HEART – Live in Atlantic City
The renowned Heart featuring the hugely talented Ann and Nancy Wilson captured this interesting live offering of theirs on tape back in 2006 and fortunately, earMUSIC recently released the whole thing in various different formats. The cool-looking digipak that yours truly is looking at right now houses both the CD and the accompanying Blu Ray disc, but the latter features less tracks than the former, so the bottom line is that the CD is the way to go here.
Apart from the actual Heart band sounding great and focused, there are a number of intriguing and musically rewarding guest appearances by such bands and artists as Alice in Chains, Dave Navarro, Rufus Wainwright, Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood, and the very essence of rock ‘n’ roll that is Duff McKagan. The show is off to a great start with the exceptionally catchy "Bebe Le Strange" and "Straight On", but one of the true highlights in the shape of "Crazy On You" follows next and it sounds as delightful and sparkling as ever while the raw vibe of "Even It Up" and the rendition of Zeppelin’s "Rock ‘n’ Roll" rules. One of the other highlights of the album is the version of "Would?" with Alice in Chains and Duff McKagan, which is to die for as Phil Anselmo’s superb vocals (he was a touring member of Alice in Chains back in 2006) are so utterly moving and heartfelt that it hurts.
The subtle nuances and beautifully layered melodies are all quite prominent here due to the strong and lively mix, and Heart move through the record’s fourteen tunes with grace and determination. They always had a certain sense of expression and that shines through on "Live in Atlantic City". There is just no denying the haunting quality of those magnificent riffs or the heavenly vocals, and you can tell that Heart and the crowd were having a blast together on the night that the gig was recorded. The Blu Ray is nicely shot and captures the warm and energetic atmosphere of the performance nicely, but like I said earlier on, the CD is way more essential in that it contains more songs.
"Live in Atlantic City" is a memorable live album that is incredibly diverse due to all the different styles of music that are covered as well as the various musicians making guest appearances and so on, but somehow Heart make it work and everything flows together quite nicely.