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Case Number 20984: Small Claims Court

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Heart: Night At Sky Church

Sony Music // 2010 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // March 26th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum asks what about love? He only wants to share it with you.

Editor's Note

Our review of Soundstage: Heart Live, published August 14th, 2008, is also available.

The Charge

But try to understand
Try to understand
Try try try to understand
I'm a magic man.

The Case

It's hard to age gracefully as a woman of rock 'n roll. Time isn't quite as kind to female voices, and sporting an older look is a tall order when you were a symbol of youthful rebellion hanging on teenage bedroom walls. Anne and Nancy Wilson were from Seattle, and they joined an all-male Canadian rock band in the early '70s. The two sisters were the hook for the band, and their mixture of hard rock with folk fronted by two young ladies made them the darlings of '70s pop music. They had a handful of signature hits including "Barracuda" and "Magic Man," to name just two. The band went through a bleak period in the early '80s when they couldn't catch a break with back-to-back small-selling albums. Yet by 1985 they seemed to figure out a new formula for power ballads, and came back stronger than ever with songs like "What About Love," "These Dreams," and "Alone" topping the charts. Nancy dropped out of the band for a little bit in the '90s to concentrate on her marriage to film director Cameron Crowe, but Heart came roaring back intact in the new millennium with hit albums like 2010's Red Velvet Car.

Heart: Night at Sky Church captures the two sisters live from an appearance taped on March 5, 2010. Sky Church is a venue that is hosted by the Experience Music Project in their home city of Seattle, a concert hall designed by a tech geek. It's a strange stage with one of the largest digital screens ever produced to generate constant visual interest behind musicians. It works much better for techno acts, but Heart makes a good go at it. It looks to be a sell out crowd who is enthusiastic to see the group, and Heart delivers a solid show.

The songs performed include:
1) Barracuda
2) Never
3) Straight On
4) Love Alive
5) Mistral Wind
6) WTF
7) Hey You
8) Red Velvet Car
9) These Dreams
10) Safronia's Mark
11) Your Long Journey
12) What About Love
13) Alone
14) Crazy on You
15) Sand
16) Magic Man
Bonus Songs:
17) Back to Avalon
18) Kick it Out

Technically there is not much to the disc outside of capturing the show. The concert was recorded with multiple cameras, and the image quality is well rendered. It all looks clear and clean with natural colors. The sound defaults to a two channel stereo which is fine, but there is a full surround mix available on the second channel. Both are quite clear, and it has a full bodied feel. Extras seem to be two bonus tracks which you have to select from an extras menu. There's really nothing else here, and that's fine if all you long for is the music.

The whole concert runs eighty-eight minutes, and the set is tight and well structured. There are plenty of greatest hits moments coupled with some new material. The girls look fine, and they sound alright too. It's not their peak right now, but there are some tattered remains that still feel like Heart when you boil it down to the bones of performance. It's nice to see them so comfortable and without much to prove other than their music holds up. There are a couple of guest musicians that step on the stage including Alison Krauss. It's not Heart reinvented, it's more Heart refined. But they still sound great when they launch into something brutal like "Crazy on You." Then you get reminded of who these girls are. Fans should be more than satisfied to see the band back in fine form, forty years after the journey started.

The Verdict

Guilty of having some magic left even with the girls alone.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 84

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony Music
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Concerts and Musicals
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Songs


• Official Site

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