Thursday, July 25, 2019

Blondie, Elvis Costello Give the Fans What They Want

Two notes I received from a friend in the row ahead of me. I miss notes.

Saw Blondie and Elvis Costello last night at Forest Hills Stadium. That we arrived on time yet still heard the first eight and a half(!) Blondie songs from the security line -- can you believe these idiots??? -- would probably make you think the night was a bust. 

Is that you, Chrissy Snow?

But having seen Debbie and the boys so many times, the outing was really much more about seeing Elvis for the first time -- he's been battling cancer, so I didn't want to take any chances -- and visiting the legendary venue where the Beatles once played. 

Tennis fans will remember that the West Side Tennis Club was also the home of the U.S. Open from 1915 until 1977 -- and that the 1977 event coincided with the summer I took up tennis. Will never forget watching 14-year-old Tracy Austin -- the powerhouse in pinafore -- battle her way into the quarterfinals. Or seeing Ice Maiden Chris Evert collect her third straight crown, beating Wendy "The Rabbit" Turnbull. (We played on either cement and indoor carpeting in Detroit -- what as this green clay stuff?!) Was tickled to see that the tournament's rich history can still be felt around the grounds, from the posters of Big Bill Tilden, Althea Gibson, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Guillermo Vilas and so on, to the short shorts-clad staff (complete with wooden rackets) walking around. (I realize not getting a pic was a dereliction of duty!)

Both Blondie and Elvis's sets were heavy on hits, with the former doing all four of their No. 1s and the latter working the crowd into a tizzy on "Every Day I Write the Book." (Deb's biggest sin was doing an ill-advised rendition of "You're Too Hot," from her 2007 solo album; his was omitting "Veronica," Damian's fave and Elvis's biggest U.S. single.) Deb was in good spirits and the band sounded great, although Chris Stein was seated mostly. (I know he's had some health issues, so was happy he made it at all.) At first I was bummed they "opened" -- so it had kind of a state fair feel to the show, unlike Elvis's nighttime performance -- but I'm sure Debbie likes to get to bed early so I decided to forgive and forget! 

Security theater ...

Local boy makes good!

Fan boys ...

Arresting officers ...

P.S. I may have missed some Debbie at the show, but I got my hands on an advance copy of her new memoir that will surely fill the void!

Blondie set list:

One Way or Another
Hanging on the Telephone
Call Me
Too Much
Old Town Road
Fade and Away and Radiate
The Tide Is High (with "Groove Is in the Heart")
Orchid Club(!)
Heart of Glass (with "I Feel Love")
You're Too Hot (should've been Military Rap if she was going to do that!)
Dreaming (perfect ending!)

Elvis Costello and the Imposters setlist:

Pump It Up
Miracle Man
Accidents Will Happen
Green Shirt
Photographs Can Lie
Mr. and Mrs. Hush
Beyond Belief
Watching the Detectives (with incredible film noir slide show!)
A Face in the Crowd
This Year's Girl
Less Than Zero
I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down
High Fidelity
Every Day I Write the Book
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

1 comment:

Dave in Texas said...

Thanks for the review! Debbie looks good, glad you got to go. Share your thoughts on the book when you’re done reading!