Heart’s Ann, Nancy Wilson still crazy on music

Sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson, shown in a 2011 concert in Denver, bring their band Heart to the Budweiser Events Center on Thursday. (John Leyba / The Denver Post)
Sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson, shown in a 2011 concert in Denver, bring their band Heart to the Budweiser Events Center on Thursday, Dec. 10. (John Leyba / The Denver Post)

By Jessica Benes

Since the 1970s, sisters Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson have performed their brand of rock ‘n’ roll through a little band called Heart with such hit songs as “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You.”

With Ann as lead singer and Nancy on guitar, they topped the charts through the 1980s and 1990s with songs they wrote.

They occasionally have gone off on solo projects but always came back together and still are performing around the world. Their current tour brings them to the Budweiser Events Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

Ann sang on songs that were both chart successes and motion picture themes, such as “Almost Paradise” from “Footloose,” “Best Man in the World” from “The Golden Child” and “Surrender to Me” from “Tequila Sunrise,” while Nancy composed and performed the scores to motion pictures including “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.”

Getting the band started was tough, Ann Wilson said in a recent phone interview, but she and her sister loved the process of trying to get gigs and spreading their net wider until they had made platinum records and achieved musical fame (they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013).

She said rewatching Heart’s early music videos in the 1980s is a little “gruesome.”

“It was just uncomfortable and didn’t have much to do with who we really were,” she said. “But we agreed to all that.”

Making music has always been the best part, Ann Wilson said.

“We never expected to be where we are now. It’s been really great, a wonderful experience for us. We just hoped to get a gig at a club.”

She said that like any normal family, she and her sister have little spats or arguments on occasion but always work them out.

“We’re just happily doing music together,” Ann Wilson said. “We’re also friends.”

She added that they always tried to make the music feel authentic and real, rather than cartoonish or like a bad karaoke song.

The music was about their emotions that cropped up, or things that happened in their lives or just “things that needed writing about.”

One of Ann Wilson’s favorite songs is “Crazy On You” because it remains relevant today: The lyrics address what is going on in the world and how it affects people emotionally:

“Wild man’s world is crying in pain

“What you gonna do when everybody’s insane

“So afraid of one who’s so afraid of you

“What you gonna do? Ohh”

In that vein, the sisters, who are working on a new album, think more globally now, Ann said.

“If we’re going to write a song,” she said, laughing, “it isn’t going to be a silly love song.”

Jessica Benes: 970-669-5050 (ext. 530), jbenes@aespotlight.com or twitter.com/jessicabenes

If you go

What: Heart

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10

Where: Budweiser Events Center, 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland

Tickets: $36-$89

Info: : 877-544-8499 or comcasttix.com.

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