Wednesday night, Cousin Shane and Matt treated me, as a birthday present, to the Blondie concert at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. I drove over to Shane's place, and we headed out from there. It was a fun and fast drive up there, with lots of talk and catching up on things. We didn't have a whole lot of time to spare, so only gambled for about a half an hour. I was bummed to see that there were no $5 blackjack tables, only $10 and up, so I sat at the bar and had a beer and played video blackjack while Shane and Matt played slots. No, I didn't win, but also didn't spend nearly what I'd set aside for gambling, so no harm done. Shane ended up winning about $30 (I think) at slots, so yay, Shane! We grabbed a quick sandwich and then headed to The Venue. I capitalize it because the name of the place is actually The Venue!
The opening band was one called Gorevette out of Detroit, and they were a very pleasant surprise! Essentially a girl band (only the drummer is a guy), these chicks rocked! I was especially impressed with the guitarist, Amy Gore. Shane noted that she reminded him of Brian Setzer, because she was sporting a sort of up-swept do reminiscent of a pompadour, and although I'm not well-versed in guitars, I'm pretty sure she was playing a Gretsch hollow body! Any of my musician friends, please tell me if that's what I think it is. Anyway, she was really good! If I could play guitar, I'd want to be like that. She really rocked. The video I'm posting is the title track from their EP, "Lustfully Yours." I think I'll be ordering that soon. I was really impressed!
Oh, and much to our delight, Shane and I had one of those moments where you look at each other and gasp and say the name of the song. In this case, Gorevette did "What Do I Get?" by the Buzzcocks! Even better, they followed it up with "Good Girls Don't" by the Knack! Yeah, baby! I think most of the rest of their set was originals. I have to say, I was delighted to see such a fun and talented and energetic opening act. They're doing several other dates with Blondie, including on the East coast, so I hope they get some good recognition through playing with such a well-known band. I know they have a new fan in this gal!
While waiting for Blondie to come out, I went out to the lobby and got a couple of beers to bring back. I sat them on the floor in front of my seat (we were on the floor, by the way...great seats!), and Shane and Matt said, "Don't kick the beer, Beth!" They had two big video screens set up on either side of the stage, and you could text to the feed. Shane texted, "Don't kick the beer, Beth!" and we got a chuckle out of that!
Oh, and I didn't kick the beer!
There wasn't a long delay, and the band came out. There was Debbie. This woman is 65 years old, and I'm telling you, if I look that good at 65, I'll be a happy woman! She looked so great! She was wearing this longish white skirt--was that organza, or some such material?--with a big black belt and a black jacket. Her hair was really white, and I think it was a wig. She looked fantastic. Her voice was very strong. Not as strong as in her heyday, but she still can pack a wallop! The band was great, and Clem Burke is as strong a drummer as ever. (Shane and I agree that he is one of rocks unheralded drummers. He's definitely in my top five favorites.) I don't recall the name of the guitarist, a young guy, but we thought he did a fine job. Chris Stein is still with the band, although he and Debbie split up a long time ago.
I'll post the set list when Shane sends it to me, but they did a mixture of their classics as well as songs from their forthcoming album. We liked the new songs, and look forward to hearing more of them. Among the classics, they did "The Hardest Part" (one of my favorites), "One Way or Another," "Hanging on the Telephone," "The Tide is High," "Rapture," "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and what we all agreed was the highlight of the show for us, "Atomic." Oh man, that song still gives me chills (Shane said hearing it made him verklempt), and her voice was strong and hit those soaring notes just perfectly! She might not have held the notes as long as the original, but it was still perfection. Like buttah.
I apologize for the poor photo quality, and I didn't get any video. They announced before the band came out that there would be no photography or video, but plenty of us were sneaking pics. One downer was having an usher lady sitting just to the left of our row, with her chair FACING us. So during the whole show, I could see her in my peripheral vision, and felt like she was looking at me. She did not look like a happy person, and her constant scowl was rather irritating. A younger person took her place temporarily at one point, and she was bopping and smiling and enjoying the show. The old bat came back soon enough, though, and her main activity seemed to be walking down the aisle and pointing at people taking pictures, so that another usher or security guard could come over and put a stop to it. Of course, while she was away, several of us whipped out our cameras and tried to get a few pictures. Highly effective security. It's time for bands/venues to rethink their policy on pictures and videos. Almost everyone has camera phones, so don't fight it, man.
Yes, I did wear fishnets, although you really can’t tell it in the picture. :) It was a great time, and both Shane and I agreed that this was a better show than when we saw them a few years back. They were also great then, but they just seemed more energetic this time out. Debbie is such a peach, and one of the greatest rock chicks ever! Thanks to Shane and Matt for a wonderful evening. Love you guys!
Here is the set list from Shane! Note #15: that is indeed the Ramones' "Pet Sematary!"
02. Hanging On The Telephone
03. Will Anything Happen?
04. The Hardest Part
05. Love Doesn't Frighten Me At All
06. The End, The End
08. What I Heard
09. Orchid Club/Atomic
10. The Tide Is High/I'll Take You There
11. Rapture/No Exit
13. Call Me
14. One Way Or Another
15. Pet Sematary
16. Heart Of Glass