(Photos © iTunes Festival, London 2014)
You might think someone who has been on stage for almost 40 years might feel worn out and tired; I have to admit I went to see Blondie‘s concert at the iTunes Festival with a bias in mind that it might turn out a colourless show from a band who had nothing left to say after years of glorious music. My preconception couldn’t have been any wronger.
The American band literally blew me away as soon as founders Debbie Harry and Chris Stein walked on stage along the rest of the band. The energy inside the Roundhouse was almost unsustainable as they opened with what is virtually their most popular hit, One Way Or Another, soon followed by some tracks taken from their recent double album Blondie 4(0)-Ever: Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux – Ghosts of Download.
Honestly, Blondie’s music sounds way much better live than on CD, mainly thanks to the band’s mastery and the huge contribution of heavy-banging drummer Clem Barker and latest addition Tommy Kessler, whose skills as a guitar player exceed any possible expectations.
Call Me andMaria obviously constituted some of the key moments of the show, allowing the crowd to chant and sing and dance and go wild. As a matter of fact, yesterday’s show was the further proof that Blondie have a huge fan base here in UK, and if you had to judge a show by how much the public loved it, this would be a clean 10.
It is admirable to see a 69-year-old Debbie Harry still trying to keep it up, but it goes without saying that there were moments of evident vocal strife from the blond singer, who, on the other hand, compensated with great personality and stage presence.
Highly recommended for a night of pure live-rock-based entertainment!
Complete Set List:
One Way or Another
Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover)
Take Me in the Night
A Rose by Any Name
Rapture (with (You Gotta) Fight for your rights)
The Tide Is High (The Paragons cover)
Groove Is In the Heart
Sugar on the Side
Heart of Glass
Union City Blue
War Child (Black Sabbath’s War Pigs intro)