Review by Scott StegengaIt's amazing how these bands from the '80s have suddenly put their differences aside and jump back on the popular music train like nothing ever happened. The problem with most of these reunions is that the reformation has other members who were never in the original lineup, the youthful days take a back seat, the new CD releases try too hard to be cool and trendy and the shows eventually bring them onto the Six Flags circuit. Such is not the case with the Go-Gos. All the original members are back together, they still look good and their latest CD God Bless the Go-Gos sounds like the '80s never left them. Thank God.
Photos by Barry Brecheisen
Upon attending their show at Chicago's Vic Theatre, if you were a fan of any level, you weren't disappointed. Belinda Carlisle still sways barefoot on stage with her delightful voice, Jane Weidlin is still that cute-yet-peculiar guitar chick and Charlotte, Gina and Kathy are the fun rhythm section. Its remarkable that these ladies have been together for over 20 years and still have the same amusing energy from their teenage days of playing Southern California punk/new wave clubs.
Did they play their hits? Of course. Did they play new songs? Why not? From the moment the ladies marched on stage to "It's a Small World" and opening with "Vacation," they played all the favorites we've come to know from our days of hearing them on the ol' AM/FM radio. The new tunes from their God Bless release sounded as fun and fresh as the old favs. We were even treated to some of the old singles like "Fun With Ropes" and "This Town." They played everything from "Apology" to "We Got The Beat" and everything in between. Sweet, with of all the perky sexiness of their heyday.
Fans were also treated to an entertaining bawdy banter with the band including an inflatable doll that was carried in the audience with Carlisle exclaiming its her new boyfriend. With the occasional musical error laughed off as "my fault-your fault" and Weidlin announcing that "We're here because of Dick." Evidently, she meant Vice President Dick Cheney since he invited them to a private party which helped to spawn this mini tour in the first place. The Go- Gos blazed a unique pop trail in the '80s and didn't fail to brush off it's roots and keep the well-travelled path clear for the next show.
For those who came for the early show, they were treated to a surprise by opening act Duvall. With the melodic voice that was once familiar to many Chicago rock fans, it became clear that this is the new band of former Smoking Popes front man, Josh Caterer. The pleasant punk rock vibe brought out by the Popes in the early days were suddenly back again as Duvall played a great opening set consisting of new songs from their EP "Standing at the Doo," new songs from an upcoming, still untitled, album, and the Popes classic radio hit "I Know You Love Me."
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