Rock & Roll Legends, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo finally returned to the Valley of The Sun

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo concert at the Mullett Arena on September 27th, 2023

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents ( )
Venue: Mullett Arena, ASU, Tempe, AZ ( )
Date: Wednesday September 27th, 2023
Tour: Funtastic 2023

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo concert at the Mullett Arena on September 27th, 2023

It was 1980 when Danny Zelisko (Evening Star Productions) first brought Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo to Tempe, Arizona.  At that time, Pat & Neil were just breaking out and the show was at a small bar called Dooley’s.  Soon after that show, Pat & Neil blasted out with monster hits on MTV.  They went on to produce two multi-platinum albums, five platinum albums, and 15 Billboard top 40 singles.  With hits like, “Heartbreaker”, “Shadows in the Night”, “Love is a Battlefield” and “Invisible” it is no wonder that Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo have won numerous Grammys and been finally inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

With over 40 years since her debut album, In The Heat of The Night, Pat still has the stage presence and voice that we all know and love so well.  With he long time guitarist and husband, Neil Giraldo, they still can rock and audience.  Their stage setup is minimal, with just Neil on guitar and grand piano, Pat with a mic in the center of the stage, their base player Mick Mahan and drummer Tony Pia and a large backdrop.  They rely totally on their talent and Pat’s amazing voice.  At tonight’s performance, Pat did not seem to be able to hit the high notes during “Heartbreaker” but personally I like this new version better.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo concert at the Mullett Arena on September 27th, 2023

They started the show rocking with “All Fired Up” and “Sex as a Weapon”.  From there they continued with hits from a number of their albums.  Their main set continued with song after song building the audience up to the amazing end with “Hell Is for Children”, “You Better Run”, and finally “Love Is a Battlefield”.

After a short break, they came back for an encore of 3 songs.  The started with a Beatles classic, “Helter Skelter”.  They ended the show with her first classic hit, “Heartbreaker”.  In the middle of the song, they added Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.  Everyone was standing and gave Pat & Neil a raucous ovation.

For a large portion of the show, the audience was standing and singing along with Pat.  At times the audience even danced to the music.  A few fans also attempted to rush the stage (up the aisles), but security eventually moved them back.  I did have to photograph from just in front of the sound board.  The stage was at one end of the hockey rink and the sound board was at the other end.  There were about 3500 people at the show and all of the seats were great.

This is the second time I saw Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo.  I saw them back in 1980 at Dooley’s.  I am amazed that not only have Pat and Neil been together performing together for 40 plus years, but that they are still married.  Life is tough enough for bands to stay together, but it is fantastic testament to the love Pat and Neil have for each other to have lasted this long.  And on stage you can still see the affection they have for each other.  I wish them many more years together and hope that they return to the valley for another show.  You can find out if they are coming to a city near you by going to their website.  If you loved music from the early days of MTV then you will love seeing Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, I know I did.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Social Media sites:
YouTube Channel:

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

Photos by Fred Kuhlman 2023, All Rights Reserved

John Waite

John Waite concert at the Mullett Arena on September 27th, 2023

John Waite first hit the music scene when he was tapped as bassist and lead vocalist for The Babys. Later during his solo career he released his mega hit “Missing You”.  It was great to see John again, but to truly experience John at his best, you got to see him in a smaller venue.  John is great anywhere he performs, but at a smaller venue, he really shines.

Tonight, John played acoustic guitar and sang.  He was joined by fellow guitarist Mark Ricciardi, Tim Hogan on bass and drummer Alan Childs.

He did songs from his days with The Babys and his solo career.  I really enjoyed when he did “Missing You”.  They ended the show with “Back on My Feet Again” from his The Babys days and the Led Zeppelin’s classic “Whole Lotta Love”.  His rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” was amazing.

You can see if John is coming to a city near you from his website.

John Waite Social Media sites:
YouTube Channel:

John Waite

Photos by Fred Kuhlman 2023, All Rights Reserved

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo 2023      (Album/Cover)
All Fired Up                                        (Rattling Sabres cover)
Sex as a Weapon                                 (Seven the Hard Way)
Promises in the Dark                          (Precious Time)
Girl                                                      (Go)
We Belong                                          (Lowen & Navarro cover)
Dirty Little Secrets                              (Innamorata)
Invincible                                            (Seven the Hard Way)
Shadows of the Night                         (Helen Schneider cover)
Hell Is for Children                             (Crimes of Passion)
You Better Run                                   (The Rascals cover)
Love Is a Battlefield                            (Live From Earth)
Helter Skelter                                      (The Beatles cover)
Everybody Lay Down                          (Gravity’s Rainbow)
Heartbreaker / Ring of Fire                 (Medleys / Johnny Cash cover)

John Waite Setlist                              (Album/Cover)
Change                                                (Spider cover)
When I See You Smile                        (Bad English song)
Bluebird Café                                      (When You Were Mine)
Missing You                                        (No Brakes)
(Band introductions prior to song)
Midnight Rendezvous                         (The Babys song)
Back on My Feet Again                      (The Babys song)
Whole Lotta Love                               (Led Zeppelin cover)


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