Blondie / Garbage – Artpark, Lewiston, NY – July 25, 2017

By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.

Lewiston, NY – Lewiston, NY – The legendary, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inducted band, Blondie, along with multi-million selling alternative rockers, Garbage, and upcoming female duo, Deap Vally, performed an incredibly satisfying, girls rock, triple-bill show at the scenic Artpark amphitheater on this sunny summer evening. The tour, called, ‘Rage and Rapture,’ played to a nearly sold out crowd of music lovers from all ages.

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Blondie, who was formed in New York City during the Fall of 1974 by vocalist/songwriter, Debbie Harry, and guitarist, Chris Stein, quickly developed a reputation for being a great live band, performing regularly at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s. On this evening, the band lived up to the legend, with a 12-song set that mixed their classic hits with new songs and covers.

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Currently, Blondie consists of 72-year-old Debbie Harry, and Chris Stein, along with long-time member, Clem Burke – drums, are accompanied by three younger, talented musicians: Leigh Foxx – bass, Tommy Kessler- guitar, and Matt Katz-Bohen – keyboards. This is a great line-up, especially newcomer, Kessler, who really stood out with his flawless guitar skills.

Last May, this line-up released the 11th Blondie studio album entitled, ‘Pollinator.’ This record featured songs written by the likes of Johnny Marr (The Smiths), David Sitek, Sia, Nick Valensi (The Strokes), Charli XCX, Adam Johnston, and Dev Hynes. ‘Pollinator,’ debuted and peaked at number 63 on the US Billboard Top Albums chart.

While many concert-goers want to hear the classic hits, Blondie was able to keep the attention of the majority of the audience while playing four tracks from the, ‘Pollinator,’ release. But it was, of course, the classics that got the crowd up and dancing. Harry was word-for-word perfect on what many consider as the song that influenced the entire rap movement, “Rapture.”

Harry was talkative during the show, explaining that the world’s environment is in danger, and she is doing her best to save it as an enviromentalist, and bee-keeper. This was the inspiration behind the title of the new Blondie release. Harry also mentioned how she enjoyed her time in the Niagara area during the last day, shopping at the outlet malls, getting her nails done, and enjoying a big dinner.

Another highlight of the show was the impressive and entertaining drumming of Clem Burke. He may be 61 years old, but his drumming was reminiscent of Keith Moon in his prime.

Blondie ended the show with one of their biggest hit, the disco influenced, “Heart of Glass.”

On this evening, Blondie proved that they are still a musical force that can compete with any band out there, and surely delivered an entertaining and memorable show.

The Alternative music, chart-topping band from Madison, Wisconsin, Garbage performed an intense, 14-song set before Blondie. The band, lead by the stunning vocalist, Shirley Manson, along with legendary, A-list producer, Butch Vig – drums, Steve Marker-guitar, Duke Erikson-guitar and Eric Avery (ex-Jane’s Addiction) -bass, recently released a tell-all’ biography entitled, “This Is the Noise That Keeps Me A Wake.”

The elegant and dynamic, 51-year-old Manson was the shining star of the evening. She had full command of the stage, bringing it for every song. Her performances, especially on, “Stupid Girl,” “Only Happy When It Rains,” and “Push It,” were truly mesmerizing.

Manson received a mixed reaction when she got a bit political, calling out President Donald Trump on his controversial immigration reform plans. She exclaimed, “I’m an immigrant. Immigrants made this country.” She then added, “Maybe some of you should re-read your history books.”

Garbage closed the set with an intense version of, “Vow,” which Manson screamed her heart out, bringing the band’s performance to a wild and vehement ending.

Special thanks to Maria Hays for providing RMS with press credentials for this event.

Blondie setlist 07-25-2017

One Way or Another
Hanging on the Telephone
Fun ….
Call Me
My Monster….
Rapture
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Fragments
Too Much …..
Long Time ….
Atomic
Heart of Glass
…. — from the Pollinator album

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