This review is by our guest blogger Kenneth Johnson
Singer, songwriter and best-selling author Belinda Carlisle performed some of her and The Go-Go’s biggest hits at North Halsted Market Days street festival in Chicago Saturday Night August 9th. The street festival is the largest in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation drawing a crowd of roughly 150,000 over 2 days.
Belinda, who just finished a U.S. Summer tour with The Go-Go’s, took the stage at 8:45pm in near perfect weather, minus her solo touring band; instead opting for recorded instrumental tracks. It would have been nice to have her touring band with her but since this was a one-off solo show, her decision was understandable. She opened with “Mad About You”, her first solo single and hit from 1986 and sang live. Belinda’s voice was in fine form and the hits in her 45 minute set did not stop coming. Dressed in black, looking svelte, happy and much younger than her age, she danced her way across the stage to a very supportive crowd that encompassed a wide range in age. She thanked the audience for the support and for being invited to perform at Market Days. Belinda managed to pack in the biggest of her hits in the short set. The songs that followed were “Vacation”, “Head Over Heels”, “I Get Weak” and introduced “Circle in the Sand” as “a song you often hear in elevators and supermarkets everywhere.” Belinda was joined by back-up dancers on “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”. “We Got the Beat” and “Heaven” had the biggest ovations of the night. Belinda left the stage and was promptly cheered back on for an encore. She offered the crowd one choice of 2 tracks she had up her sleeve. The crowd cheered for both. Belinda complied with the request and wrapped up the set with “Live Your Life Be Free” and “Leave a Light On”.
Belinda has such a large catalog of songs to choose from that she could have easily doubled her time on stage and still not covered all of her hits. While it’s always great to see Belinda with The Go-Go’s on tour, maybe her fans will be fortunate enough to enjoy a full U.S. solo tour in the future.
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