Pat Benatar - vocals; Neil Geraldo - guitar, keyboards, vocals; Scott Sheets - guitar; Myron Grombacher - drums, percussion; Roger Capps - bass; Cindy O'Connor - keyboards
When her tour bus pulled into Austin, Texas in autumn 1981, Pat Benatar was a veritable hit-making machine. Her shows were selling out faster than her management could book them, and her red-hot romance with guitarist Neil Geraldo was steaming up the stage. At 28, she'd just earned her first Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Female. The award honored her second album, Crimes of Passion, which was produced by Keith Olsen of Journey fame. The record nestled in comfortably at number two on the U.S. charts, with her single "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" clamoring into the Billboard Top 10 and becoming an anthem for tough femininity everywhere. Needless to say, it had been a big year for the little girl from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Shortly after high school, Pat Andrzejewski had married boyfriend Dennis Benatar and moved to Richmond, Virginia. Originally trained as an Opera singer, the young vocalist ended up working at nightclubs to support herself. After moving back to New York, she was discovered by Randy Newman at his Catch A Rising Star club, and signed to Chrysalis Records in 1979. Divorced but retaining her married name, Pat Benatar released her debut album that same year. In the Heat of the Night stormed out of the box and produced three charting singles.
Austin was one stop on a string of packed shows Benatar and her band were playing in support of their third record, Precious Time. Luckily, King Biscuit was there to capture what would prove to be Benatar's definitive set, with songs pulled from three smoking albums. Stacked with vintage classics like "You Better Run," "Treat Me Right" and "Heartbreaker," and newly spun power-rockers from Precious Time, this broadcast proved Benatar was indeed at the top of her game. "Promises In The Dark" and the album's title song were quickly becoming crowd favorites, but it was the mid-set barn-burner "Fire and Ice" that had the fans on their feet salivating over the spandex-clad titan who embodied the' 80s aesthetic. Her assertive, raspy voice projects wildly through the recording, and it's easy to envision her strutting across the stage. Benatar embraces the confident energy of the '80s, and the crowd loves her; the dynamic relationship between performer and audience is fully apparent here.
Benatar led the way for girls in rock in 1981. Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes, Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John all had hit number ones on the singles charts while Pat Benatar's Precious Time was locked into the number one position on the album charts. "Fire and Ice" won a second Grammy for the singer by year's end.
Pat Benatar's career waned for a couple years in the mid-'80s when she stepped out of the limelight to devote time to motherhood with newly married husband and bandmate, Neil Geraldo. She has since continued to record high caliber music ranging from blues to gutsy rock - all of it showcasing her vocal dexterity and astounding singing technique.
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