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Review: Blondie's Debbie Harry remains glamorous, energetic

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By Kellie Gormly
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 10:08 p.m.
 

It's hard to believe that Debbie Harry is in her late 60s. You could have fooled us on Friday night at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg, where Blondie put on an entertaining show.

Harry - still glamorous with her signature platinum locks and chic, flamboyant style - began the show, which had no opening act, with the classic hit "Dreaming."

She was wearing a glittery gold jacket and cap, along with sunglasses that she wore through several songs. This was a comical touch, given that we were in a darkened theater.

A few songs later, Harry shed the jacket and sunglasses and cap, and let her hair down, both literally and metaphorically.

Interestingly, Harry seemed more serious and controlled earlier in the show; and as the evening went on, we saw more and more of the feisty, fun New Yorker fans have loved since the late '70s.

Although the band did skip a few of the earlier songs, like "In the Flesh" and "Sunday Girl," they did not neglect the biggest Blondie hits like "Call Me," "One Way or Another," and the original mainstream rap song, "Rapture."

Watching Harry march across the stage while rapping the funny and nonsensical lyrics about the man from Mars who eats cars, bars and guitars gave fans one of the highlights of the evening.

Having just released a new album, "Panic of Girls" last year, Blondie could have easily made the mistake of focusing too much on the new stuff while neglecting the old music that the fans love. The concert gave a good, balanced mix.

Blondie may be a band with Harry as the front lady, although on stage, Harry looks more to be a solo act. Except for a few instances, the band members seem content to play their instruments in a low-key way and let Harry shine in the spotlight.

Harry still has a beautiful voice that runs the gamut from lively and peppy, to maternal and soothing, to feisty and growly. However, as one would expect after nearly four decades on singing, Harry doesn't have quite as broad a vocal range as she did in the '80s, when she sang some hits at a high soprano.

At the concert, Harry sang high songs like "Rapture" and "Call Me" at a lower octave. Despite her not hitting as high notes as well as she used to, though, Harry still sounded great. Again, she seems far younger than she is.

The concert ended with a highlight performance of "Heart of Glass," a fun dance song. Harry performed this encore wearing a baggy silver glitter gown, like she was a human disco ball.

In a recent interview with the Trib, Harry talked about what hard-core fans Blondie has. Indeed. We met a few fans who came all the way from Europe - two from England, one from Germany and one from Greece - just for this little Pennsylvania concert.

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