"Actually, there are three girls at Ridgemont who have cultivated the Pat Benatar look." That one solitary line from "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" alerted the rest of the American public to what was the phenomena of Pat Benatar and firmly cemented her place not only in the pop culture of 1982, but for the next 29 years. Cut to August 18th, 2011 and Pat Benatar's appearance at the Mississippi Moon Bar in Dubuque, IA and the question that befalls all of the musicians from the '80's, "Can she still rock?".
There were a few things bopping through the soupy mess that is my brain as I waited for "Benatar and Giraldo", and I suppose the most important of those (to me at least) would be "can she still rock". Its a slippery slope for any fan seeing bands and performers from the '70's and '80's for their first time in 2011, can they sound the way they did then, and will they sound like they are just there for a bit of stroking their ego and just selecting a paycheck. Its easy to say that any performer could be a little self deprecating and they may not put their best performance out there but clearly Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo are doing none of the above.
Benatar still sounds amazing, I've always thought to myself that her voice sounds like the sound of a city (weird, I know). She can do so much with her voice, hitting those high notes and belting out the songs the way she does, must be the reason why. Her voice has these operatic flourishes and when intermixed with the harsh sounds of the drums and guitar remind me of the sounds of song birds in the midst of all of that traffic, she is simply spectacular.
I became deeply disturbed when Benatar announced to the crowd that she was 58 years old, that one fact forced me to compare her age and mine (and subsequently the math to solidify my fear) and although at 58 she isn't old, but at 42 I'm getting old. I soon found myself thinking that she looks great, and if I have the ability to look that good at 58, well then it better hurry up and get here.
The great thing about seeing a band that has been around for more than 5 years is that the performer has a plethora of songs that are well liked, or loved for that matter. Benatar made mention to the fact that they had nothing to promote therefore they could play just about anything they wanted and that's what they did. With songs like "Invincible", "Sex as a Weapon", "Hell Is For Children" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (which Benatar says she does not like), its no wonder that she performed in front of a sold out crowd.
I enjoy seeing how performers react to playing at the Mississippi Moon Bar and Benatar's reaction could be classified as the greatest reaction yet. Benatar, upon entering the stage, quipped "Well this is cozy.", but I would bet that Benatar will remember the crowd at the Mississippi Moon Bar. As always, the crowd was spirited and at a few points during the show, the crowds vocals were covering the vocals of Benatar and Giraldo.
Once again I cannot say enough about the Mississippi Moon Bar. Their staff is incredible, friendly, helpful and attentive to their guests. Dubuque has always been a great place to see music, and if you want to see some incredible acts check out the Mississippi Moon Bar! Support live music in Dubuque (thank you Mr. Thomas for that line), future acts will see and hear how great the fans and the venue are, and they will clamor to perform there.
There is no reason you, the reader, cannot get to a Benatar - Giraldo show, they will be touring at least into November, and they will be performing in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Oregon, California, Nevada, New York, and Texas as well as Canada. Take the time to see this act, and to answer the question "Can she still rock", believe it.