Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Blondie made their way through Southern Ontario last Friday night and played before packed house. Blondie has been the same touring outfit since 2010 and they consist of Debbie Harry on vocals, Chris Stein on rhythm guitar, Clem Burke on drums, Tommy Kessler on lead guitar, Leigh Foxx on bass and Matt Katz-Bohen on keyboards. Unbeknownst to this reviewer, original guitar player Chris Stein was not present at this show but vocalist Debbie Harry made a comment before the band went into the song “Fragments” that he would be back soon.

The band took the stage shortly after 9pm with Harry wearing a dark sparkle robe (which said “Don’t Fuck the Planet” on the back) as they went into one of the bands biggest hits in “One Way or Another.” They followed up with “Fun” which is a newer track off their latest record “Pollinator.”  When Harry removed the robe before they played the song, she talked about how important it was to be conscious of environmental issues including the welfare of the bees. Kessler also wore a shirt that said “Save the Queen Bee” which also depicted Harry’s plight.

“Pollinator” garnered the band rave reviews and the band tapped into the disc for 4 more songs making it heavy dose of new material into the set. The fans didn’t mind as they seemed to be as much into the newer tunes as much as the classic tracks.  Katz-Bohen and his wife wrote “Too Much” which fit nicely into their set.

Harry was her true self moving about like she always has done giving fans some interaction through the set. Her voice has held up as well. Burke is still one of the most hard hitting drummers anywhere and showed the bands roots by wearing a CBGB”s shirt (this was the club where the band really started to take off in the late 1970’s). Kessler was solid on guitar and switched his guitars out quite often throughout the performance. At one point, he played an EVH “Frankenstein” guitar showing his love for the legendary guitarist.

All in all, it was a classic performance by the band even though some of the heart and soul that Stein provides was missing.

 

Setlist:

 

One Way or Another

Fun

Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover)

Call Me

Gravity

Rapture

Fragments (an Unkindness cover)

Maria

The Tide is High (The Paragons cover)/Groove is in the Heart (Dee-Lite cover-snippet)

Too Much

Long Time

Atomic

Heart of Glass

 

Encore:

 

From Russia With Love (Matt Monro cover)

 

Photo Gallery

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We would like to thank Julia Enns from the Fallsview Casino for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.