‘It’s a balancing act’: Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson on mixing concert favorites with their new music

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If you’ve noticed that Heart hits like “Never,” “Straight On” and “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” weren’t part of their recent set lists, there’s a reason for that: Ann and Nancy Wilson say they got sick of them — at least for a little while.

The pressure to play older tracks, despite Heart having put out a tough new studio album, likely increased with the group’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“It’s a balancing act,” Nancy Wilson tells Jian Ghomeshi in this video. “Sometimes it’s what you see the people in the audience reacting to — and you can relate to them, because you were once at an Elton John show as a fan or at a Led Zeppelin show as a fan. It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s my favorite song!’ You see them do that, and you think: ‘This is fun to do,’ because it’s a beautiful moment.”

An effective tactic for Heart, Nancy says, is retiring a song for a few years and then bringing it back out. That freshens things up for both the fans — and, importantly, the band.

“The buck stops with us,” Ann Wilson says. “So, if an old hit song is good enough to keep our minds from wandering, and we like doing it — then we’ll do it.”

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