Southern Man

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Concert Review - Devo and Blondie

They call it the "Whip It To Shreds" tour and that's pretty much what they did.

The venue was an outdoor ampitheatre that Southern Man had frequented in his youth. Back then you could bring in coolers full of beer and blankets and grass and whatever and it was just one huge festival of fun. Southern Man remembers a memorable Utopia / Hall and Oates concert there where a guy had a topless girl on his shoulders and the camera crew kept her up on the big screen for us. That was really something to a couple of high-school geeks to see. Today the tickets are $50 instead of $5, they pat you down for cameras, make you take your fold-up chair out of the bag for inspection, and would have tossed Topless Babe out on her ear. Oh, well, at least we have our memories of the more free-spirited world of our youth.

Setting up the stage. Absolutely none of the night pics came out so this will have to do until Southern Man gets a real camera again.

The opening act was a local three-guy band that played all original music, sort of a cross between punk and hardcore rock. They were pretty good.

And then there was Devo, who put on a sizzling show that took Southern Man right back to his seventies electro-punk roots. They even had ASCII block graphics in their video-and-light show. And no one covers Satisfaction quite like Devo. It was great fun.

Then Blondie came out and after a kind of slow start Debbie picked up the pace and they put on a great show with all of their hits sprinkled with a few surprise covers of Beastie Boys and Frankie Goes To Hollywood tunes, putting a distinctly Blondie touch on Relax. They ended the regular set with a long concert version of One Way Or Another, which was terrific, and ended the encore with a very hard edged Heart Of Glass that was way better than the studio version. And of course they did Rapture.

Southern Man had debated all day as to whether or not he wanted to go to a concert alone, but he's glad he did. Are We Not Men?


At Sunday, September 23, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey There Southern Man! Seen any good movies lately? How about a good read? Who is your favorite author and why? Do you like political reads by Michele M. and Ann C.?


At Monday, September 24, 2012, Anonymous Johnn Caustic said...

I saw the Devo/Blondie tour in its first stop at San Francsico. Devo runs their operation like a drill squadron; all the music perfectly synchronized with the video playing behind them. Which is totally fitting. Their set was big FUN. Even though there were more songs I don't recognize than songs I do, they write loads of 3-minute pop gems that sound great the first time you hear them. They ended with their best song, Gates of Steel.

Blondie was looser, as befits their music. Agreed that their extended version of One Way or Another was brilliant. The band is very talented, and their drummer is ridiculously virtuosic. But I'm sad that Debbie Harry's voice is no longer the amazing instrument it once was.

At Tuesday, September 25, 2012, Blogger Southern Man said...

Yes, Devo was big fun. And, sadly, you're right about Debbie; I kept telling myself that she had a cold or something. But it was still great to see these two legendary groups on stage.

At Wednesday, September 26, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to a concert alone....ask someone. Surely you have friends or family members that share your taste in music.


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