Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2018 by Mickey

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“You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” David Byrne ponders being my No. 1 concert in 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

Hi, I’m Mickey, editor of Parklife DC. I’m an MTV-bred New Wave and Post-Punk kid at heart, and it will come as no surprise to you that my Top 10 concerts of 2018 mostly burst right off your television screens in 1985.

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Music Park: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ MGM National Harbor — 7/24/18

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Pat Benatar sings her heart out at MGM National Harbor on July 24, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

With a sparkle in her eyes and brilliance in her voice, Pat Benatar was all fired up at MGM National Harbor on Tuesday, as she and husband Neil Giraldo rocked through a smashing catalog of thundering anthems and hushed serenades.

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Don’t Miss: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ MGM National Harbor, 7/24/18

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Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Photo courtesy the artists)

Pat Benatar returned to Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart after an absence of 16 years in November with “Dancing Through the Wreckage,” a strong new song she recorded for Served Like a Girl, a documentary about female veterans returning to the United States after their military service.

It really is a great song, but we fully realize that you wanna hear all of the Benatar classics too — powerful and liberating numbers like “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Invincible,” and “We Belong.” Well, you can if you buy one of the few remaining tickets for a performance by Pat and Neil Giraldo at MGM National Harbor on Tuesday, July 24!

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Music Park: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ Warner Theatre — 7/8/15


A promo for the Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo 35th Anniversary Tour by American Public TV (above).

Pat Benatar told a lovely little story at the Warner Theatre in the latter half of her set on Wednesday night.

She and her band were on the road supporting their second album with a tour, and their management told them to tune into new cable channel MTV on August 1, 1981.

They tuned in via the television in their “cheap motel” and watched music history being made as their video for “You Better Run” aired as the second video ever shown on MTV, making Pat the first female artist and her husband Neil Giraldo the first guitar player to appear on the fledgling network. (The English electronic act The Buggles debuted with the first-ever MTV video, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and without a guitar in the band, of course.)

With that intro, Pat and Neil launched into “You Better Run,” from the hit record Crimes of Passion, which became her biggest selling album, certified 4X platinum.

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Don’t Miss: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ Warner Theatre, 7/8/15

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Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar, husband and wife rock gods (Photo courtesy Webster PR)

I was an unabashed MTV kid, and I absorbed as much music as I could through the heydey of the music video channel.

That music came in various stripes, such as the hard rockin’ Pat Benatar, who debuted as the second video ever on MTV with “You Better Run” from her 1980 album Crimes of Passion.

“We now call that album ‘Crimes of Fashion,'” quipped Neil Giraldo, the longtime husband and guitar player of the “Invincible” songbird, holding up the album’s back cover at a concert I attended many moons ago.

Now more than 35 years on, Pat and Neil Giraldo have become perhaps the happiest couple in show business, and certainly one of the most dynamic, between her indefatigable voice and his irrepressible guitar chops. In fact, the duo launched a 35th anniversary tour in 2014, and they bring that tour to the Warner Theatre on Wednesday, July 8.

Watch these amazing musicians perform a set of three songs — 1979’s “We Live for Love,” 1984’s “We Belong,” and 1981’s “Promises in the Dark” — for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 25, 2014.

As you can see, Pat and Neil sound even better with age. The tour setlist promises a lineup of classics, although I’m also an admirer of her last studio album, 2003’s “Go,” which I felt was critically underrated! Anyway, the show certainly will feature many longtime favorites, perhaps including “Shadows of the Night,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” and many others.

Speaking of “Love Is a Battlefield,” the song is the subject of the latest in an excellent retrospective series of videos the duo have been doing in honor of their 35th anniversary.

Watch Neil and Pat discuss how the song came to take shape:

And don’t miss them in what is sure to be a terrific show at the Warner Theatre on July 8.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
Warner Theatre
Wednesday, July 8
Show @8pm
$43-$93
All ages