Blondie was solid and very professional after more than a few years off I believe, and The New Cars were just spot on for my money. I really enjoyed seeing Blondie for the first time, and had a good time watching Chris Stein and Clem Burke hamming it up onstage. Debbie was having fun making eye contact with a number of audience members, and it was fun to watch her as she played it very cool. Everyone in Blondie looked great from the 12th row or so. Whatever you're doing people, keep it up!
One of the first things I noticed about The New Cars was how much fun they appeared to be having playing this particular batch of songs. Prairie and Kasim obviously have a great deal of chemistry together, and it so readily translates into this band and what they are doing that you almost don't appreciate how great the ensemble sounds until you start consciously listening to each of the individual components. Elliot is brilliant, as others before me have stated, and Greg is a consummate pro and a backbone of the band in his own right. And that brings us the front man, our old friend TR.
On this somewhat blustery night at the Mountain Winery (what a great amphitheatre!) both Todd and Debra Harry made some kind of remark about it being a bit nippy up there on stage. But they both overcame any chills that they were experiencing to dazzle and electrify the audience. I think this is probably some of the best guitar playing I've seen TR do since Š well certainly since the LIARS tour of 2004. The fact that he's playing with Elliot Easton in this band can only help Todd by forcing him to push himself harder in his ax playing for the sake of his own personal pride. That element is quite evident here, and will likely only become more prominent as this tour continues on and the band gels even further. And that is from the perspective that it (the gellin') is damn fine already.
The set list is just chock full of really good songs that sound loud, electric and just rockin' fun live on this tour. These compositions, which have aged very well over the years, are taken up a couple of notches here, with this all-star caliber lineup playing the crap out of them. This is just a really fun show, with the audience and band each enjoying the energy being created and exchanged at these gigs, most certainly at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA on a Thursday night. Don't miss this show if you are a Cars fan, a TR fan, or a rock n' roll fan. This is quite simply an excellent pairing of exquisitely talented musicians who seem to truly enjoy each other's stage company.