The concert was actually filmed over two consecutive nights at the same arena, and songs from both nights were edited together. Throughout the show Pat's accessories change from long, black sequined-gloves to no gloves and a chunky black bracelet on one wrist. There are also noticeable differences throughout the show in her make-up. See more »
It's 1984. Pat Benatar is an MTV staple, the queen of rock, and one of America's top concert attractions. Her 4th LP "Get Nervous" is a multi-platinum smash that spawns a near sell-out concert tour of the country's largest arenas. "Live In New Haven" is a time capsule containing the firebrand that is the Pat Benatar band, in raw and unadulterated 1984 rock fashion.
The band: Pat & company pink-slipped rythm guitarist Scott Sheets prior to the GN sessions, replacing him with keyboardist Charlie Giordano. Giordano makes his Benatar debut on this tour, and provides an eclectic spin on the usually guitar-oriented sound.
The sound: The keyboard naturally works for Get Nervous material, and adds new dimension to new wavey-pop songs like "We Live For Love". It becomes a hindrance and distraction for scorchers like "Hell Is For Children" & "You Better Run", where a keyboard in place of a rythm guitar fails to improve on what was already perfect. Benatar never attempts to unleash the full power of her four-octave voice, choosing instead to utilize the raspy snarl that has become her trademark. There are a few glimpses of the angelic high her voice is capable of reaching, provided in such songs as "We Live For Love" & "Fight It Out", the latter a haunting rock-ballad.
The songs: Hits, hits, and more hits ("Hit Me With Your Best Shot" "Heartbreaker" "Fire And Ice"). Plus a strong emphasis on her new (at the time) keyboard-laden tunes from "Get Nervous" ("Shadows Of The Night" "Little Too Late" "Anxiety"). Because of time constraints, some of the popular hits in Pat's catalog didn't make the video ("Promises In The Dark" "Treat Me Right") but those omissions are more than made up for by lesser-known gems like "In The Heat Of The Night" & "I Want Out".
The look: Pat at her sexiest, wearing a vampy black halter-top and slit-side black mini-skirt --a look Pat impersonators favor to this day. Tina Turner is credited as being the one who taught women how to dance in pumps, but Tina's got nothing on Pat here. The stage floor is tiled in padded cell facsimile (an inspiration borrowed from her Get Nervous album cover) and drummer Myron Grombacher hammers away on his custom made Japanese-print drum-kit.
The action: Pat slinks across stage, jokingly teasing her audience, climbing onto catwalks, and screaming her appreciation to the fans in the stands. There's plenty of playful interaction between Pat & hubby Neil (Neil clearly being the co-star of the show) and some genuine flirting that adds to the personality of the performance. Neil shows his chops on the numerous solos he's come to make his calling card, and he lets loose with a Pete Townsend wind-mill on the final strains of "Heartbreaker". Pat does her best Roger Daltrey with a tight mic-swing during the break of "We Live". Each of the band members get an opportunity to flex muscle, but it's Pat & Neil that so expertly drive the energy ---Neil's frantic racing about stage and over-the-head guitar antics...Pat's master demonstration of hot-bitch-with-an-attitude strutting and posing.
The verdict: You'll barely recognize some songs, so if you're a stickler for recording purity, this show may not be your bag. If you're looking for Pat's cabaret styling operatics, you wont find them here either. What you will find is a delightfully watchable 80's rock opus that succeeds largely on the sheer magnetism of Pat Benatar the rock goddess. There's no Van Halen explosions and light-show theatrics....no posse of back-up singers....no production numbers.... just Pat & her well-oiled machine doing what they do best --Rocking Out.
This show was originally taped by HBO and broadcast as one of the (then) still-blossoming cable network's concert specials. It is now being distributed by Rhino Home Video, sans one song "Little Paradise"...a tune that was dropped somewhere in the conversion.
I voted a 7 out of 10 on this one, a bit too much keyboard to merit a 10 with me.
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