On Friday Aug 26, 2022, I hesitantly agreed to see the band at the glorious Fox Theatre in Detroit. With main floor seats to the right of center and past midway, the sound and view were superb. After the unconvincing Damned tried their best to entice the crowd into caring that they were there, Blondie came out after a brief delay. The sound was as good as I've ever heard in that venue that I've attended frequently for concerts. Besides the obvious and Chris Stein, the main focal point for me was phenomenal drummer Clem Burke. He did not disappoint and kept things moving at a comfortable albeit at times, frantic pace. As if they were apologizing for their almost 13 year absence in the Motor City, the energy was amazing and the crowd responded by leaping to their feet (for the entire show) which I was not prepared for while wearing Keens.
Debbie Harry looked great and sounded very surprisingly, strong. She was a bit light on the intensity at times and completely missed on Maria and another track but the forgiving crowd filled in nicely. Chris Stein was very excited to be back and the sold out crowd was happy to hear him. His Hendrix like antics were a testament to his shape and prowess. The lead guitar player was smoking and nailed all of the leads. Before playing the song Detroit 442, Debbie explained that it was an ode to the mighty Oldsmobile 442 engine and how Jimmy O (Iggy Pop) was referenced in the song. She explained that Iggy invited the band on tour for the 81 or 82 tour which featured David Bowie on keyboards and it represented a huge break for them. This night the band played the entire greatest hits album plus Maria and the aforementioned Detroit 442. A full setlist follows below.
The crowd was predictable but also more than peppered with young 20 something girls everywhere. My buddy and I could not figure out how they knew about the band. The video screen was active all night with a wide array of engaging accompaniment of varying interesting topics and interspersed with early photos and videos of the band mostly in NYC. Very Cool. I had hoped for about a 4 or maybe a 5 out of 10 but was easily presented with a 9 out of 10 from this polished, professional, engaging Rock and Roll HoF band. Still very worth your full attention.
Setlist: 1. X Offender, 2. Hanging on the Telephone, 3. Sunday Girl (French in tact), 4. Picture This, 5. Fade Away and Radiate, 6. The Tide is High, 7. Detroit 442, 8. Atomic (best song of the night IMO), 9. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear, 10. Shayla, 11. Union City Blue, 12. Long Time, 13. Rapture (simply great), 14. Maria, 15. Dreaming, 16. Heart of Glass, 17. Ring of Fire (yes, that one), 18. Call Me, 19. One Way or Another.