Forged in the seventies, Debbie Harry broke into New York’s punk scene beginnings with her band, Blondie, becoming rock pioneers fusing multiple genres into their own distinct sound which would not fit into any one genre. Along with original members, drummer Clem Burke, guitarist/songwriter Chris Stein and Harry’s fiercely cool vocals; it seemed as if time stood still for them and the crowd for the Blondie Pollinator Tour at The Tilles Center of Performing Arts on Friday night.
Blondie: The Queen Emerges
Harry emerged to the crowd with a crown of giant bumblebees in pure punk rock goddess fashion appropriately adorning a black cape emblazoned with “Stop F#%king the Planet” boldly on the back. As she opened the set with “One Way or Another,” never has “I’m gonna get ya’, get ya’, get ya’, get ya’” seemed more poignant.
The set was accented with a digital three-screen backdrop of their NYC roots included the club kids, Studio 54 and other iconic imagery of the 70’s. As they introduced “Fun,” a single from their 11th studio album, Pollinator, she reminded the crowd of the symbolism of her crown of bees and profane cape and the plight of the dwindling bee population. The new track drips with the same iconic electro-dance influences which brought the band their notoriety.
Upon the opening notes of “Call Me”, the crowd roared to their feet while Harry, performed her iconic punk gyrations, while keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen brought the house down, stepping to the front of the stage with his Keytar solo. Guitarist, Tommy Kessler, melted faces with his solo during “Atomic”, while the often underrated, Leigh Foxx showcased his bass playing finesse during the entirety of the set. It was impossible for the crowd to remain seated in the brimming to near capacity venue. She floated across the stage with playfulness while charming the audience with hit after hit.
Blondie returned to the stage for a three-song encore much to their fan’s delight. Performing “Dreaming”, “Tonight”, and finally, “The Tide is High”, to the now can’t-keep-me-in-my-seat-because-we-have-to-dance crowd.
Blondie remains one of the last great bands led by a woman in the music industry. At 72, Harry’s voice is completely untouched by the passing of time, remaining hauntingly confection perfection. Only when they draw attention to the fact, they played with Nick Lowe, their opening act, 40 years ago, do you realize you are now in 2017. Blondie still embodies all that is punk; making bold political statements, bringing global and political consciousness through their music. Bravo, Blondie! Bravo!
The Tilles Center of the Performing Arts is a Concert hall on LIU Post campus hosting a variety of music, dance & theater productions with even more rock shows, more comedy shows than ever! Visit The Atrium one hour prior to the ticketed performance to enjoy performances showcasing local talent where you can relax, and grab a drink.
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720 Northern Blvd, Brookville, NY 11548