CLEARWATER — Grammy Award winners Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will perform Sunday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.
Special guest John Waite will open the show. Tickets start at $54. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Benatar’s staggering vocals and take-no-prisoners attitude are paired with Neil Giraldo’s trailblazing artistry as a guitarist, producer and songwriter. Together, with their undeniable chemistry, Benatar and Giraldo have forged a unique sound that created some of rock’s most memorable hits, including “We Belong,” “Invincible,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Promises In the Dark,” “We Live for Love,” “Heartbreaker” and “Hell Is for Children.” They have created two multiplatinum, five platinum and three gold albums, as well as 19 Top 40 hits. They have sold more than 30 million records worldwide and have won an unprecedented four consecutive Grammy awards.
Benatar and Giraldo have been road warriors for decades, touring in the United States and abroad, playing festivals, theatres and performing art centers regularly. In the past five years, the duo has averaged 75 shows per year, headlining and co-headlining.
Benatar and Giraldo have been making music together for four decades. They met each other in 1979 for the first time in a small rehearsal room at SIR Studios in New York City. The rest, as they say, is history. Benatar's debut album “In the Heat of the Night” was released in August 1979, and reached No. 12 in the U.S. in early 1980. The album included her breakthrough hit "Heartbreaker" and the top 30 hit "We Live for Love." She followed up in 1980 with “Crimes of Passion.” Debuting on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart the week ending Aug. 23, the album held at No. 2 for five weeks in January 1981. Singles from the album include "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "You Better Run" and "Treat Me Right."
Benatar continued to record new music for two decades, releasing the albums “Precious Time” (1981), “Get Nervous” (1982), “Live from Earth” (1983), “Tropico” (1984), “Seven the Hard Way” (1985), “Wide Awake in Dreamland” (1988), “True Love” (1991), “Gravity's Rainbow” (1993), “Innamorata” (1997) and “Go” (2003).
In 1982, Benatar and Giraldo were married. They have two grown daughters. In 2018, they became grandparents for the first time.
Waite got his start as the lead singer of British rockers the Babys. Their hits include “Isn’t It Time?” and “Every Time I Think of You.”
After five albums with the Babys, Waite released “Ignition,” his first solo album which boasted the hit rock single “Change.”
Waite’s next solo effort, 1984’s “No Brakes,” earned U.S. platinum success thanks to the smash hit, “Missing You.” It topped the international charts and today remains a radio staple around the globe.
The follow-up single, “Tears,” was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.
Continuing to evolve as both a songwriter and formidable stage presence, Waite released “Mask of Smiles” in 1985. The album included the hit melodies “Every Step of the Way” and “If Anybody Had a Heart,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1986 motion picture “About Last Night” starring Demi Moore.
Waite teamed up with Matchbox 20 lead guitarist and songwriter Kyle Cook in 2011. Their creative chemistry led to “Rough & Tumble,” a long-form exercise in raucous riffs and bloody truths highlighted by “Further the Sky,” “Shadows of Love” and the title track. “Rough & Tumble” topped the Classic Radio chart, showing that Waite can still crank out No. 1 hits after three and a half decades in the music business trenches.
In 2014, Waite released “Best,” a greatest hits album. It includes re-recorded versions of signature classics such as “Back on My Feet Again,” “Isn’t It Time” and “Missing You” as well as hard-hitting live renditions of “Head First,” “Saturday Night” and “Change.” The same year, he released the EP “Wooden Heart — Acoustic, Vol. 1.” In 2017, he followed with “Wooden Heart — Acoustic Anthology, Volume 2.”
Waite is a mainstay on Tampa Bay radio and plays area venues frequently. He’s earned a reputation for his showmanship, blending energetic hard-rocking tracks with emotive acoustic songs while sharing stories with the audience.