Ann Wilson of Heart Talks Queen & The Who Covers, Plus New Music on Behind the Setlist Podcast
More than five decades into her music career, Ann Wilson, co-founder of the legendary rock group Heart, knows which songs work – and work well together – onstage.
“You want to give people an experience,” she tells Billboard’s Behind the Setlist podcast (listen below). “You want to have an experience yourself. And if the set is designed right, it’s just like a natural momentum.”
At her concert at the Neptune Theater in Seattle on Oct. 13, Wilson played three songs from her new album, Fierce Bliss, released April 29: “Greed,” “Black Wing,” and a cover of Queen‘s “Love of My Life.” She also performed a number of Heart favorites, such as “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” “Even It Up” and “Love Alive” — but not the band’s latter-period hits.
“Some make the transition to live and some just don’t work,” she says. The Neptune Theatre setlist featured several songs by rock icons, including John Lennon‘s “Isolation,” The Who‘s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” Aerosmith‘s “Dream On” and Led Zeppelin‘s “Going to California.” Wilson ventured into lesser-known territory too. She led off with Steve Earle‘s “The Revolution Starts Now,” which she recorded in 2020. Jeff Buckley‘s “Forget Her” and “Permission” by Sixx: A.M., the side project of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, might have surprised some fans.
The mix of new material, fast-paced rockers and slower, emotional songs was chosen and paced to take the audience on a journey. “This sounds really cold and calculating now that I’m talking about it,” Wilson says with a laugh, “but it’s really the most loving set that I can design to bring people and give them an experience.”
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