Pat Benatar Fan Club
2005 Concert Reviews

May 24
Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Youth Orchestra

Cleveland Scene - Benatar Brings the Classical Rock


June 15
Clearwater, FL
Ruth Eckerd Hall

Fan Review by Dean Millard

First, let me say that it was refreshing to see Pat and Neil in a comfortable, air-conditioned venue WITH ACTUAL SEATS after years of amusement parks, horse tracks, amphitheater lawns and SRO clubs. Don't get me wrong -- all of those places have their charm, but this was probably the most physically comfortable show since the 2000 Tunica casino show, at least for me, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater is a really great place to see a show, with absolutely top rate acoustics. As my engineer friend Steve, who with his wife Annette joined Ken and me (yes, we are still together after 5 years, by far a record for both of us) for the show, remarked, there isn't a hard corner in the place. I highly recommend it as a venue overall, not just for concerts, but for musicals as well.

The opening band was called Opera, and consisted of a keyboardist/lead singer (a pretty, petite brunette), a young male guitarist and backup singer, and a drummer, with no bass player. They were a very talented group, with all original songs. They came out to the lobby to sign autographs after their set, and I noticed among the merchandise table, pictures of the lead singer and the guitarist (who appeared to also be a romantic couple), stamped with Bel Chassio entertainment, so I guess there is some business, as well as artistic, connection with Pat. Apologies if all this has been announced and discussed already on the news group.

Now, onto Pat and Neil. Before the spoiler, just some overall comments. Pat and Neil freely admitted that this was their first show and to expect some mistakes. Neil also mentioned several times that they were trying to do some of the songs more like they sound on the records than in recent years. In the spoiler, I've given some notes on a few of these, all of which, to me, worked very well.

All in all, despite a few gaffs, or maybe even because of them, as they were cute, it was another outstanding show, and the crowd was definitely alive and into it, even if the venue was a bit fussy about making people stay in their seats.

Pat wore black trousers, fitted at the waist, with flared legs with a matching jacket and what looked like a beige spaghetti strap top underneath the jacket. Her hair is about a roughly chin-length reddish-brown shag, that looks great, and she seems to be in tip top shape. Neil is completely grey, and wore black jeans and a grey muscle shirt, and also looks to be in great shape.

The songs:

  • Everybody Lay Down
  • We Live for Love
  • Shadows of the Night
  • My Clone Sleeps Alone (including Pat admitting she needed to read the words, it had been so long, then missing a line in the second verse anyway; Neil played keyboards throughout, no guitar on this one)
  • Go
  • Every Time I Fall Back (Acoustic)
  • River of Love (full Electric version)
  • True Love (Neil all the way in the audience)
  • Invincible (miscommunication at the end of the guitar solo resulted in Pat skipping over bridge and going right into final chorus)
  • Hell Is For Children
  • We Belong (recorded intro)
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  • Heartbreaker

    Encore (only 1)

  • Promises In the Dark (Neil plays intro on keyboard -- AND THE ENTIRE GUITAR SOLO, AS IT IS ON THE RECORD!!!!!!!, plus Pat sings the last note as on "LIve from Earth", thought not quite as long)
  • Love is a Battlefield - again, with a recorded intro, following Neil explaining that the intro was actually a mistake but he kept it;
  • All Fired Up (regular intro, first verse virtually a capella, standard the rest of the way)
One other note: Pat didn't get a chance to introduce the band, but maybe she just forgot. Mick was on bass, but I did not recognize the drummer, a handsome, crew-cut guy with a brown moustache and goatee, and nice arms that will be inspiring my work outs for weeks!

A physically and emotionally exhilirating night that I could not wait to share with you all. I'm sure I've left out a few things, as it's now after midnight, so please feel free to e-mail me with any questions you have, or just to let me know you're OK.

Peace,
DM


June 16
Orlando, FL
House of Blues

Fan Review by Wally Dwulat

Last nights (6/16) House of Blues show in Downtown Disney was the second show on the Almost II tour and I have to say that those of you who are waiting to see this years tour will not be disappointed.

First of all, one question that PBFC members ask is "What did Pat and Neil look like?" so I'll cover that now. Neil was dressed in black jeans and black button down shirt. His hair is shorter this year. Pat wore black bell bottom slacks with a shiny stripe running down each side, and a black tank top with a long pink and blue shear shirt with long sleeves that went over the tank top and down just past her hips. Pat's hair is reddish-brown, shoulder lenth in a perm.

REVIEW

The band Oppera opened the show and played for about 45 minutes. This band rocks! Martika (Toy Soldiers) wastes no time getting the audience into the music and ready to rock with Pat and Neil. That girl knows how to shake her groove thang too!

Pat and Neil came out and said that we would be seeing a different show from the last few years because they would be doing some songs like the album versions and they did just that. Pat and Neil joked as to which of them would make the mistakes this night. A couple of songs into the show Neil won as he stopped Pat after she told the solidly packed audience that the next song was from the album Innamorata, but it was actually "GO" from the album "GO."

Gone are the accoustic versions of "We Belong" and "Love Is A Battlefield." They were played like the album versions The audience sang out loud to every song that they played last-night. I may miss one or two, but off the top of my head, the songs that they performed last night I've listed below and not in any order of the set list. From start to finish, this was one of the best Benatar concerts I've ever seen. A couple I met before the show had not seen Pat & Neil live since the 80's and after this show are now planning to go to the Cypress Gardens show in August after being blown away by last night's show. They couldn't believe how Pat and Neil can still rock so hard after all these years.

  • My Clone Sleeps Alone
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  • Everytime I Fall Back
  • Promises In The Dark
  • Shadows Of The Night
  • Heartbreaker
  • Hell Is For Children
  • Invincible
  • Go
  • River Of Love
  • True Love
  • Precious Time
  • All Fired Up
  • We Belong
  • Love Is A Battlefield

Wally Dwulat


June 18
Chattanooga, TN
Riverbend Festival

Review by the Chattanoogan


June 22
Verona, NY
Turning Stone Casino

Emailed review by George Wolke

My wife and I attended the show last night at Turning Stone Casino. It was our second Pat concert, first one was in Denver years ago. Here are a few comments on the concert:

  • Opera opened the show and played for around 30 minutes. Good band. They had their CDs available for sale in the lobby and also autographed them. We had one signed for our 14-year old aspiring musician son. They did a good job of warming up the crowd.
  • Pat and Neil took the stage just after 9pm and played until just around 11pm, including encores. When I first saw the set list, I was concerned that the show would be too short. They played most of the songs per the album, but added some extended guitar breaks. This made the length of the show just right.
  • I never realized how great a guitarist Neil is. He just flat out can play! During "True Love", his crowd run was outstanding. Just prior to the song, a person in the crowd screamed that they had brought their daughter to the concert as a HS graduation gift. Neil made it a point to stop by this girl and she gave him a kiss on the cheek. I think that made her day!!!! When Neil got back to the stage, Pat joked that he had lipstick all over his face. Great moment.
  • Pat and Neil have a super stage rapport. They joked around all night!!!!!
  • Neil told a few stories about writing the songs. For 'Love is a Battlefield' he told about first writing a 8-bar drumloop (his first time using a drum machine), but then mistakenly erased 2-bars!!!! That's why the drum-loop in the song (written in 4-4 time) never repeats itself. Very, cool!!!
  • Neil talked about this website. He said that whenever they see the setlist on the web, they intentionally change it for the next show.
  • Pat's voice and stage presence is incredible (still). She looked great with a perm!!! It always amazes me how much power she generates with her voice. I don't think there is a female singer in rock today who can match her. That says a lot after 20+ years!!!!!!
  • The set list was similar to that posted. One addition was 'Painted Desert'. Someone asked Pat to sign 'Fire and Ice'. She laughed, and said, "Give me a break. I'd need to be 20-years younger to sing that one."
  • Highlights for me were, "Everybody Lay Down", "My Clone Sleeps Alone", "True Love", "We Belong", and "Promises in the Dark".
This was a great concert!!!! I look forward to seeing them again soon!!!

George Wolke


June 24
Altantic City, NJ
The Borgata Casino

Fan review by Rose DiSalvo

It's 1:30 a.m. and I cannot get to sleep. Just got in from the Pat show and am pretty wound up. I've been to many a Pat show, but there is something about that classy lady that makes each time seem new and exciting. I didn't see her last year...first time in a long time...so this year was like a reunion for me. It was like a ....family reunion. Pat and Neil ..and John...were gracious as always with everyone. As were the usual Fan Club suspects...thanks Harold, Robin and Sheila etc for reminding me of the other reasons I like Pat's shows :)

The show was phenominal as always, but then again I'm partial and biased. :D The set list was as follows:

  • Everybody Lay Down
  • We Belong
  • Shadows of the Night
  • My Clone Sleeps Alone
  • Go
  • River of Love
  • True Love
  • Invincible
  • Everytime I Fall Back
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Hell is for Children
  • We Belong
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  • Heartbreaker
  • Promises in the Dark
  • Love is a Battlefield
  • All Fired Up
From what I've read, I guess the show went the same as the others for the most part. Pat wore this black, satiny jacket over a very classy black outfit. She and NeiL!!! did their usual Sonny and Cher comedy routine in between songs lol. The acoustics for the opener sucked ...then again maybe the opener just sucked. But it seemed once Pat came out you could hear what was being sung. I was in about the 8th row and viewed the Queen ruling the stage as she always does.....reminding me of a song called "Giant" that a couple of friends sang about.

Back to the beginning....the family reunion. To me, the set list or outfit or sound doesn't matter....what usually makes a Pat show great is that there is that classy lady...my long time idol, up there with the band making each one of us feel like we are part of their 'family'. I have come to know many of the fan club members, and have 'toured' with some of them....and have come to know that they are like their own little tribe. I believe we once called ourselves the Patti Krishnas. It was great to see my fellow tribe members again. Thank you, Harold, for being so gracious with my friend who hadn't seen a Pat show in a while, and for making her experience be so memorable.

Thank you, Joe, for always keeping this tribe together. Congrats all on the anniversary...and here's to keeping the 'family' together.


June 25
Boston, MA
Bank of America Pavilion

Fan review by Charles Hunter

Wow, it was hot! In the upper 90s with no breeze at the Bank One Pavilion on Saturday night in Boston.

As noted in reviews of other shows on this tour, the approach to the show and songs is a bit different this time. I would say it is a journey back to their roots. Neil announced that most of the songs would be played as close to their original album versions as possible. With few exceptions, they stuck to that for the entire show. I overheard one young woman mention that this was a high energy show, and I would have to agree with that statement. From the pounding opening version of Everybody Lay Down, the mood was set for a more traditional rock show than what we have seen for the past four or five years worth of tours. Perhaps without the need to develop or demonstrate new material, it was time for a change.

Pat's voice sounded more strong than I have heard her in several years. With the exception of probably only Promises In The Dark, I did not notice her drop any vocal range downward while singing any of these songs. Besides the usual "must play" songs, they threw in a couple of older and lesser known tunes (unless you are a true follower, of course!). They did My Clone Sleeps Alone, which Pat referred to as "a silly little song." Neil did the keyboard part perfectly and Pat never missed a beat. They seemed to have fun with this one.

The only song performed off the newest CD release was the title track, Go. It really rocked and reminded me once again of the question of why this did not get decent airplay when it was released. True Love was performed, but with Neil only traveling back and forth across the stage. When he came to the stairs which lead down to the audience I thought for sure he was headed out on his usual roaming solo rounds of the audience. I even saw their manager peek his head out of the stage curtains. But, it didn't happen. Nonetheless, a great solo by Neil.

Neil commented that he was sweating so much people will think he wet himself by the end of the show. He asked Pat to wipe his face with a towel, which she lovingly did. He then turned to the audience and gave us the look of accomplishment! Pat said they have moved to Hawaii and it is hot there, but not this hot! She said she grew up in New York and had forgotten how hot the summer could be up here. Neil then chimed in about her being from New York and mentioned the world series (Boston beat the NY Yankees to get there and win) and that there are winners and losers. The crowd really loved that one. Neil said if they didn't live in Hawaii, they would live here, except in the winter!

Pat wore an all black ensemble with a black long sleeved jacket. Sweat continually poured off her during the entire show. I could not believe she never removed even her jacket. She looked great with shoulder length permed hair. Neil now sports much shorter hair.

After True Love came Invincible. Pat, as usual, mentioned that the song is now always played and dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and their families. Neil surprised everyone by heading down the stage stairs and into the audience for a brief guitar solo amongst the crowd. He stopped right at the end of our row, as often happens, so we were fortunate.

Every Time I Fall Back was done acoustically and Neil said that this was a version they liked so much they kept it. He also mentioned it gave them an opportunity to sit down! Next Pat mentioned that she does this next song very rarely and that we were lucky enough that we were going to hear it tonight. She then broke into Wuthering Heights. She was amazing. The sound of her voice sent chills down my spine. This is an old Kate Bush song that appeared on Pat's second album. You would think that she had been singing this song routinely for years. This song alone was worth the trip.

When Pat does Hell Is For Children, it is as if she goes to a different place in her mind and soul. The power and fire that she demonstrates never ceases to amaze me on this one. Neil did the guitar solo as it is on the original record. Over the last five years I have heard him do at least two other versions and it was nice to hear the original. This one really demonstrated Neil's talents. Hit Me With Your Best Shot got an already enthusiastic audience really going. This was one of the most into it crowds I have seen at one of their shows in quite awhile. Two young girls in front of me were actually dancing on top of their chairs, until security made them get down. We Belong started off with the synthesizer part (prerecorded) and was done amazingly well. After years of the acoustic version, it was a nice change.

The encore featured three songs. Promises In The Dark, Love Is A Battlefield, and the big finale- All Fired Up. They say in sports after a hard fought game that the team left it all on the field. On Saturday night, Pat, Neil, and the band left it all on the hot, sweaty stage in Boston.

They normally play three or more venues in New England each summer, but it appears that this will be their only show on this tour.

Charles Hunter


Boston Herald Review
Boston Globe Review


June 27
New York, NY
BB King's

Fan review by Justin McManus

Just got home from Pat's show at BB King's in New York. To sum it up, she was STUNNING. I've seen Pat every year for the past 5 or so years, and I have to say I've never heard heard better. I brought a friend who has never seen Pat before and she was blown away by how good she sounds.

The set list was the same as the Boston show, and I have to say, hearing "My Clone Sleeps Alone" and "Wuthering Heights" was awesome. I also enjoyed the return of some Gravity's Rainbow material back into the show. "Every Time I Fall Back" was one of the best live performances I've ever heard. All in all, it was incredible. Thanks to Pat and Neil for a great start to my week!

  • Everybody Lay Down
  • We Live for Love
  • Shadows of the Night
  • My Clone Sleeps Alone
  • Go
  • River of Love
  • True Love
  • Invincible
  • Every Time I Fall Back
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Hell is for Children
  • We Belong
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  • Heartbreaker
  • Promises in the Dark
  • Love is a Battlefield
  • All Fired Up



June 28
New York, NY
BB King's

Fan review by chet-cz

I got to BB Kings at 7:30 and all the tables were filled. They could have gotten me a seat on the right side but you had to squeeze in a booth so I decided to stand. The bar is only 30 feet facing the stage so I stood dead center behind the soundboard with a great view.

Oppera opened as usual. I liked their songs and act. I would have bought their cd and had it signed before Pat but I didn't want to lose my spot. They played about 45 minutes. They said this was the longest they were allowed to play this tour. I enjoyed them. After about 25 minutes to dismantle the stage, Pat and Neil finally came on. The crowd went nuts. I can see why they like BB kings so much because 80% of the crowd was in their 20-30's. Pat looked great dressed in all black (how does she do it? must be the polish in her).

Not many people knew 'everybody lay down'. I thought it was great but everyone applauded at the end enthusiastically. I loved 'My clone' and Pat seemed to enjoy singing it. There was a funny incident. I think it was during river of love. Pat was waiting at the microphone as neil was playing a guitar break, Neil moved toward Pat and bumped her just as she was about to sing the next chorus. It was as if she missed a cue from Neil. Of course she laughed and continued the chorus. They seem to be great friends. I guess you have to when you are together 24 hrs working and living together. Neil went thru the caberet section during 'True love' (Pat said since this is a blues bar so they had to sing it). While he was walking thru the area two women kissed him and Pat rolled up her sleeves ready for a fight. When Neil got back on stage he was posing like a meek husband saying it wasn't my fault. It was very funny.

I thought Pat sung 'wuthering' in a lower key than from the record and Pat said this was the last time she would be singing it this tour but Neil said we'll see. From 'hell' on, the crowd really got into the hits as everyone at the tables started standing and dancing. Neil did his usual speech before the songs. Pat said she visited friends and family and will be visiting in long Island since they are playing there. I hoped they don't get rained on. It's an outdoor event. It really was a great show and Pat and Neil really looked like they were enjoying themselves. BB Kings is now one of my new places to see shows. The setlist was the same as on Monday.


June 30
Reading, PA
Sovereign PAC

Fan review by William Bradley

set list:

  • everybody lay down
  • we live for love
  • shadows of the night
  • my clone sleeps alone
  • i won't
  • river of love
  • true love
  • invincible
  • everytime i fall back
  • wuthering heights
  • hell is for children
  • hit me with your best shot
  • heartbreaker
  • promises in the dark
  • love is a battlefield
  • all fired up

the show opened strong with everybody lay down. slightly different from recorded version in that song goes right into full chorus after guitar solo. we live for love is same as we know it.shadows of the night loses the acapella beginning and has a darker guitar feel to it. my clone sleeps alone has pat singing at times pretty close to the original vocal sound. neil on keyboard throughout, but with backing band you don't really notice the lack of guitar. i won't was inroduced tonight. pat stopped neil in the beginning and made him start over. she said that he was playing it wrong. river of love very loud guitars and no whoa whoas in the beginning(which i think is good). neil stops pat as she introduced invincible because the next song is supposed to be true love. invincible was never a song i liked, but that has changed after hearing how well the lyrics fit the 9-11 reference pat makes. also, neil goes into crowd as the solo is extended. everytime i fall back acoustic. neil mentions that they will be more faithful to original recordings on most of the songs, but this song would be different because the original arangement was rushed. next was wuthering heights in a lower key than the original. as noted from previous shows, pat said she wants to take this off the set list, but neil keeps adding it "one more time". the people around me were getting annoyed that anytime there was a quiet moment i would yell for "wuthering heights". once played, i shut up. hell is for children, hit me with your best shot and heartbreaker followed. oops we belong was in there somewhere, i for one enjoy the acoustic version. pat's voice seems to have more elasticity on the acoustic version. the recorded keyboard version just seemed clunky live.(sorry if i have offended). same with battlefield. the acoustic version shows a more mature and updated sound for the song, and pat's vocal is better suited for that. but, i'm not complaining...it was an excellent show and i think the change in setlist from the past few years is refreshing. hopefully somebody's baby is brought out in the near future!!!

w bradley


July 6
Chicago, IL
House of Blues

Chicago Sun Times reivew


August 6
West Allis, WI
Wisconsin State Fair

It was a perfect summer night in West Allis, WI (just west of Milwaukee). Temperature was in the low 70’s, and the huge State Fair Crowd was ready for action. Reserved seating was available, my wife Susan and I got 10th row from the stage middle section. Sweet! We are originally from Milwaukee, and we still have plenty of family and friends there. When I suggested the 5 hour trip to see Pat at the State Fair the answer was an immediate YES!!

OPPERA opened up for Pat and Neil, and that took a lot of the crowd by surprise as they were not “advertised”. They were OK, very good on the harmony, but unintelligible loud singing by Matika? was not very good. The consensus in the crowd was that the band had plenty of potential, but needed polishing.

When Pat and Neil took the stage the place went crazy! I told my wife about the curly hair Pat was sporting this year, and then she comes out in short pigtails! She looked great. I was wondering how much gas Pat had left in her tank since this is nearing the end of the tour. That woman runs on premium. WOW. She must do 500 sit ups a day to keep those abdominals in shape to belt it out. I have seen Pat the last 4 years running, and this was by far the best. Not only on Pat and Neil’s end, but they really fed off the very enthusiastic large crowd. Standing ovations were the norm. Interactions between Neil, Pat and the crowd were so much fun to watch. They are so confident in their abilities, and so down to earth that they win you over right away. All songs sounded great, especially my favorite “Promises” where Neil just nailed the guitar solo. Anyone that thought they were going to see a top 40 pop show must have had their hats blown off. It was that powerful. It was that good.

Until next time...Keep Rockin,

Steve and Sue Slivicki
River Falls, WI


Copyright Notice on Home Page Applies