Pat Benatar (w/ Lennon Murphy opening)

Christine and I headed up to The Mountain Winery to see Pat Benatar this evening.

Great venue. Outdoor stage with a relatively small number of seats on top of a mountain overlooking all of silicon valley. Decent, but expensive, concert food — burgers, fries, calamari, etc.. — and quite tasty, but also expensive, margaritas or bottles of wine.

Benatar and Neil “Spyder” Giraldo, Pat’s husband and the one individual that has contributed to every Benatar album, played an excellent set of classic Benatar tunes. Nothing new here; just classic Benatar hits played by excellent musicians fronted by Pat, whose voice has held up well all these years. Neil is a strong and versatile musicion, playing keyboards, guitar and drums throughout the main set and encore.

Kind of like going to Karaoke where the performance is done by the original artists with a goal of trying to achieve the same sound they had when the songs were still considered new. No matter how good they play, it is still just a rehash of former performances.

And the crowd loved it. Totally ate it up. Great energy. Pat and Neil had some great interactions– both historical recounting and joking around — with the crowd and it was definitely a big happy Benatar love fest. It was quite a bit of fun.

But, in the end, not my thing. I’m too much of a newjunkie. Not just “totally new”, but if I’m going to see a band play 30 year old hits, I really want to see something new; a jam session that breaks out into total improv around the classic theme, new instruments or arrangements, or — at the very least — at least a handful of interesting songs that were written in the last year or two.

Lennon Murphy opened thee show with an acoustic set; just her and a keyboard in piano mode. Never heard of her. It was quite good; simple cord sequences with her solid, Natalie Merchant-esque, voice on top.

Apparently — I haven’t listened yet — Lennon normally does music that could be described as “metal”. It definitely comes through in her piano+voice work in that the chord progressions and melodies tend to be fairly simple. It was easy to imagine what that same set of chords might sound like through screaming guitars.

As usual, wikipedia has a bunch of interesting biographical information on Lennon Murphy. Beyond the seemingly ubiquitous MySpace profile, Lennon also appears on SuicideGirls.

Lennon’s Career Suicide album is quite good and closely matches the set she played as the opening act at the show. Nice production value, with just an occasional touch of electro-effect on the piano and vocals, and good storytelling. Neat — scratches my newjunkie itch nicely.

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2 Responses to “Pat Benatar (w/ Lennon Murphy opening)”

  1. Amie says:

    I took a look at the winery schedule and you might enjoy Crowded House more, since they are known to jam on a theme, plus they just put out some new material which feels wonderfully fresh. Man, do I hate the fact that they’re not coming anywhere near the ‘burgh! Lord only knows if or when they’ll ever be back in the States.

  2. g says:

    Lennon normally does music that could be described as “metal”.

    It’s hard to underestimate how much this sentence confused me when taken wholly out of context.

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