Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Taylor Dayne to hold benefit concert for...

Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Taylor Dayne to hold benefit concert for LIMEHOF

From left, Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar and Taylor Dayne head to the Catholic Health Ampitheater on July 23. Photos courtesy of LIMEHOF

By Tara Mae

Since time immemorial, troubadours have chronicled every aspect of affection and antagonism through song. If love is a battlefield, music is one of the most effective weapons in its arsenal.

On Sunday, July 23, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) celebrates the power of music with “Funtastic 2023,” a benefit concert for the organization featuring Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with special guest Taylor Dayne at the Catholic Health Amphitheater at Bald Hill, 1 Ski Run Lane in Farmingville. The concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m. 

“We are calling it Funtastic 2023 because we want people to have a lot of fun at this concert with powerful, upbeat music that has survived the test of time,” said LIMEHOF Chairman of the Board of Directors Ernie Canadeo.

Benatar and Dayne, who are each on tour this summer, will play full sets spanning the continuing creative arc of their careers. Giraldo, a musician and five time Grammy Award winning producer, will join his wife, Benatar, onstage.  

International artists whose first notes were formed on Long Island, Benatar and Dayne were inducted into the LIMEHOF in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Benatar, a four time Grammy Award winning rock singer/songwriter, is renowned for assertive, commanding hits like “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” and “Love is a Battlefield.” 

Three time Grammy Award nominated, American Music Award winning singer/songwriter Dayne, is famous for defiantly danceable pop music, including “Tell It to My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back,” and “With Every Beat of My Heart.”  

These multi-award winning, multiplatinum musical mavens are hometown heroes: Benatar grew up in Lindenhurst and Dayne was raised in Freeport and Baldwin. 

“[The board] worked together to put on a concert utilizing the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s inductees. From there we selected Benatar and Dayne, a natural fit…they are excellent representatives of Long Island. Canadeo said. “We felt that the LIMEHOF clientele would appreciate their music and artistry.”

LIMEHOF’s mission and membership will be well-represented at the event, with a promotional booth onsite selling its merchandise as well as concert t-shirts and raffle tickets for two house seats to a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. Although LIMEHOF has had smaller shows in the past, this is its premiere big benefit concert, with the goal of many encores to follow. 

“I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting future members of LIMEHOF. We hope it becomes an annual event,” Canadeo said.

Just as a performance requires cooperation, Funtastic 2023 is a collaborative exercise both onstage and behind-the scenes. The idea of the concert was born from a conversation between Canadeo and John Caracciolo, who athrough his company JVC Media, operates 16 radio stations and the amphitheater in Farmingville, which is owned by the Town of Brookhaven. 

“I love the venue; it is the largest outdoor venue in Suffolk County, with a terrific sound system, and accommodating seating: people may opt to bring their own chairs to sit on the lawn or take advantage of the stadium seats,” Canadeo said. “…We were discussing how to promote LIMEHOF and the conversation evolved from there.”  

While the arts are seemingly threatened by everything from the advent of Artificial Intelligence to streaming sales that yield cents per play, LIMEHOF lauds the universal language of music and honors fluent local musicians. Founded in 2004, LIMEHOF has honored 120 inductees. It is committed to preserving Long Island’s musical legacy so that it may be appreciated and celebrated now and in the future.

A rolling stone for many years, in 2022 LIMEHOF finally found a permanent home at the Stony Brook Village Center. With the price of admission, visitors to its headquarters may enjoy free concerts or immerse themselves in an interactive exhibition. It houses musical mementos and traditionally hosted awards ceremonies, including the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction through 2018.

Since settling down, LIMEHOF has reportedly exceeded all of its all attendance goals as visitors immerse themselves in exhibits featuring musician memorabilia or a surround sound theater that plays what Canadeo described as “rare music videos.” 

“As a nonprofit, LIMEHOF depends on public support through admissions, donations, and events like [Funtastic] to help us operate and continue to create memorable, exciting experiences,” he said.  

The success of these programs also enables a new duo to make its debut. At the concert, Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Catholic Health, will announce Health and Harmony. This program, a partnership between the healthcare group and LIMEHOF, is designed to support residents’ mental health.   

“People can listen to a select playlist that matches their mood; it is a multifaceted program that incorporates a vision to improve the wellbeing of Long Islanders through the power of music,” Canadeo explained.

During Funtastic, the message of music as sustainable sustenance for the soul is both a refrain and supporting act for Benatar, Giraldo, and Dayne. 

“[This] is a wonderful opportunity for all Long Islanders to enjoy a terrific concert in a wonderful venue and support the Hall of Fame’s mission of keeping Long Island’s music heritage alive,” said Canadeo.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets, which range from $52.65 to $106.65 (including fees), are on sale at For more information about this event and LIMEHOF, visit