Friday July 27, 2001
The Tabernacle-Atlanta, GA


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Pat Benatar is to credit (or to blame) for influencing every female that followed her in the rock industry. Her legacy of more hits than any one cares to remember and her trailblazing for other women must have accounted for the surprisingly large crowd that showed up to hear her over a decade after her last chart success. The stage was nearly empty, lacking even monitors, as she and her husband/guitarist Neil Geraldo appeared. The backing band in the shadows was clearly meant to stay in the back and they did just that. A hit-heavy fifteen-song set was launched with “We Live For Love” and followed by “Shadows Of The Night.” Pat was relaxed and belted out her signature tunes in fine voice and spirit. She was so relaxed, it bordered on being Vegas-like, but that was okay. Her newly blonde husband hammed it up while throwing out arpeggios and vibrato chords from his axe as Benatar stayed pretty much rooted behind the mic tossing out “We Belong” and “Invincible” to a crowd that reacted as if those tunes were newer than fifteen years old. Of course, there were some new songs of varying quality. “Girl” and “I Won’t” were like solid album tracks from the halcyon days, but “Please Don’t Leave Me” brought quickly back to the foreground all the worst musical memories of the ‘80s. It was maudlin and helplessly lame. Imagine Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia” (without the edge) done by Sheena Easton. Luckily, rockers like “Hell Is For Children” and “Promises In The Dark” redeemed the set. A transformed “Love Is A Battlefield” was a highlight as Pat and hubby did it as a duo with just his acoustic guitar accompanying her voice. This actually served to prove that there was a well-written song underneath the gloss of the 1983 single. A thunderous “Heartbreaker” mutated into the obligatory sing-a-long and although prefacing it by saying how sick of the song she was, Pat threw the joyous crowd their long awaited “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” bone at the end of the night. With that, the audience was satisfied and the “All Fired Up” grand finale was actually a bit anti-climactic. While their skills are possibly even sharper than in their heyday, Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo couldn’t really rise out of being more than merely nostalgia on this night and that was just fine as far as the mostly middle-aged crowd was concerned.

(Chris McKay/


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Pat Benatar Set List (7-27-02):

1. We Live For Love

2. Shadows Of The Night

3. Girl

4. We Belong

5. Invincible

6. I Won't

7. Every Time I Fall Back

8. Love Is A Battlefield

9. True Love

10. Hell Is For Children

11. Heartbreaker


12. Please Don't Leave Me

13. Promises In The Dark

14. Hit Me With Your Best Shot

15. All Fired Up