The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

 

BLONDIE
OC FAIR
PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE
COSTA MESA
8.8.2010

 

 

SETLIST

1. D Day
2. Hanging on the Telephone
3. The Hardest Part
4. Love Doesn't Frighten Me
5. The End, The End
6. Maria
7. What I Heard
8. Orchid Club
9. Atomic
10. The Tide Is High
11. Rapture
12. Mother In The Night
13. Call Me
14. One Way or Another

 

Encore:
15. Will anything happen
16. Picture this
17. Break Your Heart
18. Heart Of Glass


Blondie was the band for me growing up, and Debbie Harry without doubt is the sexiest woman ever to draw breath. Over the last few years I have managed to make up for lost time, being too young to see them back in the day, I now take every opportunity. A few years ago when they toured Australia the set-list was pretty much a ‘greatest hits’ and played pretty traditionally at that. Tonight we get something different entirely and even more excitingly tonight Blondie turn up the ROCK. It would be stretching it to say that they have gone metal but tonight at the Pacific Amphitheatre Blondie turned into a real Rock Band, I’ve never heard them heavier!

 

Whilst the set-list on this beautiful night at the OC Fair may not contain all the hits it does have some tracks from the forthcoming album and despite the crowd’s obvious unfamiliarity no one seems to care at all. It’s a pretty daring move to start with a new song, but they do and with songs like “The End, The End” I realise that I want that album now!

 

‘Hanging on the Telephone’ flies by a blur of guitar and ‘Hardest Part’ always one of my favourite songs (from my favourite album ‘Eat to the Beat’) is just perfect: all crunching guitar laid over the reggae beat. Debbie sounds absolutely amazing tonight as do the band. There’s no Jimmy Destri this year but Debbie, Clem and Chris are all there.

 

“Atomic” sees guitarist Tommy Kessler out in the crowd and he turns a song that always rocked into an epic with a blistering guitar solo that someone close by complains is too ‘Bon Jovi’.

 

“Last night we played to a crowd of people in a pool of water” Debbie tells us (they just flew in from Vegas) “The Tide Is High” starts off pretty traditionally but gets expanded out of all proportion with a bass solo. "Is there anyone out there want to take me.... out tonight...” Debbie flirts as the groove picks up. “I’d just like to know before I commit OK?" We get an expended vocal before we rock out with drum and guitar. I like what they do with what has never really been one of my favourite songs.

 

“Rapture” is dedicated to the Ramones and includes an extra rap at the end and some great guitar and drums. A slowed version of “Call Me” adds a nice twist and “One Way or Another” always goes down great.

 

After a very brief interlude the encore comes and it is pretty much perfect with “Will Anything Happen” and “Picture This” followed by an enjoyable cover in “Break Your Heart” and the rocked up, guitar-driven version of “Heart of Glass”.



“Enjoy the rest of the summer, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do” Debbie leaves us with as she rushes from the stage to leave the boys to finish up.

 

It’s hard to criticise a show like tonight’s where the band have put a new twist on their catalogue, turned up the guitar and dared to play new songs. Personally I would have loved maybe just a song or two from Plastic letters or maybe a rarity thrown in, but that would be splitting hairs, and after all Debbie’s hair was beautiful tonight.

 

All of the disco is gone and the rock remains. Treat yourself to a Blondie show this year; you’ll love what they’ve done…

 

Mark