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Blondie, X rip it up at Marymoor Park
Several songs into X’s set on Tuesday night at Marymoor Park, bassist/singer John Doe gave a nod to the Redmond area.
“Thanks to Blondie for bringing us out here amongst the greenery,” he told the crowd before the band launched into “Breathless” and got several of the attendees pogoing and singing the words up near the front of the stage.
The pioneering Los Angeles punk band, which got its start in the dingy Masque club in 1977, kicked off the evening with a gritty 45-minute set that began with “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not” from its debut album and closed with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder taking the stage to add vocals to the ripping “Devil Doll” from its fourth album “More Fun in the New World.” (Vedder also joined X for “The New World” earlier in the set as the crowd cheered in approval.)
All the classic X trademarks were present: Vocalist Exene Cervenka swaying to the beat while intensely belting out the tunes; Doe strutting across the stage and singing lead and harmonies with his former wife; guitarist Billy Zoom smiling away as he knocked out riff after riff; and drummer D.J. Bonebrake pounding away with precision.
Other standout tracks in the 16-song set included “Nausea,” “Los Angeles” and “White Girl.” While the band was on point most of the time, there were some slip ups on vocals and guitar, but the band powered through to the end.
When it was Blondie’s turn, Debbie Harry and crew roared out of the gate with “One Way or Another” from its best album “Parallel Lines” from 1978 and rolled through its string of hits during its 105-minute set. On the docket: “The Tide is High,” “Rapture,” “Atomic,” “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me” and the finale “Dreaming.”
Blondie began its career in the 1970s in clubs like CBGB’s in New York and its three original members present — Harry, drummer extraordinaire Clem Burke and guitarist Chris Stein — proved they can still throw down with the best of them these days.
Harry pranced on stage wearing a wizard’s outfit and dark sunglasses and sang strong on the first few numbers. Her voice had its highs and lows the rest of the way, but she never stopped entertaining the crowd with her gutsy style, which included smiles, smirks, arm waves and boxer-like air punches.
She joked that she doesn’t have a “grungy” fashion sense, pointing to her slick outfit that consisted of a black shirt, red tie, black leather mini skirt and thigh-high black leather boots, which she revealed before the band played “Maria” from the 1999 album “No Exit.” The band also chipped in with a new keyboard-flavored tune, “A Rose By Any Other Name.”
As the evening came to a close and “Dreaming” was the song of the moment, two fans took crowd participation to another level: One man ran across the stage before security escorted him away, and one woman in striped pants jumped up to Harry, gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and bowed down to the singer after the band finished up.
Photos: Blondie's Debbie Harry, above, and below with keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen. Bottom, X's John Doe belts out a tune.
Courtesy of Cat Rose