Originally Posted Online: Feb. 07, 2013, 1:23 am
Last Updated: Feb. 08, 2013, 11:35 am

Journey, Loverboy, Benatar fans cheer on their '80s idols -- faithfully

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By Laura Anderson Shaw, landerson@qconline.com

Photo: Todd Welvaert
Rock icon Pat Benatar and guitarist/spouse Neil Giraldo rocks the i wireless Center in Moline, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Benatar had two RIAA- certified multi-platinum albums, five RIAA-certified platinum albums, three RIAA-certified gold albums and 14 Top 40 singles, including "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Love Is a Battlefield," "We Belong" and "Invincible" in the 1980s. She was one of the most heavily played artists in the early days of MTV.
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda rocks over 8,000 fans at the i wireless Center in Moline, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. ourney has had two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and one diamond album (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). They have had eighteen Top 40 singles in the US, six of which reached the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and two of which reached No. 1 on other Billboard charts, and a No. 6 hit on the UK Singles Chartin "Don't Stop Believin.'"
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda rocks more than 8,000 fans at the i wireless Center in Moline, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Journey has had two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums (including seven consecutive albums between 1978 and 1987) and one diamond album They also have had 18 Top 40 singles in the U.S., including "Don't Stop Believing," "Lights," "Feelin' That Way," "Any Way You Want It" and "Who's Crying Now?" They were joined in Moline by Pat Benatar and Loverboy.
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Rock icon Pat Benatar rocks the i wireless Center in Moline on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Benatar had two RIAA-certified multiplatinum albums, five RIAA-certified platinum albums, three RIAA-certified gold albums and 14 Top 40 singles, including 'Hit Me with Your Best Shot,' 'Love Is a Battlefield,' 'We Belong' and 'Invincible' in the 1980s. She was one of the most heavily played artists in the early days of MTV.
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Loverboy singer Mike Reno belted out some of the band's more popular hits at the i wireless Center in Moline, Wednesday, Feburary 6, 2013. Throughout the 1980s, the band accumulated numerous hit songs "The Kid is Hot Tonight," "Turn Me Loose," "Working for the Weekend" and "Heaven in Your Eyes."

MOLINE -- Some 8,000 rockers got a blast from the past Wednesday night at the i wireless Center.

A throwback show featuring Loverboy, Pat Benatar and Journey shook the i wi from the floor to the rafters as the crowd reminisced about big hair, jean jackets, gnarly nights and MTV actually airing music videos.

Loverboy took the stage first, with a 30-minute set of a half-dozen songs that included "Queen of the Broken Hearts,""Lovin' Every Minute Of It,""The Kid is Hot Tonight.""When It's Over" and, the crowd's favorite,"Working for the Weekend."

"It took us a little while to get here -- but we got here!" singer Mike Reno told the crowd.

The show initially was scheduled for November, and Wednesday's crowd was happy the night finally came.

"Moline, you guys rocked!" shouted Reno as Loverboy's short set closed. The band tossed picks and sticks to the crowd while Reno wrung the sweat from his bandanna before tossing it out as well.

A short while later, Pat Benatar took the stage by storm, playing air guitar while her husband, guitarist Neil Giraldo, performed on a real one.

She opened with a booming "All Fired Up," and the crowd was just that.

The multi-award-winning singer and her band are a bit older than they were when they first hit the airwaves, but they certainly didn't seem like it. The strobe of spotlights, the iconic synthesizer, the roll of the fog and Benatar's absolutely incredible voice seemed timeless as fans danced and shouted out lyrics as though the songs were released last week.

Benatar told the crowd the group had been playing together for 35 years, and that she and Giraldo soon will mark their 31st wedding anniversary. The crowd went wild.

She and Giraldo sat for a bit -- "because we're old," Benatar, who turned 60 last month, told the crowd -- but the flow and the energy of the Wednesday night show never faltered.

As Benatar belted out songs such as "Invincible," "Promises in the Dark," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Love Is a Battlefield," her voice didn't seem to have aged a day. She was still the edgy, red-lipped vixen hypnotizing you to rock back and forth and shake your big hair or -- in some cases -- what was left of it

The two got together in 1979, Giraldo said, when Benatar had an idea and he had a plan.

"Thanks for taking the ride with us," he said.

During their set, the audience slow-danced, screamed and did what seemed like interpretive dance, especially to "Love Is a Battlefield."

After a short break, Benatar and her band returned for an encore that included "Let's Stay Together" and a tubular mash-up of "Heartbreaker" and "Ring of Fire."

Around 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, Journey took the stage -- and the crowd was more than ready. The simple banners that had backed the first two bands dropped to reveal several screens that would blast wicked colors and images throughout the rest of the night.

Frontman Arnel Pineda -- who sounds more like Steve Perry than Steve Perry -- bounced around the i wireless stage like the curls of perfectly-permed hair. Journey opened with "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" as Pineda coolly tossed the microphone.

At some point during their set, each band members used solos or jams to showcase their personal talents, all still as strong as the curl in guitarist Neal Schon's hair.

Their retro fan favorites included:

-- "Faithfully," with every girl within earshot screaming the lyrics;

-- "Wheel in the Sky," featuring a wonderful bit of harmonica, courtesy of keyboardist Jonathan Cain;

-- "Open Arms," with several folks slow-dancing as if at the junior prom; and

-- "Don't Stop Believin'," which will be stuck in my head until the end of time.

They also performed a beautiful and patriotic shred-fest rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," with fireworks illuminating the back drop screens, and then a waving flag.

It was insane to hear and see Pineda perform with the band. His energy and crowd interaction kept the group going until 11 p.m., when white confetti and streamers transformed the i wi into a snow globe.

It was totally radical.

Throughout the crowd, parents and grandparents danced with their children, older couples smiled and held hands, and moms and grandmas relived some of the best times of their lives.

Whether you were old enough to have been driving when these bands first hit the airwaves, or you were in diapers at the time (like me), Loverboy, Pat Benatar and Journey did not disappoint. Their music was just as rocking Wednesday night as it was on the boom-box in your bedroom as you sang into a hairbrush.

"Journey loves you," Pineda shouted before leaving the stage.

Not to worry, Pineda. The Quad-Cities loves Journey, too.