Benatar & Giraldo Shine In Niagara Falls

Concert Review
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
Acoustic Show
Seneca Niagara Events Center
Niagara Falls, NY
Saturday April 14, 2018
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

While the weather outside was anything but delightful, the Seneca Niagara Event Center was heating up with a fantastic evening featuring Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. The two performed as a duo in a stripped-down storytellers-like format. With Giraldo alternating between acoustic guitars and a piano, the two delivered a mostly satisfying set that featured new songs “Shine” and “After The Fall” both which received a great response from the near sellout crowd.

The show started off with “All Fired Up” the song that usually opens up most of Benatar’s shows. From there they mixed in fan favorites such as “We Live For Love”, “Promises In The Dark” as well as a rare song “Run Between The Raindrops”. The latter was written for their daughter as Neil went on to explain. Prior to last year’s run of duo shows it had not been played since 1988.

Prior to the top-5 smash “We Belong”, Benatar introduced it as one of the Holy 14. She went on to elaborate that the Holy 14 are the 14 songs the fans will give her shit for on Facebook the next day if any of them aren’t played. This lead to a rant about Facebook by Giraldo before he settled into playing the song.

“Shine” started the encore and was a delight and sounded good mixed right in with the rest of the duo’s bigger songs. Benatar also made note that they have been working on a full-length follow-up to 2003’s Go and hope to finish over the next year or so. Judging from this evening’s performance with the strong, powerful vocals from Benatar and the great guitarwork by Giraldo, it is something many are anxiously waiting for.

As Benatar explained at one point during their 90-minute set, that they perform these shows to give the fans a chance to hear the songs the way they were written as well as delving into some deep cuts. Unfortunately, they didn’t even scratch the surface as one critical fan pointed out as he was leaving the venue. Surely you can’t please everyone all of the time. My only gripe was once again the omission of “Fire and Ice”, a song that actually won Benatar a Grammy. I can understand it is a difficult song to play in the electric setting. Since they were in acoustic format I was hoping perhaps they would slip it in. Oh well perhaps some other time. They did add “Invincible” a song they haven’t played much during the duo shows and kicked out “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

Overall the show itself was better than I had anticipated. Not only did Benatar sound very strong alongside Giraldo’s impressive guitar and piano work, the duo accomplished exactly what they wanted to and more. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for their next full band show.

All Fired Up
We Live For Love
Promises In The Dark
Run Between The Raindrops
We Belong
In these Times
You Better Run
After The Fall
Ties That Bind
Love is A Battlefield

Heartbreaker/Ring Of Fire

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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