When Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years back, Chris Cornell delivered the introductory speech. The sentiments of the Soundgarden frontman — who counts the members of Heart as hometown heroes and Ann Wilson in particular as a major influence — were astute and, well, heartfelt.
“Somehow it never occurred to us that Ann and Nancy Wilson were women existing authentically in a world dominated by men,” Cornell said. “Heart, with two Joan of Arcs standing up front, kicking total ass, backed by a surprisingly powerful and unique band, blasted down any sexist barriers in front of them, armed with pure, ballsy power of rock and roll.”
When the Seattle-based band first emerged nearly four decades ago, misogyny was a malignancy of mainstream culture that the sisters summarily helped shatter with their music. “We came from an era when women normally did not rock,” Nancy noted in the Hall of Fame induction speech that followed. “Women were not expected to be leaders. There were mainly four jobs for us to choose from then: teachers, mothers, nurses or waitresses.”
That the Wilson sisters transcended the sexism they faced back then is a testament to their talent, obviously, but also the timelessness of their tunes, which have aged as well as they have over the years. The siblings, both in their 60s now, sound as vital as ever, like hardly any time has passed — particularly Ann, who can easily go toe to toe with today’s best vocalists, as evidenced by the YouTube clip of her trading high notes with Carrie Underwood on “Alone.”
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When: 7 p.m. Aug. 13-15
Where: House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Tickets: $55-$129.50, 702-632-7600