GoGos New Years Eve-1

The Go-Go’s, whose 2013 Vancouver gig was cancelled last-minute, made it up to their fans by coming through town to play a New Year’s Eve show at the River Rock Casino Resort.

Armed with my husband and point-and-shoot camera in hand, we ventured to the River Rock, where by mid-evening, the crowd was in full New Year’s Eve party mode, with music in the lobby and folks dressed for the big night of the year.

Groups of concert-goers were already on the dance floor, enjoying classic 80’s dance tunes being pumped out by the house DJ.

The girls came on at 11 as billed (the lower seating area was cleared for a dinner buffet seating, available as a dinner and show package for $189.50), with all original Go-Go’s excepting Kathy Valentine (who left the band after 30 years due to irreconcilable differences).

GoGos New Years Eve-4

Solo recording artist/bassist Abby Travis (of LA band The Lovedolls fame) did a good job of filing in those shoes. Travis has also toured with bands such as Beck, Elastica, The Bangles, and KMFDM. The four original members of the 80’s pop sensation include Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, and Gina Schock.

“Get Up and Go” led the 90-minute, fun-filled party atmosphere of a set that included a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight.

“Vacation”, “Tonight”, “Automatic”, “This Town”, “Skidmarks on My Heart” — all their well-loved tunes were included. The band did a rousing version of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”, and invited some of the “best dancers out there” to come up on stage and join them for “Cool Jerk”.

GoGos New Years Eve-3

Belinda’s big hit, “Mad About You” was also part of the set. Just before midnight, “Our Lips Are Sealed”, then a table brought out on stage with bubbly, so that the girls could count down to the new year with the audience.

Drummer Gina Schock engaged the crowd, making merry by asking the rest of the band to state their resolutions for the new year. Gina’s? Ever the clown, she responded, “selling husky petite underpants on the QVC”.

GoGos New Years Eve-2
[Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock]

Jane Wiedlin’s still got that girlish voice that fans have come to know and love; she too started to toast and greet some of the crowd at midnight, before the band tucked into “We Got The Beat”. The evening’s two encores were “Lust to Love” and “Head Over Heels”, rounding out a fun time for all.

Lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s still got that trademark voice and as for the rest of the band, after over 30 years together, they’re a lasting testament to a wonderful decade fading too fast out of our memories (to quote one of their songs).

I saw their 1981 We Got the Beat tour in Los Angeles, and remember the sleeveless t-shirt purchase donning their first album cover graphic — designed by one of my former design teachers — that of five ladies with their bodies and hair wrapped up in sky blue towels. The iconic group continues to entertain to this day while seemingly having a blast doing so.

Disclaimer: Our tickets were provided for the purpose of this review.


  • Comment by Jim — January 4, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Thank you for the great write-up.
    I was proud to experience playing back up for the Go-Gos as DJ.
    I’m a DJ for Gary Robertson DJ Ent and I was a club DJ in the 80s.
    On New Years Eve, the crowd a the RiverRock was awesome, the Go Gos were magic- and the 80s tunes- great memories !!! Thanks everyone

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — January 4, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Well, hats off, because it felt like being back in LA during the 80’s all over again! Just loved that decade of music so much – and I can tell you were into it as well. Thanks for stopping in to read my review and happy 2014!

  • Comment by Cindy and Jason — January 4, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    What an incredible night, thank you for posting pictures up We had a blast all night long.
    We actually danced more when the DJ was playing all of the best 80’s tunes! Whoever he was, he was awesome! We were happy that he brought all of the fun while Belinda and the Go-Go’s were on break.

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — January 4, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

    Hi Cindy and Jason,

    It’s all about Jim (see his comment above), part of Gary Robertson DJ Entertainment 🙂

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — January 4, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

    PS, Had I gotten word regarding bringing in a DSLR, my photos would’ve ROCKED! Thanks for stopping in.

  • Comment by Shawn — January 9, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

    Wish I’d been there, but would have been disappointed in lack of material from Talk Show – their last (and for my money, best) album. “Turn to You” is one of their greatest songs! And “Mercenary”! And “You Thought”! And “Beneath the Blue Sky”! Sigh.

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — January 9, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    They did play “Turn to You” BTW 🙂 I guess it all depends on what you grew up listening to of theirs. The first LP is always in my heart as the shining moment in their careers, when the girls were actually interested in being part of the band and hadn’t yet started to fall apart at the seams as it were. Google VH1 Behind the Music and “The Go-Go’s” and you’ll see that it wasn’t always a happy family (though IMHO they sure pulled off looking as though they were, when on stage).

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