EDDIE MONEY AND PAT BENETAR CONCERT AT ENCANTERRA, SAN TAN VALLEY, ARIZONA
Do you remember the good old days of televison? How about the good old days of "Music" Television? That's right! I mean of course, MTV! Ah, the memories of my youth camped in front of the 19 inch color box are special and dear to me. We didn't have the internet, cell phones, or YouTube. Heck, it was a shock my dad let the Cable salesman in the front door. Yes, the Schenk household had cable television and MTV!
During those days in the 80's, I spent ample time zoning out to a world only I could understand ... and LOVE ... and wish I was a part of! Friday Night Video Fights, MTV Top 20 Video Countdown, Headbanger's Ball, and World Premiere Videos were regular viewing pleasures in my teenage days. I miss them ... I really do.
So, on Saturday, February 25, 2012, I was beamed back into 1985 and it was just like I remembered. Well, not LITRERALLY, but in spirit I was there! Upon arriving to the Good Life Festival at Encanterra , I was able to meet Eddie Money in person and I have to say, he looked awesome! Pink Oxford, matching striped tie, blue jeans and cleanly shaven .... Yep, that's EDDIE! When he and I spoke in an on-camera interview, he bragged about his voice sounding good on this tour. I cannot tell a lie. He was correct. It was nice to hear him also brag on KQCK Radio Station's efforts for spinning all the fantastic music from the 70's and 80's. What can I say? He has great taste!
Looking at my phone, I realize it is time to head on out to our seats for the concert. My Program Director, Joe Carreiro, and his family soon met us and settled in for what was sure to be a Rock and Roll Experience like none other. I mean, we are about to witness the vocal talents of Eddie Freaking Money! He sang all the hits, and that was just fine with me. Two tickets to Paradise, Shakin', Gimme Some Water, Take Me Home Tonight, I Wanna Go Back and I think I'm In Love were just some of the tunes he and his band belted out. I love his guitar player, Tommy Girvin, as he was decked out in a cowboy hat (very Arizona-ish) and happy smirk on his face. One thing about Eddie's music is the great riffs from said guitar. The opening tracks are so identifiable and the crowd erupted with excitement with each song they performed.
You could not have asked for a better day, in terms of the weather. Bright sunny skies, the mountains proudly erect in the horizon, a slight breeze from the north and cheering old school fans completed this magical picture. Eddie spoke many times to the fans letting them know how much he appreciated their presence and spunk. You cannot disguise the joy and charisma he displays about life in general. He has four sons and one daughter and that "DAD" feel just oozed all throughout the show. Not only that, but Eddie was so proud of the fact that his 90 year old Grandmother was front row center. Now THAT is rock and roll folks! I was watching an icon from the days of my youth and I couldn't have been any happier. Judging by the reaction of the hundreds of others at the event, they were in total agreement.
Pat Benatar played a wonderful set chalked full of "Greatest Hits" goodness after Eddie finished. Yes, all the classics like We Belong, Shadows of The Night, Love is a Battlefield and of course - HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT, were sung with perfection. Pat boasted about celebrating her 59th birthday this year (January 10) and she certainly didn't lose any of her vocal abilities. I have seen many acts who have glided into their late 50's and 60's, like Ms. Benatar. I have also shivered at those who limped onto the stage with no reason other than getting a paycheck. Pat Benatar can still sing like she did in the 1980's! It was fun watching the chemistry of her and her husband, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo, all day. He is an accomplished guitarist and writer of most of the band's songs. She also made us aware they just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last year as well. How cool is that? Playing music with your better half and not wanting to kill each other is an interesting concept, to say the least.
One of the highlights of the show was the final song she played, which just so happens to be one of my favorites, ALL FIRED UP. As she wailed into the microphone, the band played with righteous intensity. What made the song so cool, was the homage she paid to Johnny Cash by incorporating "Ring Of Fire" into her hit from 1988. I didn't see it coming but man, did she ever rock that one out. The fans loved this set, and showed their happiness with a standing ovation at the end. You could tell she loved playing for the ones who came out to see a great Rock and Roll show. And this is exactly what they both did ... ROCK!
Be sure to go and see Foghat and BTO play the Good Life Festival at Encanterra on Saturday, March 31. Outside in the exhilarating warmth and sun, you will experience a mesmerizing array of music and gathering of die hard fans from yesteryear. Get out there and check it out. You can find out more at their website: www.thegoodlifefest.com - See Ya At The Concert!