Back in the '80s, Belinda Carlisle knew how to rock a mean side ponytail and fronted one of the most influential female pop/rock outfits of all time, the Go-Go’s. After the Go-Go’s disbanded in 1985, Carlisle went solo, releasing number-one singles like “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” and becoming a worldwide pop icon.
“I've toured pretty extensively solo, but my career has been mostly Europe,” Carlisle stated in an interview with SoundDiego. “This opportunity came up to perform in San Diego, then shortly after an apportunity came up in Nevada, then more United States dates came up and it just turned into this mini-tour of sorts."
Belinda Carlisle will perform at 4th & B alongside fellow '80s alumni Men Without Hats on Sept. 5. Despite Men Without Hats' popularity in the 1980s, Carlisle has yet to cross paths with the band, and this performance will be their very first together:
“I’m really looking forward to playing with them,” Carlisle said of sharing a stage with the “Safety Dance” artists. “It happens quite a bit that someone is on the same tour with you who came from the same era but you haven’t crossed paths but you get to work together 30 years later. I’ve crossed paths with most artists of that era but never Men Without Hats, so it’ll be great to finally work with them.”
Carlisle revisits some of the old Go-Go’s memories, but for the most part her solo shows focus on her extensive solo repertoire. “Most of the dates I play are overseas: festivals in Europe, Japan, etc. So the sets turn out differently. There are different songs for different trips depending on what songs were big hits in the country,” said Carlisle. “There are songs that were big hits in Russia that nobody even knows in the United States, so it's a chance for me to play with what sets we perform.”
It doesn’t mean that Carlisle is running away from her past, though. In fact, the Go-Go’s just announced a coast-to-coast United States tour during which Carlisle will jump back into her duties as the feisty frontwoman of the all-girl New Wave outlet. “My relationship with the Go-Go’s songs are probably the same as they always have been,” said Carlisle, “There are songs people love to hear, and songs I love and am grateful for. Of course, it's hard to replicate the Go-Go’s when I’m on my own -- you get a different interpretation, a different spin, which can be a lot of fun.”
After nearly 35 years, the crowds coming out to see Carlisle solo, as well as with the Go-Go’s, have only grown and evolved. “My shows overseas have a pretty wide demographic,” said Carlisle. “It’s a much wider demographic than it used to be, especially with Go-Go’s shows today. The fans get older and start to bring their kids, we see people of all colors, all creeds -- it's pretty amazing.”
It’s clear that, with time, younger generations are taking notice of Carlisle and the Go-Go’s contribution to current music and want to be a part of it first hand.
“And then, you occasionally see, like, old people!” Carlisle added, laughing.
Whether you’re young, young at heart or unapologetically one of those aforementioned “old” people, Carlisle promises to deliver a show that accurately spans all the places her career has been. This San Diego stop is a special opportunity to see her on home turf since she doesn’t frequently tour the United States. Or, if you’ve got the dough, you could just take up residence in St. Petersburg or Tokyo for her next show.