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LIVE: THE REPLAY AMERICA TOUR – July 20, 2014, Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery

| 23 July 2014 | Reply

Featuring: The Go-Go’s, Scandal with Patty Smyth, Martha Davis & The Motels and Naked Eyes


Venue: The Mountain Winery

City: Saratoga, CA

Date: July 20, 2014

Review and Photographs by: Robert Kitay

This year’s Replay ’80 Tour features four solid acts producing a night of hit song after hit song.  Originally, Cutting Crew was also scheduled to appear, but apparently some kind of visa issue prevented them from joining the tour.  With a show time of 7:30, and the Mountain Winery having a curfew of 10:45, I was wondering how they were going to fit everybody in.  The answer is that Naked Eyes, Martha Davis and the Motels, and Scandal with Patty Smyth all shared the same outstanding backing band.  So, in reality, we are not seeing anything close to the original “bands,” but as far as the sound goes, and the quality of the performances, everything worked out great and it was a pleasure not having to wait for set changeovers between acts.  Huge kudos to whoever was running the mixing board, as the sound the entire night was spot on perfect.


Naked Eyes, which was really only singer Pete Byrne playing with the backing band, started out the show and performed a short 15 minute 3 songs set, consisting of “(What) In the Name of Love,” “Promises, Promises,” and “Always Something There to Remind Me.”  Pete Byrne is a very good showman and has that “cool in sunglasses” look that so many performers aim for but few succeed.  By the time “Promises, Promises” started the dancing up front began. There would be plenty more dancing to follow this evening.


After Naked Eye’s short set Martha Davis came on without delay.  Opening with a flawless version of “Suddenly Last Summer” it became immediately apparent that Martha Davis’ voice has lost absolutely nothing over the years.  Her voice still carries more emotion than just about any singer I can think of.  She played guitar as well as sang for most of the show, but at times she just sang, and at other times she walked out into the crowd singing and even hugging many of her fans in the crowd.  Her way too short 30 minute set included “Mission of Mercy,” “Take the L,” “Take Control” and she finished off with a crowd pleasing version of “Only the Lonely.”


As Martha Davis left the stage, on came Patty Smyth and original Scandal guitarist Keith Mack.  Immediately they launched into “Hands Tied” and the energy level turned up a notch.  Patty Smyth wore a flashy silver jacket and she put on quite a show.  Her voice was not quit as pristine as it was in the ‘80s, but it was certainly good enough.  By the time she began their second song “The Warrior” the entire crowd was on their feet and dancing and, as Martha Davis did in her set, Patty Smyth came out into the audience to sing and even stopped to hug a few fans.  At one point during the set she complemented a fan on an amazing pair of shoes.  After a minute she said “I need to take a picture of those shoes” and she proceeded to grab her phone and take a selfie with the shoes behind her.  As she continued the set she sang “Sometime Love Just Aint Enough,” “No Mistakes,” a great cover of “Ode to Billie Joe’ and finally the massive hit “Goodbye to You.”  Once again, a great high energy set, but unfortunately very short clocking in at around 35 minutes.


After a short change over, The Go-Go’s took the stage and launched into “Vacation.”  Immediately the crystal clear sound and energy of the band took hold, and for the next hour the Go-Go’s showed that they definitely still have the beat.  I’ve seen the Go-Go’s on several occasions and they certainly have lost nothing over the years.  The entire band looked like they were having a great time, but lead singer Belinda Carlisle in particular was singing and dancing as if she was still a teenager.  Still looking fantastic, her voice sounds every bit as good as it sounded in the ‘80s.  And while Belinda Carlisle vocals often get the press, it’s the vocal harmonies really give the Go-Go’s much of their distinctive sound, and those vocal harmonies were just perfect.  These songs may all be over 30 years old, yet somehow they still sounded fresh and new.  Often, when catching an older act, even when they put on a great show, it still feels like you are watching an oldies act.  I definitely didn’t get that feel at this show.  Somehow, it felt like these girls are still in their prime.  Besides Belinda Carlisle, the band consisted of Jane Wiedlin of guitar, who was wearing an interesting, almost wedding-like white dress, Gina Schock on drums, Charlotte Caffey on guitar and keyboards, and Abby Travis who has taken over for departed bass player Kathy Valentine, who is the only member of the classic lineup no longer in the band.  During Cool Jerk the Go-Go’s invited a number of fans onto the stage to dance.  Interesting to note that all but one of the fans invited onto the stage were wearing new Go-Go’s t-shirts.  The lesson here is if you want to dance onstage with the band, you better stop by the merchandise booth before taking your seat.  A few years ago the Go-Go’s were slated to do the requisite farewell tour; you know the kind of tour that bands seem to ignore ever happened two years later.  That tour was cancelled when Jane Wiedlin had an injury, and ever since Jane Wiedlin healed there has been no talk of retiring.  Certainly there is no reason for the Go-Go’s to retire.  They’re still at the top of their game and put on quite the party.  Here’s hoping for many more Go-Go’s tours for years to come.

Set list: Vacation – Tonight – How Much More – Insincere – Mad About You – This Town – Cool Jerk – Cool Places – Lust to Love – La La Land – Our Lips are Sealed – We Got the Beat – Johnny, Are You Queer? – Head Over Heals






Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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