Diverse Options Come to Pier Six in September: Pat Benatar & Prairie Home Companion
On Tuesday, September 12, Pat Benatar rolls into the outdoor amphitheater, bringing her high energy musical style to Baltimore. The following night, Wednesday, September 13, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy tour – which includes everything from music to poetry – hits the city.
Pat Benatar, most famous for ‘80s mega-hits like “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” tours with longtime collaborator (and husband) Nick Giraldo; in Baltimore, the pair will appear with Toto, of “Africa” fame.
Benatar and Giraldo have been making music together since the late ‘70s and have been married since 1982. The two met when Giraldo was a guitarist with the Rick Derringer band and Benatar was an up and coming artist perfecting her catchy rock voice and her signature look – including plenty of spandex and that well-known short haircut – at clubs in New York.
Together, the pair has won four Grammys and they have had 15 Billboard Top 40 singles.
Before hitting it big in the mid-‘70s, Benatar, a Greenpoint, Brooklyn native, was married to her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar. Though she always loved singing, she also studied health education and worked as a bank teller near Richmond.
In the early ‘70s, she left her job to focus on music and by 1975, she was a regular on the club scene, particularly at the comedy club Catch a Rising Star. Her debut album, which included the hit “Heartbreaker,” was released in 1979, the same year she and her first husband divorced.
She won her first Grammy in 1980, for the album Crimes of Passion, which included “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone the same year.
Over the course of the next several decades, Benatar and Giraldo continued to release music, though in recent years, they have released little new music. Their last new album was released in 2003.
Giraldo has an impressive career in his own right. In addition to his collaborations with his wife, he has helped create a number of other recognizable songs, including the mega-hit “Jessie’s Girl.”
On Tuesday, the duo’s many collaborative hits are sure to be in the spotlight – with everybody in the seats and on the lawn singing along.
On Wednesday night, a different type of experience will take place at Pier Six, when the Prairie Home Companion tour comes to town.
The tour, which uses Garrison Keillor’s popular radio show as a jumping off point, includes stories, songs and a “campfire sing” including the audience. Keillor, of course, will be front and center, and he will be joined by Heather Masse, Fred Newman, Richard Dworsky and the Road Hounds.
Keillor’s long-running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, started back in July of 1974. Except for a brief break between 1987 and 1992, it ran continuously with Keillor at the helm until July 1, 2016. (Now it is hosted by Chris Thile.)
The show, which is broadcast on public radio, is a variety show of sorts, including musical guests, radio drama and low-key humor. One particular segment, “News from Lake Wobegon,” was particularly well-known; Lake Wobegon is a fictional midwestern town of Keillor’s creation, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.” During the show, Keillor told stories of “townspeople” he created and the audience came to know and love.
Keillor is a Minnesota native; the story of Lake Wobegon is drawn from his roots. After attending high school and college in his home state, he began
his radio career, also in Minnesota, in 1969. In addition to being a longtime radio personality, he has
written for publications like The New Yorker and National Geographic and published a 2004 collection of political essays. He also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of A Prairie Home Companion and opened a bookstore in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Visiting Pier Six
If you’ll be at Prairie Home Companion , the Pat Benatar show, or any upcoming Pier Six concert, don’t forget to make plans for before and after the show – and figure out logistics, like parking. Located at 55 Market Place in downtown Baltimore, Harbor Park Garage is a convenient, reasonably priced place to start and end your evening.
It’s just a short walk to Pier Six and is close to tons of restaurants and bars, giving you plenty of options for pre- and post-concert drinks and food. Plus, if you have any questions when you arrive at the garage, the friendly, knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help.
Pat Benatar tickets: https://www.livenation.com/events/685124-sep-12-2017-pat-benatar-neil-giraldo-toto
Prairie Home Companion tickets: https://www.livenation.com/events/668385-sep-13-2017-garrison-keillor-s-prairie-home-love-and-comedy-tour-2017
Pier Six Pavilion: https://www.livenation.com/venues/14732/pier-six-pavilion
Harbor Park Garage: https://harborparkgarage.com/