Nowadays, bands comprised of all women are not uncommon, but as the ‘70s turned into the ‘80s, the GoGo’s were amongst the very first to write their own songs and play all their instruments. Besides breaking down barriers during those punk rock beginnings, the girls became staples of the new wave scene, and even after breaking up towards the end of that era, became the subject of several popular reunions throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s.
“You guys are making it very hard to leave,” said Schock when it was all winding down, though if her “we may never be back” comment a little earlier in the evening was any indication, hopefully the door isn’t completely shut on future reunions, or at the very least, belated consideration for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
However, the latest reconvening for singer Belinda Carlisle, guitarist Jane Wiedlin, guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey and drummer Gina Schock is bittersweet considering it’s part of “Going Going Gone: The Farewell Tour.” As a result, fans and the casually curious came out in droves at Ravinia to take an 80-minute “Vacation” that found the ladies vibrantly winding around hits, rarities and covers (in addition to underwhelming indie rock openers Best Coast and a sample of future pop gold from Kaya Stewart).
Whether it was their heyday or today, the GoGo’s were never the most technically savvy players or thought-provoking songwriters, but when it comes to having fun in the sun (or in the dim light of a rock club), few have perfected the formula any better. In fact, the group has since influenced the countless gals who’ve followed in their footsteps, along with several fellas, such as those in Green Day (whose Billie Joe Armstrong even contributed to 2001’s comeback track “Unforgiven”).
Though that tune was the most glaring omission, Carlisle and company made sure to touch on pretty much everything else, including “Beauty And The Beat” standouts “How Much More,” “This Town” and “Skidmarks On My Heart,” plus the more aggressive early treasures “Screaming” and “Fun With Ropes.” The Go-Go’s also struck riches when remaking Sparks’ “Cool Places” and The Capitols’ “Cool Jerk,” but couldn’t quite muster the vocal gusto of Miley Cyrus on “Wrecking Ball.”
Even so, members more than rose to the occasion for the mega-hits “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got The Beat” and “Head Over Heels,” appearing to have a genuine blast right alongside faithful dancing their way through the aisles. “You guys are making it very hard to leave,” said Schock when it was all winding down, though if her “we may never be back” comment a little earlier in the evening was any indication, hopefully the door isn’t completely shut on future reunions, or at the very least, belated consideration for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Click here for more GoGo’s with Best Coast and Kaya Stewart photos from Ravinia.
For additional information on the GoGo’s, visit GoGos.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at Ravinia include John Fogerty (Aug. 25); Train with Andy Grammer (Aug. 26-27); Seal (Aug. 28); Ms. Lauryn Hill (Sept. 1); Marty Stuart and Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters (Sept. 2); Bonnie Raitt (Sept. 3); O.A.R. (Sept. 4); Classic Albums Live presents David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” (Sept. 9); “The Wizard of Oz” with Chicago Philharmonic (Sept. 10) and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II (Sept. 11). For additional details, visit Ravinia.org.