Ann Wilson, one of rock’s most pioneering and talented women, brought hard rock back to life at the Charleston Music Hall on Wednesday March 22. She opened her show with the legendary “Barracuda” and then “Crazy on You”—the famous galloping guitar riff followed by her impressive melisma-heavy soprano vocals kicked off the night with a bang. “What About Love” had the audience feeling like they had gone back in time to 1985, as Wilson belted her powerful and recognizable voice clearly proving that she is as much of a bada** now as she was back in the day. Following the initial performance of some more popular tracks, she interpolated an entertaining balance of Heart classics, new own originals as a solo artist, and covers of age-old rock anthems.
The auditory senses were not the only ones being tended to either. The intimate theater was filled with lively visual effects, from colorful pulsating shapes and images to clips taken from old black and white films. The set’s aesthetic cues all paralleled each other—for example cool-colored lighting during slower minor-key songs like “Fool No More” that included jazzy qualities and electric blues overtones—which took the experience level for the audience to a whole new realm. Wilson herself commented on the mood in the Hall that night, saying, “I love this little theater; it’s so vibey, it’s got soul.”