On an overcast, June-gloomy Sunday night, the Santa Barbara Bowl played host to two acts that defined rock radio in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Cheap Trick, masters of pop-rock, who have always zigged when other groups zagged, headlined a solid show of hits from their nearly 40 years of rock. And Pat Benatar, the electric and exciting rock singer who became one of the most popular acts on MTV in its early days with a string of hits, opened for the band, delivering a two-fer of classic fist-pumping good times. For the Santa Barbara audience, it was a no-brainer of summer fun.
First, it must be good to be Ms. Benatar. At 60 she looks pretty much the same as she did when she released her first single in 1979. Her voice, just a bit raspier than usual, can still hit all the notes. She’s still with her collaborator and husband of 31 years, Neil Giraldo. She must laugh in the face of AARP newsletters.