Benatar/Giraldo Along With Etheridge Shine At Artpark

DSC_2806Concert Review
Pat Benatar/Neil Giraldo
Melissa Etheridge
Artpark
Tuesday In The Park
Lewiston, NY
Tuesday June 26, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Tuesday brought the return of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo to Artpark. Dubbed the We Live For Love tour, the duo last played at the venue in 2011. Opening the show was songstress Melissa Etheridge who coincidentally played at Artpark last year. With the weather cooling down a bit, it helped bolster up a very decent crowd that were treated to two of the best female singers in rock history.

Benatar and Giraldo wasted no time settling in as they began with the riotous “All Fired Up”. “We Live For Love” quickly followed and the concert was off to a fervid start with “Invincible” up next.

Joining the duo were drummer Chris Ralles and bassist Mick Mahan.

There was also a tribute to Prince who Neil called “a huge inspiration” to him. In his honor they played “When Doves Cry”.

Probably the lone glitch of the night occurred during the fan favorite “We Belong”. Benatar and Giraldo performed it as a duo with background music being piped in. It would have served them better to have at least Ralles up there on drums to make the sound a little more authentic. The song was kind of ruined for me the way it was performed.

“Hell Is For Children” quickly put that out of our minds. The show closed with two of the duo’s biggest hits in “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love Is A Battlefield”.

“Heartbreaker” served as the encore as it should since it was the song that broke Benatar’s career. I still cannot understand why “Fire And Ice” is never performed in concert. Not only is it arguably the best song in her arsenal it also won her a Grammy.

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Melissa Etheridge opened the show with a set that featured some rare plays of songs such as “Resist” and “Don’t You Need”. Last year she had a full band on stage with her. This time around she pared down to just drummer Brian Delaney and David Santos on bass. I thought the sound was much better with less as it was a cleaner sound.

Kicking things off with “Angels Would Fall” and then stepping into a fan favorite “No Souvenirs” from her sophomore release Brave And Crazy helped start the show on a good note.

One thing that was noticeable was although Etheridge was given a ninety minute set, only ten songs were played. I felt she extended too many songs and could have played a few more gems which would have really sent her fans home happier.

Overall it was still a solid night of rock and roll. It was a great pairing of two artists who are still performing with a purpose. You could clearly see with all the smiles and facial expressions that they were thoroughly enjoying every moment. Giraldo said it best on his Facebook page calling Artpark “A great audience to perform for….we will be back”.

Pat Benatar/Neil Giraldo

DSC_2635All Fired Up
We Live For Love
Invincible
Promises In The Dark
In These Times
When Doves Cry
We Belong
Hell Is For Children
Let’s Stay Together
You Better Run
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Love Is A Battlefield
Encore
Heartbreaker/Ring Of Fire

Melissa Etheridge

Angels Would Fall
DSC_2641No Souvenirs
Don’t You Need
I Want To Come Over
Pulse
Come To My Window
Resist
Bring Me Some Water
I’m The Only One
Encore
Like The Way I Do

Special thanks to Maria Hays for all her hard work for the credentials

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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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