Once you are a rock and roll queen, you’re always a rock and roll queen. No matter how many years pass, being on stage becomes like getting on a bike. Last night in Nashville, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo brought their show to Music City last night for a first-ever stop at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The night proved to be a night of energy and several trips down memory lane that kept the audience on their feet much of the concert.
Still as vivacious as ever, Benatar dazzled the audience with the definition of swagger -- making the moves on stage that fans have come to expect, while also deferring to Giraldo, her longtime collaborator and husband since 1982, on the instrumentation. One of rock’s most respected musicians, Giraldo showed his prowess on the guitar as well as the keyboard.
The fans came to hear the hits, and Benatar didn’t disappoint in that regard, giving them exactly what they came to hear. Taking to the stage with a rollicking take on the crowd favorite “All Fired Up,” the hits kept flowing for the remainder of her hour-plus set. Other highlights of the show included 1985’s “Invincible,” a stunning version of 1981’s “Promises In The Dark,” which showcased the synergy that has been so effective between she and her husband for so long. Fans of Giraldo’s guitar work made their presence and approval known with each note.
The biggest reaction of the night came when Benatar gave fans the one-two punch of her biggest hit single, 1983’s “Love Is A Battlefield,” as well as the undeniable power of the song that became her first top ten hit -- the raucous “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Though only a # 9 chart record back in 1980, the fans quickly rose to their feet and sang along with every note. The veteran performer cheered the audience on as much as they did her, encouraging them to sing along with the rock anthem.
Needless to say, once you’ve got it… you’ve got it, and into her fourth decade of recording, Pat Benatar oozes it. She is still among the gold standard as far as rock female vocalists go, with as much confidence and sass as ever.
Opening up for the singer was Nashville performer Brynn Marie. During her brief half-hour set, the newcomer impressed the crowd with a set that demonstrated her powerful range. Her current single might be the rowdy sounding “Bandaid On A Bullet Hole,” but the true keeper of her set was the jaw-dropping “I’m Sorry.” With performances like that, it’s a safe bet that the Pennsylvania native is going to be a name to watch!