Abby Travis (fill-in for Kathy Valentine who was on the disabled list)
On the 30th anniversary of their 1982 album "Vacation", The Go-Go's went on a summer-fall tour which brought them to Casino Rama on Saturday night. Being married to a Go-Go maniac, I of course had to be there to see not only share in the euphoria, but to see whether this group of aging punkettes still had the goods.
From "This Town" to "Head Over Heels", via a string of hits, album cuts, Belinda Carlisle's solo hit "Mad About You" all rocked up and even a cover of Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe", these "sexual beings", as drummer Gina Schock referred to them, performed a tight 90-minute set which electrified those of us who paid for our seats without breaking the eardrums of the elderly comp-ed ticket holders who wouldn't know a Go-Go from Pai Gow (it was in a casino y'know). The only potential downside was the absence of bassist Kathy Valentine who was MIA due to an injury to her wrist. Fortunately, her replacement for the tour was LA-based bassist Abby Travis, who more than ably filled the low frequencies.
Age hasn't slowed these broads down. Despite a brace on her left knee, guitarist Jane Wiedlin still provided plenty of hooks, delivered with her quirky charm, even if her hair was merely a bland shade of black instead of blue, green or pink. Gina Schock is every inch the power drummer. No subtlety in her pounding or her personality. I pity the moth that dared drive her to distraction. Charlotte Caffey proved the most versatile, switching from guitar to keyboard and back, providing the closest thing to a solo during the piano break to show closer, "Head Over Heels".
The band wraps the tour up tonight in Detroit, after which Belinda Carlisle will do a solo gig fundraiser for breast cancer research in Niagara Falls, NY next Friday (we're going).
Photos taken at Casino Rama, Rama, Ontario on October 13, 2012.
UPDATE: Photos from Belinda Carlisle`s solo Niagara Falls concert can be seen here