Her new band, called Ann Wilson of Heart, will play at the Moore Theatre on March 8 in Seattle.
Ann Wilson’s concert Wednesday, March 8, at the Moore is the first date of her upcoming tour, but for the Heart singer, the night also will represent a number of other firsts. It’s her first gig with a new band; her first hometown gig since she’s relocated to the East Coast; and her first appearance since she and sister Nancy put Heart on “temporary hiatus” to pursue new bands.
The two sisters have had other side projects in the four decades since they broke through in the 1970s to create a series of hits that got them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ann Wilson even toured a bit last year under the name “The Ann Wilson Thing.”
But the difference in this tour is that Wilson is now singing Heart songs in her solo project. “We’re still working through our set,” she says, “but I think half will be Heart songs. All those will be re-imagined, rethought and reworked.”
Ann Wilson of Heart
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave.; $47-$67 (ticketmaster.com).
Wilson is rehearsing deep catalog cuts that only the most hard-core Heart fans may recognize. “I’m finding things like ‘Tall Dark Handsome Stranger,’ and lyrics that are appropriate for where my intellect and passion are,” Wilson says.
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Her band has even worked up a version of “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You,” a song she famously disliked in the 1990s when Heart’s label pushed songs that the Wilson sisters didn’t write (that hit was written by Robert “Mutt” Lange).
“Doing that stripped down, I’ve found it liberating,” she says. “No Heart song in this set is done as it was on the radio or album.”
Wilson calls the process “freeing” and likens it to when the band first found fame in the early ’70s in Vancouver, B.C. Though the Wilson sisters had grown up in Bellevue, it wasn’t until Heart began playing Canadian clubs that they found success in the U.S.
“I’m now at an age (66), when I only want to do things that speak to me,” Wilson says. “And on stuff I’ve done before, I’m trying to rediscover the beauty in each song.”
Ann says she doesn’t know when she and Nancy might reunite musically. Nancy has formed Roadcase Royale, with Prince protégé Liv Warfield as singer. They’ll likely play Seattle this year, too.
As for “Ann Wilson of Heart,” as the band at the Moore will be billed, Ann says the Heart songs she’s sung for so long “have to evolve,” which is what she promises to explore onstage.
“I’ve gotta go out and carve some new ground for Heart,” Wilson says.