Friday, August 19, 2011
Still Go-Go-ing After All These Years
The Go-Go's at the Greek Theatre,
Los Angeles, August 17, 2011
by Eddie Rivera
Was it really that long ago? Gina Schock telling me she's leaving our band to join the Go-Gos?
"Gina, The Go-Go's can't play," I said.
"I can," she answered. That she can.
And, oh so many years, and gold records, and magazine covers, and world tours and honors later, there they were on stage in their hometown. The Go-Go's at the Greek Theatre on a summer night in L.A. You wanna go, just hearing those words.
Morphed into a pop rock and roll band after emerging from the LA punk scene in 1978, the band has held up surprisingly well, as they aptly demonstrated to the sellout crowd. It was almost easy to forget just how many hits they had, sprinkling them through a happy, high-powered set that was as elegant in its simplicity, as it was rich in spirit. A simple rock band stage setup and some pretty cool songs make for a splendid evening.
Charlotte Caffey showed off her versatility on the piano throughout the show, adding a new level of sonic texture. As usual, Gina and her rock-solid drumming held things firmly in place, even as the band sputtered through one or two false starts.
Bassist Jane Weidlin was lively and perky, as though this was a brand new show and brand new band. Singer Belinda Carlisle was svelte and glamorous as she sang gleefully in her woefully thin and often flat voice (I could hear a flat note from out in the parking lot during "Vacation," the set's opener.) But it's rock and roll. No one goes to see the Go-Go's for their virtuosity. It's the joy and spirit of the music they've been making now into their fifth decade.
They've still got the beat.