Blondie Osheaga, Montreal QC, August 4
Published Aug 05, 2018There is always a sense of trepidation when a festival books a band whose members are in their late 60s and early 70s. Usually, the band haven't been active for years, decades maybe, and are dusting the cobwebs off their fretboards mid-set. Blondie, however, are an entirely different story.
Touring in promotion of a brand-new album — 2017's Pollinator, which features collaborations with Sia, Charli XCX and more — Debbie Harry and company took to the stage triumphantly, Harry wearing a pink long-sleeved shirt with a bedazzled vest that read "Stop Fucking Up the Planet" in bold across the back.
Opening their hit-heavy set with "One Way Or Another," and "Hanging on the Telephone" off 1978's Parallel Lines, the band kept things as high-energy as possible, but were fully aware of their physical limitations. Guitarist Chris Stein sat on a stool for the entirety of the set, while Harry limited her dance moves to air punches and the occasional hip shake. And while the punk sensibility of Blondie's early years was somewhat lost on the stage itself, the projections in the back, which used old footage of Blondie and recently filmed club scenes in the style of '70s New York, Blondie still managed to infuse a bit of that heyday atmosphere into their late afternoon set.
Moving through "Call Me," "Rapture," "The Tide Is High," the Dev Hynes-penned "Long Time," and ending with "Dreaming" and "Heart of Glass," Debbie Harry and the rest of Blondie proved that they, indeed, still got it.