Can you smell it in the air? The imminent aroma of Summer Shed Season coming upon us? The time when rock royalty get their houses in order so that they can play to as wide an audience as possible in the open air. A time of chardonnay and cheese pairings while listening to the strains of what is usually Classic Rock. Not typically our scene, but there was that time that OMD played their biggest US tour in 25+ years opening for… Barenaked Ladies? Yeah, I look back on that one and shake my head occasionally.
Fortunately, this summer will see some New Wave pairings that actually make more sense than that. Although it may just be down to the advanced age of Classic Rockers about a decade older than the Punk and New Wave generation becoming too feeble to hit the circuit, this summer sees some pretty decent package tours taking their place in the queue.
Who wouldn’t splash out two to three bills when the almighty Blondie is co-headling with Elvis Costello + The Imposters? Blondie are still out in front of their well-regarded recent “Pollinator” album while EC + The Imposters have just released “Look Now” to tremendous acclaim from the commenters here @ PPM. Memo to self: I still need both of those albums. Heck, I almost bought “Pollinator” on the week of release just for intuitive kicks! I’ve seen both Deborah Harry and EC several times, but if this were within striking distance, I’d certainly consider grabbing a seat. None of us are getting any younger and there’ll come a day when such giants no longer grace a stage.
Blondie are having a few dates alone up front, as are EC + The Imposters with a solo gig of their own, but from July 20th – August 10th it’s a case of “how are they going to decide who closes the show” syndrome. EC has about 2-3 times the number of albums as Blondie, but Blondie have about 1000x the number of US hit singles as EC managed. Both can rock an incredible show [as well as deliver duds…] but with 13 dates, there will be an odd one out if they swap placings every night. Maybe it’ll come down to a coin toss. I couldn’t make the call!
Unfortunately, most of the dates are concentrated in the northeast/southwest corridor. Many of us will not get the chance to partake, but I will just say one thing before we gaze at the dates below. Flights from almost anywhere in the contiguous Lower 48 are often dirt cheap to Las Vegas. Just saying.
Blondie/Elvis Costello + The Imposters | N American Summer Tour | 2019
- June 22, 2019 | Count Basie Theatre | Red Bank, NJ
- June 23, 2019 | Strand Theatre | York, PA
- July 10, 2019 | Roundup MusicFest at Shaw Millennium Park | Calgary, AB, Canada
- July 12, 2019 | Roxodus Music Festival | Edenvale, ON, Canada
- July 17, 2019 | The Majestic Theatre | Gettysburg, PA
- July 20, 2019 | Bethel Woods Center for the Arts | Bethel, NY
- July 21, 2019 | Mohegan Sun Arena | Uncasville, CT
- July 23, 2019 | Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion | Boston, MA
- July 24, 2019 | Forest Hills Stadium | Forest Hills, NY
- July 26, 2019 | The Anthem | Washington, DC
- July 27, 2019 | BB&T Pavilion | Camden, NJ
- August 01, 2019 | Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort | Las Vegas, NV
- August 02, 2019 | Pechanga Summit at Pechanga Resort & Casino | Temecula, CA
- August 04, 2019 | FivePoint Amphitheatre | Irvine, CA
- August 05, 2019 | The Greek Theatre | Los Angeles, CA
- August 07, 2019 | Santa Barbara Bowl | Santa Barbara, CA
- August 08, 2019 | Concord Pavilion | San Francisco, CA
- August 10, 2019 | Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery | Woodinville (Seattle), WA
Blondie headlining alone
Elvis Costello + The Imposters headlining alone
– 30 –
Even though Blondie and EC are playing here in NYC, I’m seeing them in Bethel Woods in the Catskills (at the site of Woodstock, in Bethel, NY, which now has a large, semi-covered outdoor amphitheater on the other side of the hill from where Jimi and co. played 50 years ago). I caught Blondie and Garbage there last summer and they both were amazing. (My in-laws have a country home about 10 minutes away from Bethel Woods, so it’s pretty convenient!)
Also, I’m seeing The Undertones tonight at The Gramercy Theater in NYC (and have tix for upcoming concerts by The Psychedelic Furs, The B52s w/OMD at Central Park Summerstage, and The Selecter w/ Rhoda Dakar as guest DJ). It’s like the late ’70s/early ’80s never ended!
Steve – …Except for the white hair! But is it really The Undertones without the distinctive tones of Feargal Sharkey? [strokes chin thoughtfully] I am shocked that these two aren’t playing Blossom Music Center in Akron; a fine, fine shed. Kudos for hitting the in-laws up for lodgings! Goodness knows that alone made the recent Mott The Hoople Cleveland concert run financially possible for us. Have fun and report back with your Blondie/EC findings!
I know, The Undertones w/o Feargal Sharkey might not sound quite right, but we’ll see. I never saw them the first time around! Will let you know how it all goes.
I was sceptical but saw them last month and it was excellent. Funny there were more people in the audience this time round that when I saw them in 1983…
The Undertones killed it last night for the sold out crowd at The Gramercy Theater in Manhattan! They played practically everything off their debut album, plus all the singles from the rest of their catalogue. One of the highlights was a blistering version of “You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It)”! They’re the kings of the hook (every one of their song’s bursting with them)–few bands do pop punk better. Singer Paul McLoone has been with the band since 1999 and he’s fantastic (and the rest of The Undertones are original). They’re in Boston tonight, then Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas, and finishing the month in SoCal!
Steve – So…Punk Rock Bowling is still a going concern?! I am amazed. I remember hearing about that some years back. Thanx for the opinion on The Undertones sans Sharkey. To be fair, he’s not my favorite vocalist by any means, but he’s so distinctive, that it’s difficult to imagine the songs with anyone else singing. I once got tickets for That Petrol Emotion but only to see openers Voice Of The Beehive – I blew off the headliners! And that was for the great “Chemicrazy” tour!
I’ll be seeing Blondie for the first time here in Calgary, alas, with no EC+I. The gig here will have Billy Idol, the Headstones and the Doug-less [RIP] and the Slugs. Oh well, hope the weather is good and the sound is better than it was at this annual event’s previous locales. The new Blondie CD is pretty good and my 14 year old daughter liked a few tracks where the collaborations were with people she actually knew.
Unrelated: I see you have the new Slow Children CD-R in your April grid; review / info coming in a post soon?
KeithC – Patience, my good man. Patience. Enjoy Blondie. Can’t say I have ever heard of The Headstones though anyone as old as I am should know of “Cognac + Bologna.” They only played where I am once in 2006 [?], and I was still off of the idea at the time, though I was a fool to miss Clem Burke! I am getting tired of Blondie “collaborating.” Most of the “New Blondie” reformation CDs I have are marred by this. Some times severely.
Obviously I’m going to the date here on the Boston waterfront. It couldn’t possibly live up to the Blondie/Garbage tour, thanks to my front row vantage, but excited to see them again. Pollinator remains a stupendous album, and I honestly would take extra tracks from that in place of old hits in the set, but that’ll never happen (imagine the uproar from the casual fan if they omitted Call Me, Rapture, or Heart of Glass!?). Meanwhile, I haven’t bought an Elvis C album since Punch the Clock, but he’s never disappointed live either.
Taffy – So you have seen EC post-1983 then? What shows, if I might ask? Hopefully you saw the entertainment monster that was the 2011 “Revolver” tour. And yeah, it hurts being a fan when your heroes have just delivered a new album you love but the spotlight goes to the sort of bill-paying hits that you are probably tired of. When I saw Simple Minds in 2002 they did four from “Cry” and I got my fave new tracks, but I could have stood two or three more. At least you saw Blondie right after “Pollinator” hit, when it was likely to get more spotlight. This time they might fall back on catalog, whereas EC just has a new album out so I’d expect it to get a lot of love from EC. He’s good about giving a diverse set list that manages to juggle new and obscure material adroitly with must-have material.
Just got to checking my concert log, and it’s a good thing I keep one, cuz my memory sure aint what it used to be. I’ve seen Elvis four times, starting with a show in May 1987 (I’m pretty sure he had the big spinning wheel for that one) with Nick Lowe opening. Twenty years later I saw him at a club in May 2007. I’ve seen him twice since, warming up for other bands. Summer of 2008 he opened for the reunited Police, and finally in the summer of 2015 he was the opener for Steely Dan.
Taffy – Documentation is your friend! Good for keeping a log! I wish I had done that sooner, what with all of the Club shows with no tickets, just fees at the door. So you saw the original Spinning Songbook tour for your first show? Superb! How I wanted to see that way back when, but it didn’t come near Central Florida. At least I saw the rematch 25 years later. Interesting to hear EC as an opener for Police/Steely Dan. We’re his opening sets all hits or did he mix it up?
Tbh, I haven’t a clue…the concert log isn’t THAT detailed. But, a quick online search reveals the Police warmup set was rather short – 6 hits and 3 songs from current album Momofuku. For the Steely Dan warmup, he played 13 hits (no new product to pimp!). This data is all thanks to setlist.fm (the most comprehensive website for concert setlists).
Taffy – What would we do without setlist.fm! So then it seems that EC will always try to fit in new material if applicable. Sounds like he had an hour for Steely Dan. Probably more like they had an hour for him! I can see them digging his work.
OMD is in Charlotte August 31st
Mel Creighton – Saw that. Not going. Wallet HURTING.
Not normally my kind of setting, but I decided to go with it. Bought lawn tickets for the family. We’ll spread a blanket and enjoy what should be a warm summer evening. I just have to get in the mindset of not caring too much about the show itself. Should be okay. I have already seen both many times.
Elvis Costello released the RSD vinyl release Purse as a digital download about two weeks ago.
So your mission, should you accept it, is to acquire both the deluxe Look Now AND the Purse ep. They compliment one another nicely.
I last saw Blondie and DEVO together a few years back at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, so it would make sense to see them again there. I haven’t heard Pollinator owing to time pressures, but I’m pleased by the reviews I’ve seen of that and Look Now/Purse. EC has, for my money, never delivered a bad show in his life (well, the 20+ times I’ve seen him play) though “shirley” my fave of them was him w/Squeeze opening at the Fox in Atlanta in 83!
I’m pleased to see a couple of off-the-beaten-path Canuckistan dates on the list, but I don’t really dig big music festivals so … not going to those!