The Go Go’s brought their ‘GOing GOing GONE’ tour to Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, CA. on Tuesday Night (August 23) and the mid-week show at the beautiful venue was all the crowd expected it to be. The show was just one of 18 tour dates planned for August, and was full of non stop hits, early tracks and even a Mylie Cyrus cover.
After impressive sets by Kaya Stewart (who is Producer and former Eurthymics David A. Stewart’s daughter) and Best Coast, the time had come for one of the few Go Go’s remaining show farewells that Vina Robles was honored to have.
They’ve come a long way since their early punk days in the late ’70’s. Not only are they one of the all time great female groups in American music, they are one of the greatest the world has seen, and that’s no overstatement. Despite only putting out three albums in the 80’s (and another after reuniting in 2001), the ladies have grown with their audience, who have continued to love and cherish their music along with the next generations of fans that have come along. The Go-Go’s made history as the first all-female rockers writing their own songs and playing their own instruments to have a #1 album, 1981’s ‘Beauty and the Beat,’ which was well represented on this night, with over half of the albums tracks performed.
The major hits from ‘Vacation’ were in the mix, as was a song or two from ‘Talk Show,’ and even a couple of songs from their 2001 reuniting album ‘God Bless The Go Go’s.’ I particularly enjoyed lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s stories of their early punk days leading into two songs from the era, ‘Screaming’ and ‘Fun With Ropes.’ One of the encore songs was a cover of Mylie Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball,’ which did solicit some negative comments from one of the ladies sitting near by, but it didn’t bother me and I thought it was a good fit, although I would have preferred a more upbeat track for an encore.
The ladies have had their share of off stage drama, but have come through it to get to this pinnacle point of their careers. In 1997, drummer Gina Schock sued the other members of the group, claiming that she had not been properly paid for her contributions since 1986 and that a songwriting agreement with Charlotte Caffey had been breached. That suit was resolved by 1999. Original bassist Kathy Valentine also sued her former bandmates in 2013 for “breach of fiduciary duty and abuse of control…in an attempt to deprive [her] of her position and interest in the group, including her right to receive her full one-fifth, 20% share of the benefits and revenues generated by the group’s substantial reputation, fame, and goodwill.” In early 2014, that lawsuit was settled out of court as well. Abby Travis has been the bassist for the band beginning in 2012 after Valentine’s departure due to injury.
They are true survivors and innovators in the crazy world of music. A salute to Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey and Gina Schock for bringing this goodbye to their fans. Wiedlin has mentioned their may be a special Go Go gig on occasion, but don’t count on a full tour going forward.
Los Angeles may be the Go Go’s town, but they will always be welcome in Paso Robles.
The Go Go’s will wrap up their tour for what should be another amazing night of music and memories at The Greek in Los Angeles on August 30. For more info and everything Go Go’s visit: gogos.com
For all upcoming shows at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre located in Paso Robles, CA. visit vinaroblesamphitheatre.com
Special Thanks to Vanessa Kromer of Nederlander.