Rock and roll soul mates Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, along with party boy Rick Springfield, proved 80’s rock is still alive and well at Lincoln’s Pinewood Bowl Sunday evening

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo perform at the Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday, July 29, 2018. Photograph by Sara Alexander.

By Sara Alexander

Sunday, July 29, 2018 – Los Angeles duo Dauzat St Marie (formed in 2015) first took the stage and brought a modern yet casual classic rock sound to Pinewood Bowl as 80’s music lovers of all ages filed in.

Soon after, at just a day before his 69th birthday, Rick Springfield wasted no time getting the party going with “Light This Party Up.” The 80’s party boy was all smiles and concealed his age well as he ran around the stage and even showed off some surprisingly decent dance moves. A few songs in, he greeted fans with an enthusiastic, “Hello! How the heck are ya? I’m feeling pretty good too. We’re still holding up pretty good right?” That he was, even with some minor difficulties with his guitar.

Springfield clearly enjoyed interacting with the audience throughout his set. Grabbing an audience member’s poster of himself, he said, “This is scary. At some point in my life I said yeah I think I can get away with a pink suit.” (These days he’s more comfortable in a button down, jeans, and a leather jacket.) He also made an effort to autograph a fan’s CD right in the middle of a song. During “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” Springfield played a game of pass the mic, where audience members took turns singing the title lyric. It’s safe to say some were better than others.

Springfield didn’t just amuse the crowd from stage, he actually joined them to perform a quite literal rendition of his 1983 hit “Human Touch.” Hopping off stage, he made his way through cheering fans to high five, shake hands, and even sit on a lap or two as he continued to sing. Springfield managed to successfully blur the line of where the stage ended and the crowd began to create a fun and interactive experience for all concertgoers. He wrapped his set with his classic number one hit from 1981, “Jessie’s Girl,” as expected.

A heartwarming video montage served as introduction to Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo taking the stage. The video shared how Benatar has been singing since before she could talk and Giraldo has been playing guitar since the age of 6. The two both pursued music growing up and were eventually introduced to each other in their early 20s. Their musical partnership began in 1979, and rock and roll’s greatest love story followed soon after. Nearly 40 years later, the couple is still going strong and proved just that as they took the stage to “All Fired Up.”

Clad in black leather leggings, Benatar exclaimed, “I don’t think it’d be summer unless we swung by and said hi to you!” While the petite singer didn’t display the same antics as Springfield, she was able to keep the audience captivated in different ways. “Every song has a story,” she shared, while pausing between songs to let fans know some meanings behind various hits. For example, “Hell Is For Children” was inspired by a newspaper article and was written to help raise awareness on child abuse. “Shine” was written for female empowerment during the 2017 Women’s March. Giving fans insight to the music helped to further build a personal connection for everyone present.

The duo finished on a high note with the hit that started it all, “Heartbreaker.” The rendition soon turned into a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” among other songs. Giraldo enjoyed showing off and teasing the crowd with licks from “Purple Haze” and “Seven Nation Army.” Even after all those years, there’s still nothing he can’t play and nothing she can’t sing.