BLONDIE’S Secret Concert in Brooklyn; 40 Years Later she still has us Dreaming….

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Mike Malone

Michael Malone is everyone's Aunt Barbara, he holds a BA in Classical Archaeology & Civilizations, is a self-admitted adult groupie & music geek. He is a sharp dancer & snazzy dresser. He's attended 50+ B-52s concerts and has spent the better part of the last 15 years working in advertising & media.

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There was a beautiful poetry to attending a secret show put on by Blondie to promote their new album “Ghosts of The Download”, for Joey Ramone’s birthday at Rough Trade last night. Blondie is the musical paradigm of hybrid, their roots as one the founders of the NYC punk scene with well documented forays into disco, rap and pop. Debbie Harry, Queen of The Underground walked out on stage adorned in a t-shirt designed by Scooter LaForge from their last tour, No Principals as an homage to Debbie’s famous “Vultures” tshirt. The performance space at Rough Trade harkened back to the days of CBGB’s & Max’s Kansas City.The energy of the crowd and band alike fed off each other from the instant the show started. Debbie Harry, Chris Stein & Clem Burke (of the original line up) along with Matt Katz-Bohen, Leigh Foxx & Tommy Kressler put on a tight, energetic set that was equal parts greatest hits, as well as new songs, including my favorite “Sugar On The Side”. Sugar is infused with Colombian electronica and features collaborators, Systema Solar. For my money this is most “radio” friendly track of the new album and the one that the crowd all mimicking Debbie’s Latin dance moves. Apropos of the setting there was a nod to the Beastie Boys and their song “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” at the tail end of Rapture, which is still my favorite Blondie anthem to this day. Other favorite songs included in the set-list were “One Way Or Another”, “Hear Of Glass” and “Call Me”. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Debbie’s tribute to her old friend Joey with a performance of “Havana Affair”. Being able to see Debbie and the band in such an intimate setting was a real treat as most of their recent concerts have geared towards larger venues. Debbie is one of the last of the rock icons, and like Blondie’s hybrid music, her icon status transcends. Equal part rock goddess, gay icon and feminist model, at 68 she puts performers half her age to shame. In addition to the show, there was a Blondie exhibit upstairs featuring some of Chris Stein’s private photos over the years that he has taken and will be included in a new book coming out this Fall, a live performance from the band playing at CBGB’s in the 70’s and little postcards of the band which you were encouraged to write notes to the band on and post. Nights like this make me happy that I live in the NYC area and realize how lucky I am to experience such performances .It makes me remember the message the band expressed in the encore ” dreaming is free”.

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Mike Malone

Michael Malone is everyone's Aunt Barbara, he holds a BA in Classical Archaeology & Civilizations, is a self-admitted adult groupie & music geek. He is a sharp dancer & snazzy dresser. He's attended 50+ B-52s concerts and has spent the better part of the last 15 years working in advertising & media.
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Michael Malone is everyone's Aunt Barbara, he holds a BA in Classical Archaeology & Civilizations, is a self-admitted adult groupie & music geek. He is a sharp dancer & snazzy dresser. He's attended 50+ B-52s concerts and has spent the better part of the last 15 years working in advertising & media.

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