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.
One Way or Another
Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover)
Fragments (an Unkindness cover)
The Tide is High (The Paragons cover)/Groove is in the Heart (Dee-Lite cover-snippet)
Heart of Glass
From Russia With Love (Matt Monro cover)
We would like to thank Julia Enns from the Fallsview Casino for the credentials to review the show.