If a convention on strong women role models was in town yesterday, their mandatory evening activity would have taken them to the Mystic Lake Casino. Not for gambling but to see one of the best tours on the road this summer. The Rage and Rapture tour unleashing the combined talents of Garbage and Blondie on unsuspecting (well, not really) audiences.
Blondie remains one of my favorite bands from my teenage days and Garbage found their way into my heart in my 30s, so needless to say I was looking forward to the show and was almost giddy when we got approved to photograph. Yeah, it was a fairly static shot from the soundboard but, heck! It’s Debbie Harry!
The show started with a short set by Exene and John from X – No professional pics allowed for that one. It was a simple setup with just one guitar and some of the songs had an almost country feel – strange for 2 members of one of the first wave punk bands but it worked quite well. I am looking forward to their full show at First Avenue in September.
Garbage started their set with the brand new “No Horses” an almost eerie song that paints a dark picture of a future where all horses are considered useless and destroyed. Singer Shirley Manson call the show “basically a home gig” and gave a shout out to a fan (Renee) who was attending her 50th Garbage concert.
The set had all the ingredients that make a Garbage show so much fun, Manson prowling the stage with the energy or caged leopard, the tight sounding band, and bits of wisdom delivered in a still strong Scottish accent “If nerds like us can share the stage with this caliber of acts, anything is possible”. It may sound silly, but at 24 years of age, Garbage was the baby band of the evening.
Set List: No Horses / Queer / #1 Crush / Empty / I Think I’m Paranoid / Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) / Blackout / Special / Bleed Like Me / Even Though Our Love Is Doomed / The World Is Not Enough / Stupid Girl / Only Happy When It Rains / Push It / Vow
Blondie’s new album “Pollinator” came as a welcome surprise in early 2017 and proves that even though some band members are card carrying AARP members, great music knows no age. After an intro of static and white noise screens “One Way or Another” took the crowd right back to Blondies’ heyday, but the band took care not to dwell in the past. “Fun” and a couple of other songs from “Pollinator” kept the set fresh and in the present.
In the theme with the new album, Harry started dressed in a bee costume – the album intent is to draw attention to the threat to our honey bee population. And Harry thanked her fans for all the bee themed presents but requested that donations to support the cause be made instead.
Blondie’s set was impressive, the where other bands celebrate what they were in their peak, Blondie keeps pushing without trying to desperately feel young. Harry still sounds great at 72 and her attitude radiates from stage and capture everyone.
Set List: One Way or Another / Hanging on the Telephone / Fun / Call Me / My Monster / Rapture / Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob Dylan cover) / Fragments / Too Much / Long Time / Atomic / Heart of Glass Encore: The Tide Is High / Dreaming