the set.
Wilson said she’ll intentionally avoid focusing solely on Heart’s discography.
“The idea here is not to come and do a repackaged Heart tribute,” Wilson said. “It's really to stretch my wings as a singer. It's really fun and [there are] amazing covers I’ve always wanted to sing. It's kind of old school in that way because you get wrapped up in the music and the visuals, so it’s a total experience for people.”
Wilson and her sister Nancy together became inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and wrote hits like 1975’s “Crazy On You”, “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” — songs that became staples of FM radio and in popular culture.
Heart’s success aside, Wilson finds herself more inspired as an artist performing solo.
“It sure wakes me up,” she said. “After years and years of revisiting the same songs the same way with Heart, it's really mind blowing for me to get out there and do something different. That's really what I wanted when I decided to do this is stir everything up and come back really vital and alive and make myself happy and hope that my energy will be infectious.”
Wilson said she’s trying to “break down all those paradigms” Heart became associated with while performing solo — barriers such as staying in luxurious hotels and playing the band’s hit songs at arenas in large cities where she couldn’t interact with people or experience what the location had to offer.
“Now it’s very organic,” she said. “I don’t stay in hotels ever. My husband and I have a customized bus we bought, and we love it to live in. After the show we go and find a campground and we go and sit outside and we look at the stars and talk about the show or whatever. The next day we get up and go to the next show. It’s a whole different way of life. We get to talk to people, just folks, and it’s like breaking out of some kind of bubble.”
A family incident involving Ann’s husband, Dean Wetter, and Nancy’s sons 16-year-old twin sons a year ago forced Heart to go on a hiatus. Ann has since pursued performing as a solo artist while Nancy keeps busy in her own band, Roadcase Royale.
She seems optimistic when asked if she sees herself performing with her sister again.
“I know we will some day in some way because we’ve played together all our lives, whether it was just as kids in our room at our parents’ house, or on big stages or whatever,” she said. “She’s an artist that I admire, and she’s always been a great collaborator. So right now, when we're both taking our own artistic leave; it's very, very good for us individually. When, and if, we come back together we'll bring new stuff to that union.”
For now Ann Wilson plans to focus on her solo shows for the remainder of the year. She mentioned an interest in trying her hand at acting, and, of course, she plans to keep writing songs.
“At my age I don’t want to keep replaying the same old same old; I just want to break some ground as long as I can and stay awake.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.