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.
Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.