Back in the late 1970’s and 80’s when Indie/Progressive music was known as New Wave the group Blondie was hitting its stride riding the crest of the punk genre. Founded by singer Deborah Harry (a former waitress, Playboy bunny and native Floridian) and Chris Stein (guitarist) their early albums were the best of the best when it came to melody driven cutting edge music. Though their initial success was based in the United Kingdom and Australia it wasn’t until the release of “Parallel Lines,” in 1978 that this underground band hit pay dirt in the U.S. Their first hit “Heart Of Glass,” was not only radio friendly but it opened up audiences to a new sound that infused disco, pop, punk and new wave. Over the next few years their hits and popularity grew to incredible heights. “One Way Or Another,” “Sunday Girl,” “The Tide Is High,” and “Rapture,” cemented their place in music history as one of the pioneering bands of the decade. “Rapture,” co-incidentally was one of the earliest songs to tap into the rap vocal genre. The video appeared on heavy rotation on MTV and featured the hip hop icon Fab Five Freddy. The song reached number one in the U.S. Their biggest hit “Call Me,” (Harry’s collaboration with dance/disco songwriter and producer Giorgio Moroder) was nominated for a Grammy and appeared on the soundtrack for the film ‘American Gigolo’ starring Richard Gere. The song spent six weeks at #1 in the U.S. and Canada, reached #1 in the U.K. and became a worldwide hit. The band went their separate ways in 1982. In 2006 Blondie was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Fast forward to today. Blondie has rolled into the Hard Rock Live this evening to wow the crowd. Following the release of their latest CD “Panic Of Girls,” (released in 2011) their arrival has been long anticipated. The promise of hearing some old favorites mixed with new tunes was what this night was all about. And deliver the goods they did. Their set list contained their biggest and crowd pleasing hits. Deborah Harry took the stage with incredible energy, feeding off the audience’s participation and elation. She was dressed in a chic white ruffled blouse, platinum long hair, and black flared bell bottoms. Opening the show with the song “Mother,” from their new CD Harry showed she still had the pipes to project her unique voice and vocal styling. She still has a spark of the punk rebel that made her such an original back in the 70’s. Along with guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke the band played like a well oiled machine and sounded just as good as they ever have. “Dreaming,” and “Hanging On The Telephone,” were obvious fan favorites as some danced in the aisles while others waved their arms in unison to the beat of the music. “Call Me,” brought the audience to its feet and gave us the first crowd sing-along of the night. Remarking after the song that Harry was “warm,” she playfully stripped off her white blouse to reveal a black and white stripped short low cut top. Deborah oozed a sexiness that never seems to get old as the band seamlessly moved into the songs “Maria,” and the slowest song of the set, “China Shoes.” “Rapture,” was another great moment as the band was bathed in red spotlights through the first part of the song. They added a raucous cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)” that once again had the arena on its feet chanting the rap back to the band. The best moments of the evening came on the tails of “One Way Or Another,” and their encore, “The Tide Is High,” and “Heart Of Glass.” This night was proof positive that Blondie still has what it takes to shake the rafters and bring down the house.
The following links have all the info on Blondie you’ll ever need: