Growing up as a Generation X’er was a treat musically. The music of the time was an eclectic mix that allowed us to soak in a diverse appreciation of many styles. As the ’60s faded out, lyrics of the folk sound resonated in our minds while the ’70s and ’80s rock introduced us again to a heavier mix of instrumental solos. As disco came upon us we saw pop sounds interspersed with a mix of more dance oriented music from NYC, LA, Detroit, and the UK. Then as the large hair bands began to fade out, we were introduced to a whole new indie/grunge sound from the Seattle region. I think those that were raised during this time period feel an appreciation more so for music for some reason. The one thing that seems to hold true as you look at this era of music, those that performed then, are still going strong today and still touring to sold out shows all over the world.
Included in this eclectic group were stand out musicians Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. They made music on stage and that chemistry extended into their personal lives as they took the ’80s by storm. Pat’s strong vocals paired with the fretting strings of Neil were beautiful music that took your gut and made you stand strong and tall. It’s no surprise that they are still going strong today both on and off stage.
Playing to a sold out crowd at The Turning Stone Casino Showroom, husband and wife duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo began the show with a video reel of their history together. I have to admit that this preface to the show gave me even more of an understanding and appreciation of their journey together.
Pat Benatar was a classically trained vocalist who began singing in grade school, and just never stopped. Making her mark on NYC in both the clubs and on/off-Broadway Benatar had a vision for what she wanted to achieve, and this vision held a strong musical partner. She needed someone who would hold their own beside her, as well as inspire her. After hearing Neil “Spyder”Giraldo, she knew that was the perfect match. Spyder was an established musician, writer, producer and had been playing with Rick Derringer band when they met. It was an “Invincible” pairing and together they were unstoppable as they created hit after hit.
Fast forward to today, after raising their two daughters, they have taken to the road again to share this magic once again with fans in their 35th Anniversary Tour. I can attest that the magic is still there, and their talent even more refined and fine tuned. They had the crowd at hello as they sang all of my personal favorites and some unexpected covers. As a teenager in the 80’s, the look and stage presence of Pat Benatar was larger than life. Even though many emulated her look, it was her strength that hooked me. As a female rocker in the 80’s Benatar proved to everyone women could be fierce and sexy at the same time. No more Stepford wives ladies, we were going to break that image wide open and take control of our lives. Pat Benatar knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish, had the vision, had the perfect partner to share that vision with, and in turn we have been blessed to be on the receiving end of her journey.
Pat Benatar/Neil Girlado Set List: Shadows of the Night; All Fired Up; Invincible; We Live for Love; One Love; Precious Time; Strawberry Wine; Promises In The Dark; We Belong; Hell Is for Children; You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover); Hit Me With Your Best Shot; Love Is a Battlefield;
Encore: Everybody Lay Down; Let’s Stay Together; Heartbreaker / Ring of Fire/Seven Nation /Godfather Theme