Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson Rock the OC: Anyone wondering how popular Pat Benatar is in 2022 needn’t be concerned. The singles might not be flying up to the upper reaches of the charts anymore, but her recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside longtime musician partner and spouse Neil Giraldo cemented a legacy that was already massively impressive.
Meanwhile, the sibling curse that has previously affected the likes of Oasis, the Kinks, the Black Crowes and Gene Loves Jezebel, has been fucking with Heart in recent years. The Wilson sisters aren’t at war, but there does appear to be friction. So on this Wednesday evening at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, we were treated to a solo Ann Wilson as the opening act.
She sounded awesome, backed by a more than competent band. The set was short but very sweet, a mix of old and new.
There were covers; Wilson sang The Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me,” an excerpt of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” and a concluding “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin.
Her own new material was solid enough, but Heart classics such as “Magic Man,” Barracuda” and a killer “Crazy On You” brought this crowd to its feet. Superb!
Like Wilson, Benatar’s voice was absolutely flawless on Wednesday, right from the opening notes of the Sweet cover “No You Don’t.” It seemed to be a night for Brit rock & roll songs — she later performed the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.”
The fact that Benatar and Giraldo have dropped “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” from the set, an understandable protest of gun violence in schools, does nothing to dampen spirits as the pair rock through w magnificent night of greatest hits.
“All Fired Up” is hair-raising, both “We Belong” and “Shadows of the Night” are given chill rearrangements but still sound epic, “Love is a Battlefield” is a glorious powerhouse of a song, and “Heartbreaker” is the perfect cherry on the cake.
Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson have two of the most powerful female voices in rock, and they unleashed them for our pleasure.
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