ATLANTA – The “young William Beckett,” as Pat Benatar referred to him, started off the warm Georgia evening at Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Saturday June 28 with songs off his album Genuine & Counterfeit, including “By Your Side,” “Cracks in the Ceiling” and his new song “Walls,” which will be released on a 2-song EP out on July 1.
The most touching point of Beckett’s performance was when he opened up about his sister’s struggles with depression, anxiety, bullying and suicidal tendencies; which lead him to write the inspirational song “Just You Wait.” Beckett ended his set with the song “Hang on,” which is about wanting relationships to be continuously perfect.
“I want to say how much of an honor it is to be here tonight.” William Beckett was truly humble to be sharing the stage opening for Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar + Neil Giraldo.
The ‘80s heartthrob, Rick Springfield strutted out onto the stage in a black leather jacket, blood red shirt, skin tight pants and a blazing red guitar to match to the song “I’ve Done Everything For You.” The entire time I was wondering how long he would last in the leather jacket before it would become too much to bare. With the stickiness of the night and humidity peaking. As it turned out, just one song before pieces of clothing started to disappear. To the delight of the crowd, as fans sung along, screamed and danced at Chastain for Springfield’s entire set.
Springfield got the crowd going with “I Get Excited,” followed up by “Our Ship’s Sinking” and “Affair of the Heart, at which point he does his signature move of taking a bouquet of roses and uses them as a pick shreds the petals from the steams in a sea of color. It’s visually stunning moment to see, which is repeats several times with vigor.
One of the interesting points of the evening was when Springfield played a rocked out version of Katy Perry’s “Roar,” which I found actually perfect, as Perry was in town the same night over at Philips Arena for her sold out show. It was a fun moment for that the crowd really got into.
When Springfield couldn’t take it anymore he said “excuse me, it’s f*cking hot!” as he went shirtless and started “I Hate Myself,” followed by the medley “Bop ‘Til You Drop/Celebrate Youth/Calling All Girls/Jessie’s Girl/Don’t Walk Away/Love is Alright Tonight” then a cover of “Wild Thing,” followed by “Human Touch” “You & Me,” “Love Screws Me Up” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”
The most poignant song of the night for me was when he decided to play “My Father’s Chair,” a song he rarely, if ever performs live as it’s a tribute to his deceased father. It was hurt to listen to, but the beauty of the song left me with cathartic tears, as it was just a moving tribute to a man that he loved.
Springfield wrapped his set up with “You Better Love Somebody” and everyone’s favorite, “Jessie’s Girl.” (http://www.rickspringfield.com)
“Welcome to 1979” – Pat Benatar
“Well hey… are you having the best time or what? We are so happy to see you on the second night of our 35 Anniversary Tour.” Benatar declared to the crowd Saturday evening after a five minute video of both Benatar and Giraldo’s lives coming up to the moment they meet and how their lives intersected to create the mainstay of ‘80s rock-n-roll with chart topping hits that they produced.
Both Benatar and Giraldo both kept saying that it was the only the second night and they didn’t know what they were doing, but a fan couldn’t tell as the show was flawless in both energy and delivery.
It was like I was a kid in a candy store and being transported back to my childhood watching Benatar and Giraldo performed “Shadows of the Night,” “All Fired Up,” “Invincible,” “We Live for Love,” “Promises in the Dark,” “We Belong,” “Hell Is for Children,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “You Better Run” (The Young Rascals cover), “Love is a Battlefield” and for the encore “Heartbreaker.”
The Pat Benatar + Neil Giraldo 35 Anniversary tour runs through October 14. Fans of the ‘80s this is one show you will want to grab tickets for. Visit http://www.BenatarGiraldo.com.