Blondie Soldiers On Minus Stein With Pollinator Tour

Concert Review
Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Friday August 24, 2018
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Blondie made their first appearance at Fallsview Casino Friday night much to the delight of the packed house. The band are currently still touring in support of their most recent effort, 2017’s Pollinator. They managed to keep the set fresh as it featured a good mix of hits along with a number of Pollinator songs.

As it does most nights, “One Way Or Another” got things started. The band then slipped in “Doom or Destiny” a new song from Pollinator for a rare play. Those with a keen eye picked up immediately on the absence of co-founder and guitarist Chris Stein. Nothing was mentioned until further into the show when vocalist Deborah Harry vowed Stein wishes he could be here tonight but would be back somewhere down the road. No other explanation was given for his absence meaning it was up to guitarist Tommy Kessler to keep things afloat. The rest of the band included keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen as well as bassist Leigh Foxx. Drummer Clem Burke, who has played on every single album and has been in the band before they received their big break, manned the kit as usual.

The band and Harry sounded great inside the Fallsview venue that is known for its amazing sound. While the band missed Stein, casual fans of the band may not have noticed any difference. Hearing such gems as “Call Me”, “The Tide Is High” and “Maria” tend to make up for any negatives.

The band’s eleventh studio album Pollinator has fared well as it has been the bands highest charting album in nearly two decades. While the gem of the album “My Monster” has not been played since the end of last year, the band managed to pull out a good variety from the album. Songs of note included “Fragments”, “Gravity” and “Too Much” with the latter being a song written by keyboardist Katz-Bohen and his wife Laurel.

Overall the show went off without a hitch even with Stein not being present. That is how good of a job Harry and her band did by simply tearing it up. It was almost as if Harry was back in the New York club scene again clawing and waiting for her big chance to get signed. At times the intimate setting of the venue gave off a vibe reminiscent of days past. The way the band is sounding these days the future is shining quite brightly.

Click on photo to start slideshow

Set List
One Way or Another
Doom or Destiny
Hanging on the Telephone
Call Me
The Tide Is High
Too Much
Long Time
Heart of Glass

From Russia With Love

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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