Posts Tagged ‘Riverside Casino and Golf Resort

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.

On my mission to fight frump and get my groove back, I hope to get out and do more things. In the past five or so years, financial limitations, scheduling nightmares and parental duties have pretty much kept me at work or at home.

Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart

Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart

While driving to work yesterday, I heard that Heart was going to play an outdoor concert in June at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort just south of Iowa City. Really? Ann and Nancy Wilson are my girls. They have been since my freshman year in high school in 1986 when my home-ec teacher used to play their comeback self-titled album (and yes it was an album) in class every day. My brother took some friends and me to their concert that spring at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, and I was hooked.

I saw them a couple more times in high school and college but then they seemed to stop touring. In 1999, my husband and I lost a bunch of weight through Atkins and were determined to live it up. We still refer to it as the “Summer of Fun.”  

SOF, as we called that summer, was based around our trip to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding in June which was in Bellingham, about an hour-and-a-half north of Seattle. It turns out Heart was going to play in their hometown Seattle while we were up there. Perfect, except that the concert was the same night as the wedding. We didn’t go to the concert but drove down to Seattle after the reception to see if we could still get into the club they were playing. No dice.

Later that summer we did catch their tour at a stop in Topeka. It was at the Performing Arts Center and the crowd was made up primarily of season ticket holders who weren’t quite as in to the concert as me. I felt deprived that I hadn’t seen Heart in their native Northwest. We got on their Web site and saw their last show of the tour was at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, Ore. How cool would that be?

The stage where Heart played in 1999 at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, Ore.

The stage where Heart played in 1999 at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, Ore.

But we couldn’t just fly to Portland after being in Seattle two months earlier. Or could we? Our trip back to Kansas City from Seattle was delayed so we got discount vouchers. To top it off, a coworker worked part-time at an airline and got our seats upgraded to first class. So in late August we hopped on a plane again and headed back Northwest. We felt like true jetsetters.

The concert was unbelievable. We managed to wiggle our way into the front and absorbed my favorite band under the moonlight in the gorgeous Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills. The next morning, less than 48 hours after we embarked on this adventure, we boarded a plane back home.

Since that grand Summer of Fun, doing something like this would be unthinkable. Going out to dinner in Cedar Rapids is a huge planned event for us now. I look forward to the concert at Riverside. It’s certainly no Oregon winery, but it’s a start.

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