Frumpfighter

Archive for June 2009

By Angela Holmes

The Gazette

RIVERSIDE – Kicking off Riverside Casino and Golf Resort’s summer outdoor concert series, Heart came out blazing Friday night with their signature song, “Barracuda.”

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart

Dressed in black, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson dominated the stage from the outset – Nancy with her battery of acoustic and electric guitars and Ann with her voice.

Going through the archives, Heart pulled out “Never” from 1985’s self-titled album. The group hasn’t performed  “Never” live much since the big-hair 1980s but it was a favorite among the crowd ranging from young girls to people who jammed to Heart in the ‘70s.

The crowd mellowed during “Love Alive” from 1977’s “Little Queen” and “Mistral Wind” from “Dog and Butterfly” which Ann said is “celebrating its 30th birthday this year.”

Although the Wilsons’ talent and stage presence are still very much intact, they curiously dotted their hour-and-a-half concert with covers by Led Zeppelin, The Who and an ill-fated version of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me” sung by Nancy.  After nearly 35 of recording, they certainly have plenty of their own songs to choose from rather than playing covers.

Ann’s powerhouse voice was showcased in Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and The Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me” but she was the most brilliant in the stripped-down version of Heart’s “Alone.”

“Sand,” slated for Heart’s new album to be released in early 2010, was dedicated to Michael Jackson who unexpectedly died Thursday. “Sand’ appeared on 1997’s “Whirlygig” album by the Lovemongers, the Wilson sisters’ side band.  

It was a warm, yet lovely night for an outdoor concert, yet the set-up was a bit awkward with the majority of the lawn seats actually on paved parking lot nearly level with the stage, rather than on a hill. But the 3,800 people in the crowd didn’t seem to mind too much. They witnessed one of the greatest singers in the business still in prime form.

A year ago downtown Cedar Rapids was a war zone. When the filthy water of the Flood of 2008 went down, the area was left devastated as the mucking and cleanup began.

One of The Gazette stories I remember the most was written by Erika Binegar. It told of a different scene from the one several weeks before when the farmer market filled the streets with food, flowers and people.

Downtown Cedar Rapids once again has life as people line the streets during the June 20 farmers market

Downtown Cedar Rapids once again has life as people line the streets during the June 20 farmers market

For weeks after the flood, the scene was one of catastrophe trucks lining the streets; debris from the ruined buildings piled high along the sidewalks and, ironically, the floodlights which lit the downtown at night because the electricity was out. Still, everytime I walk into work, I look down Third Avenue and remember the scene.

Fresh vegetables are a popular commodity at the Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids.

Fresh vegetables are a popular commodity at the Downtown Farmers' Market in Cedar Rapids.

There were many plants to choose from at the downtown market.

There are many plants to choose from at the downtown market.

Today there was a much different atmosphere during the second Downtown Farmers’ Market this year. The streets were again lined with vendors, people and life.

I stocked up on radishes, tomatoes, potatoes and baked goods. And, oh yes, the Bohemie Blush Rose wine with a blend of blueberry and rhubarb from John Ernest Vineyard and Winery of Tama made the trip to the farmers market complete.


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