You may have seen how NPR in the States recently published a feature on the “150 Greatest Albums Made by Women“.
I am all for equality in every way, shape and form, although I wish this was something that didn’t necessarily have to be called out if you know what I mean. Thanks a lot President Pussy-Grabber for setting us back further than when the fairer sex won the right to vote. It’s 2017, let’s freaking act like it with everybody. All I really care about is if you rock, regardless of gender, race, or whatever your “preference” may be.
For as long as I’ve been alive, Blondie is a band that has given meaning to the word ROCK, and then some. I’m starting to come to grips with the fact that this is a heck of a long time – 40+ years and counting – but you wouldn’t know it the way Debbie Harry continues to carry herself at 72.
Blondie are on the Rage and Rapture Tour with two female-fronted groups from different generations they’ve clearly influenced, Garbage and Deap Vally. Hormones had very little to do with the mood inside Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performance Arts, just great tunes that transcend time and bring people together. OK, and maybe a little Trump-bashing too.
Can I say again that Debbie Harry is 72 years old? No, she doesn’t move like back in the CBGB / Studio 54 days. Her voice can still be sexy as all get out at times, even if Harry looked like a platinum blonde bee girl also-ran from a Blind Melon video. (Blondie’s unexpectedly good new record is called Pollinator in case you’re wondering what’s with the getup, featuring the songs “Fun”, “My Monster” and “Fragments” written by Canadian Adam Johnston). And by wearing a cape of sorts emblazoned with the words “Stop Fucking the Planet”, the activist in Harry showed there’s no age limit on giving the middle finger to political figures.
Maybe it’s because we’re an overall a more liberal and tolerant country than the US of A, or maybe ’cause it was Hump Day, but the #RageAndRaptureTour seemingly broke from the norm for its one Canadian date. Resplendent-in-red Shirley Manson was definitely fired up about Trump, admittedly flubbing lyrics over the news that transgendered soldiers were being banned from military service. Her ace backing band of more than 20 years Garbage had composed themselves by the time they busted out rarely-played James Bond theme “The World Is Not Enough”, which the Scottish siren and former T-1001 Terminator informed us was actually recorded in Toronto.
Blondie cramped all the favourites you’d expect into their tight, 75-minute set (“One Way or Another”, “Hanging on the Telephone” and “Heart of Glass” to name a few), with a snippet of Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” thrown in for good measure. I know you’re singing the “Everybody Must Get Stoned” chorus right now, sorry. They saved their biggest surprise for the encore however, regaling us with a punk version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”. Man, can that Clem Burke ever wail on the drums, and young(er) guitarist Tommy Kessler really shreds.
Oh, and props to NPR for having Parallel Lines at #35!