Relive the heyday of the chart-topping 1970s rock band Heart at Kean Stage. Steve Fossen and Mike Derosier, the original bassist and drummer who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Heart, have reformed as a new band, Heart by Heart and will recreate iconic hits such as Magic Man, Barracuda, Straight On, Even It Up, Crazy on You, Dog and Butterfly and Heartless. Heart By Heart will perform at Kean Stage’s Wilkins Theatre on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.
“Michael and I were heavily involved in the writing, recording and mixing process back then,” said Fossen. “There’s no other rhythm section out there that can play the music as faithfully to the recordings as we do. Seeing Mike play is a really big treat for anyone who appreciates good drummers.”
Heart by Heart features powerhouse vocalist Somar Macek as lead singer, along with guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Lizzy Daymont, and legendary Seattle guitarist Randy Hansen. They consider it their responsibility to bring the songs to the stage in their original form without updating or reworking them.
“We’re very lucky to have Somar and Lizzy,” Fossen said. “They’re very talented and they love the music. It brings back memories of the first time you heard these songs.”
Several years ago, Fossen and Derosier were asked to play at an event and thought it would be fun to add a few Heart songs into their set. They asked around for a singer and found Macek, who had been singing in a Heart tribute band.
“I thought she was really cool and nice,” Fossen said.
Fossen and Macek joined forces in 2009 to become a bass and vocal duo called Heart By Heart, captivating audiences every time they performed in the Pacific Northwest. As their popularity grew, they decided to get a full band together, which is when Derosier and guitarist Randy Hansen signed on. Hansen is best known for his work contributing to the soundtrack of Apocalypse Now, the film that won the 1980 Academy Award for best sound.
In 2013, the band became complete when Lizzy Daymont joined. “She tried out and she was really good,” said Fossen. “She knew all the material. One week later, she was gigging with us. Somar and Lizzy sing really well together.” That was the same year Heart was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
“That was a great, great honor,” he said.
At the induction ceremony, Fossen and Derosier joined original members Ann and Nancy Wilson, Roger Fisher and Howard Leese on stage to sing Crazy on You.
“We did a lot of touring from 1976 to 1982, so we really know how to play that material,” Fossen said. “It was amazing; our first rehearsal was perfect.”
Before that night, they hadn’t had seen the Wilson sisters since Fossen and Derosier left the band in 1982.
“We didn’t leave on bad terms, but it wasn’t all ice cream and cake,” Fossen said. “In the past few years, Ann and I have mended fences a little bit. I think she’s happy we’re out there keeping the music alive in our own way.”
After Fossen and Derosier left, Heart went on for many years with new members, although the band is currently not together. But Heart By Heart is, and so are Fossen and Macek. They married in 2016. “Working with Somar is really cool for me,” Fossen said.
Heart fans around the country are grateful to once again hear the songs that bring back so many memories. “The fans really connected with the music,” Fossen said. “It’s amazing the longevity these songs have.”
Heart By Heart will perform Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m at Wilkins Theatre, 1000 Morris Ave., Union, on Kean University’s main campus. Tickets are $30 to $40. For more information, visit www.keanstage.com or call the box office at 908-737-7469.
Heart By Heart with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier will perform at Kean University’s Wilkins Theatre on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
ABOUT KEAN STAGE
Kean Stage at Kean University educates, entertains and challenges audiences by presenting high-quality programs that reflect the diversity of the region and of the arts. These cultural offerings complement the intellectual life of the classroom for our students, increase opportunities for community engagement, and provide affordable access to the arts for New Jersey residents. Audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy a wide range of professional theatre, Broadway tours, dance performances, concerts, international films and family-friendly shows. In addition, Kean Stage encourages University students to attend events, and provides several options to explore the performing arts through master classes, workshops, lectures, employment opportunities as ushers, backstage technicians and box office staff. Visit www.keanstage.com.
ABOUT KEAN UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University's six undergraduate colleges offer 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctorate degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master's degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable, accessible and world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.