Review: PAT BENATAR Sydney Entertainment Centre 22 Oct 2010




Pat Benatar
with
Neil Giraldo
at the Sydney Entertainment Centre 22 October 2010


It has been 15 years since Pat Benatar has been to Australia and she did not disappoint. With a minimalist set of just her band and their gear, they set the Entertainment Centre alight with their energy and showmanship.


This ever smiling rocker, along with her husband and musical collaborator of 29 years, Neil Giraldo, came to please and didn’t leave anything in the tank and, unlike some performers that you see, she
wanted to be here and she
wanted to please the crowd.
Benatar also got the crowd involved simply by talking to them and making them feel part of the show.


For someone who readily admits to her age, her voice was in outstanding form, singing those songs we know so well and still hear on the radio like All Fired Up, Love is a Battlefield, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, We Belong, Fire and Ice, Shadows of the Night, as well as one of the encore songs of
Heartbreaker, to lesser known but just as poignant songs like
Hell is for Children and
You Had Better Run (apparently this song was the second song played on MTV in the US after The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star”).


It was surprising how many songs and hits that Benatar has actually had as they just seemed to keep on coming as the night went on. Her voice a flawless powerhouse of energy, hitting those difficult notes with such ease as the audience cheered in appreciation. One wonders how her career would have progressed had she pursued her operatic training instead of following the road to rock’n’roll.


It was a treat to hear the stories behind many of the songs. As Benatar explained these,
Giraldo set the arrangements for the next song.


Speaking of Giraldo, his guitar playing was impressive and he also got involved with the stories, whilst every so often throwing guitar picks to the crowd as a memento of the night.


Also included in the show was a small acoustic set of songs, which was a great touch to really show off her vocal cords as well as Giraldo’s acoustic guitar playing skills. The strong connection and mutual admiration between the couple was obvious from beginning to end.


The songs themselves stretched from her first album right to the present and, whilst the crowd were not always familiar with the songs, it didn’t matter as they stood and cheered and danced to them anyway.

A highlight of the show was when Benatar said they were not going to do a particular song but if they did, she would make the rules about how it would be sung. With these rules, she launched into
Hit me with Your Best Shot, directing the audience to sing the chorus all together and then only various parts of the crowd were asked to sing at different times.


The only disappointment of the night was that the show ended and I don’t want to wait another 15 years to see the amazing Pat Benatar!



Paul Bartle



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Comment by Jason Elliott on November 2, 2010 at 3:44pm
Pat Benatar rocks! Have seen her many times, she never disappoints.

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