Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo blow the roof off of New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater
The red carpeted aisles are nearly invisible beneath the wall-to-wall crowd dancing on its feet and singing along all night long. Hoards of people clad in everything from leather jackets to pink tutus flood New Bedford’s Union Street, and slam the Z bar before the show. Fans discuss their first times seeing Benatar on stage–and the next four times they saw her as well. It is clear from the get-go that much like our very own Zeiterion Theater, Pat Benatar is a fixture that transcends generations.
Benatar and her husband, long-time guitar player, and writing partner “spyder” Giraldo, flood the stage with an energy and presence that few young, fresh artists can muster, and they’ve been doing it for over 35 years.
The concert was not just a throwback to glory days, reliving good memories and great songs, but it was an entirely new experience on its own, completely alive and thriving–barely contained within the Z’s historic four walls.
Every single song was greeted by audience members leaping to their feet, singing along to every word and chanting every chorus. The night was lively and upbeat, even the security guards were dancing. The duo took a moment to recognize their own relationship with an anecdote of the first song they ever wrote about their experiences together in love, introducing “Promises in the Dark”.
The two are far from behind the times, inviting the audience to reach out to them on facebook the next day to tell them how they enjoyed the show. “I hope you’re having as much fun as we are,” Giraldo tells the audience with a grin. Before playing another karaoke night favorite, “We Belong to the Light,” Benatar gives her congratulations to a couple in the audience married just a few days before, who reached out to her on social media to let her know they would be in attendance tonight.
“We hadn’t anticipated what [this song] would become to you, our fans were happy that someone had finally brought this issue into the light and had given them a voice. We hope that someday we won’t have to play it any more,” Benatar says on a somber note before transitioning into “Hell is for Children.” The tone took on a more serious note, but fans were rapt in the power of the moment, and what a monumental song it was then and still is today.
Pat Benatar has been a force to be reckoned with since before MTV, then conquered the new platform and continues to do so today even after it has aged into obscurity. It is not enough to say that she is a voice of a generation, because she has proven herself to be truly timeless. The audience, with chills down their spines from the sheer intensity of her performance are a testament to her power.
Not a single person onstage, backstage, or in the audience wanted to leave the theater that night. It was a party that the Zeiterion, New Bedford, and Benatar herself are sure to never forget.
“There’s some bad stuff going on in the rest of the world, so we are going to put our hands together and send them some good cheer,” Benatar preached, closing out the night on a flawless note.
For upcoming shows at the Zeiterion theater, please visit http://www.zeiterion.org/