Go-Go’s Go Crypto: This one felt like a party. From the moment the Go-Go’s literally danced onto the stage to a Blondie  intro tape (“Rip Her to Shreds”), greeted like returning heroes by an ecstatic hometown arena crowd, it felt like they were here to enjoy themselves.

And why the fuck shouldn’t they? The Go-Go’s have recently been admitted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the 50,000th time of asking, they’ve had a musical on Broadway (darling) and an excellent documentary movie available to stream during the misery of pandemic lockdown. They ARE returning heroes, so it’s only appropriate that they are greeted as such.

There was one thing different when they bounced out — it took us a minute to figure it out too. Behind the drum kit was Blondie’s Clem Burke (making that Blondie intro tape all the more appropriate) due to Gina Schock’s recent surgery. She’s doing fine — she was at the show last night, bantering on stage with the crowd and expressing love for her bandmates. “They’re soooooo good,” she said time and time again.

And Christ, isn’t she right? The band sounded as close to perfect as it’s possible for them to sound on Wednesday evening. The show felt concise, and deliberately so. It started at about 8:15 and ended 90 minutes later. No opener. So, relatively speaking, it felt like we were in and out in no time. But they crammed so much greatness into that 90 minutes.

They opened with “Beatnik Beach” from the sophomore Vacation album, and later played a couple more from that record including the title track and “He’s So Strange” (which Jane Wiedlin introduced as being about a “mysterious guy” that she was seeing, then discovered he was also seeing guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey).

There were a couple (“Head Over Heels” and “Turn to You”) from third album Talk Show. And we got 2020’s “Club Zero” – the band’s first new material in 18 years.

Tellingly, they played nine of the 11 songs from the debut Beauty & the Beat masterpiece. “Our Lips Are Sealed” then “We Got the Beat” predictably ended the main part of the set before the encores and they were awesome. But damn, “Fading Fast” and “Lust to Love” were epic — the highlights of the night.

The God Bless the Go-Go’s album from 2001 is an overlooked gem — it arrived so much later than the original three that people tend to forget about it. This is a mistake. The four songs from that album were four of the best on Wednesday, particularly a stunning “La-La Land.” “Unforgiven” was heartfelt, and “Throw Me a Curve” was manic.

They left the stage then returned for two covers — Elvis’ “Let’s Have a Party” and the Shangri-Las’ “Remember (Walking in the Sand)”, before topping it all off with “Can’t Stop the World.”

On this evidence, you sure as shit can’t stop the Go-Go’s.

Go-Go’s Go Crypto

LA Weekly