Written by Dave Clements
Aug 14, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageA line of thunderous storms had just passed through The Woodlands when a major explosion of terrific classic rock music erupted on the Pavilion stage.

On this Thursday evening, I was among the over 7000 appreciative fans who dodged the rain to get in before this music spectacular got underway. The stars tonight were Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience, followed by Nancy and Ann Wilson, better known as Heart. They all cranked it up big time!  Wow, what a show – one I’ll never forget!

So much to share…where do I begin? I have known for almost 40 years now that Heart was a band that I had to see and time after time, year after year, it never happened before last night. Such a happy yet sad evening for me. Happy that it FINALLY happened, HAPPY that it was as great if not greater than I’d hoped. Yet, very SAD that it took so freakin’ long to make it happen. Think of all the missed opportunities to experience this that were right there at my fingertips!

I’ll move on by just proclaiming ‘better late than never’!

ImageBefore I start raving about 63 year old musical bombshell Ann Wilson, or her 59 year old little kick ass guitar playing sis Nancy, let me tell you about Brother Jason ‘son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’ Bonham. This guy was good and the boys he brought out on stage with him to fill in the missing pieces in front of him did so well. I can’t give you names but man for man they came so well prepared to entertain and they really put it out there.

At one point early in the set Jason stood up slightly from behind his drum kit and shared that his show was dedicated to his Dad. He said he never had the chance to tell him “Dad I thought you were great!”, so this show is his tribute, his way of telling him now.

As a side note, John was found dead at age 32. According to what I read, at the coroner’s inquest it emerged that in the 24 hours before he died Bonham had consumed approximately forty shots of vodka. Afterwards, he vomited and aspirated, causing asphyxiation.

My bottom line was that son Jason had his dad, Big John Bonzo Bonham, smiling down on him by the time this evening was over.

More on Led Zeppelin in a few.

ImageThe main attraction for the evening was Heart, period, paragraph, no questions asked.. The two women came out red hot, on fire and had the crowd on their feet in an instant. When you start a set with the likes of Barracuda, Heartless, What About Love, Magic Man, and Kick It Out you are setting the bar high for a great evening of Rock and Roll.

Speaking of Rock and Roll, these two ladies were just inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame.  My only comment to the voters of the HOF is “What took you so damn long to make that tough decision?”.  Duh!

During the set Ann introduced her guitar playing little sis and I wish I could remember what she said about Nancy but I can’t. What DID however stick in my mind were Nancy’s introductory comments about Ann.  It went something like this…”Let me introduce the best damn rock singer on the planet. A gift from God”.  Can I get an Amen?

I don’t know how she could have said it better. Ann Wilson sings from deep in her heart and soul.  Her gift is so beautiful and so enjoyable to the ear that it is beyond any words I own. Once I finally heard her live it validated what I’d really known for many years.  This woman could actually provide the ultimate music experience to her audience … come on, you know the one … it gives you goose bumps and makes you want to shout out at the top of your lungs …’Freebird’!

ImageHowever, no Freebird this evening; that was a couple of weeks ago.  Tonight is was about the Dog and Butterfly plus more.  I will get to the more soon.  First a few more comments about Nancy.

Nancy Wilson contributes so much more to Heart than I ever realized.  What was I thinking??  I thought it was always about Ann but not so!

Nancy also has a very nice voice besides her guitar licking.  Interestingly, my wife and I both observed that she has two distinct ‘on stage’ personalities.  She is comfortable and free flowing when in the background as the guitar playing rocker chick and not singing.  But when up at the mic she appears shy, reserved, and even a little tentative though none of that should be the case.  The quality of her vocals is unique and pure.

Now back to the more.   Part three of the evening after Bonham and Heart was Bonham and Heart…aka Led Zeppelin ‘13.

If you closed your eyes and listened with a little mental creativity you could imagine going back in time to the early 1970’s when Jimmy, Robert, John Paul and John were creating their musical master pieces on stage.  Back then and again this night those assembled on stage did The Immigrant Song and Kashmir followed by the night’s closer – you guessed it, Stairway To Heaven. What more could one ask for from these great artists, then and now?  Tonight we got Heart down to their soul!

Before closing I have one final comment about heart and soul. Country music has Ann Wilson’s Twin Sister Of  A Different Mother…Wynonna Judd.  If you were lucky enough to see CMT’s Crossroads show featuring them together you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Until next time remember there is no time to kill.