Heart and Jason Bonham (Heartbreaker tour) @ First Niagara Pavillion, Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
Sunday, July 21, 2013
By: Gus Griesinger
In what has spanned into a great double bill for the summer, Heart and Jason Bonham have teamed up for the "Heartbreaker Tour." When these two joined forces last year at the Kennedy Honors in December, what came out of it was magical. Hence, the idea of the bands taking their love for the mighty Led Zeppelin out to the masses. The night was split into the bands doing their separate sets until an encore that left many speechless and wanting more.
The First Niagara Pavilion, just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, was the stop this past Sunday night, the bands were ready to "Rock & Roll" right from the start. Jason Bonham and his outfit opened up the show and gave a little sample of what he has been doing on the road the last three plus years. He has been paying tribute to his dad, the late great John Bonham, by playing an all Zeppelin set.
A strong nine (9) song set ensued. Jason Bonham has been with the same touring outfit for the last few years, featuring Tony Catania on guitar, James Dylan on vocals and Dorian Heartsong on bass. Bonham delivered the goods in what was about a 55 minute set.
Newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart took the stage and immediately, Nancy Wilson strummed the first few chords to Barracuda and it went was on from there. Other classics such as "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "Dog and Butterfly" were all played to perfection. It took a few songs but when Ann Wilson was warmed up, there is no woman rock singer who can match her. She can still deliver the songs with precision after all of these years. It's always a treat to see here and must for any music fan to witness a rock and roll icon sing like she does. She utilized the thrust at the end of the stage numerous times throughout the performance. Let's not leave out her sister Nancy, who showed her musical chops on both the acoustic and electric guitars as well as the mandolin. She also sang lead on the former number one hit "These Dreams" and the Elton John cover "I Need You to Turn to." The latter I believe could have been substituted for a more upbeat song perhaps.
A soon to be classic in the Heart repertoire is "Dear Old America." This is my favorite cut from their latest offering "Fanatic" and I'm glad it was kept in the set. When the ladies exited and returned for an encore, they played "The Battle of Evermore" to start off the 40 minute set of Led Zeppelin songs. This was the only time Nancy made her way onto the thrust of the stage for the entire show. I'm sure the Heart fans were hoping to see her use it a little more than just once. After the Wilson sisters retuned to the mains stage, Jason and his guitar player Tony Catania joined Heart (minus Ben Smith) on the final eight (8) songs of the night. A bevy of classics soon followed with possibly the greatest rock song ever recorded in "Stairway to Heaven." A local choir came out to help sing the chorus and provide that extra "oh my God" factor into the set.
What a night and if you have a chance to see this live, it's obviously a must do!
What About Love
Kick It Out
Even It Up
Dog & Butterfly
I Need You to Turn To (Elton John cover)
Dear Old America
Crazy On You
Battle of Evermore (Led Zeppelin cover) (Nancy Wilson on mandolin, Ann Wilson on acoustic)
The Song Remains the Same (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Jason Bonham and Tony Catania)
The Rain Song (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Jason Bonham and Tony Catania)
Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Jason Bonham and Tony Catania)
Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Jason Bonham and Tony Catania)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Jason Bonham and Tony Catania)
Jason Bonham set list:
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)
Bring It On Home (Led Zeppelin cover)
Black Dog (Led Zeppelin cover)
Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin cover)
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You(Joan Baez cover)
Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin cover)
Nobody's Fault But Mine (Led Zeppelin cover)
When the Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy cover)
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover)
We would like to thank Sacha Guzy from Peters Management for the credentials to review the show.