In todays music scene, female fronted bands are becoming more prevalent. Thankfully we still have 80’s new wave punk rock icon Debbie Harry and 90’s alternative rock goddess Shirley Manson gracing the live stages showing these newer bands how to keep it going. Blondie and Garbage brought their Rage & Rapture tour to Fiddler’s Green in Englewood, CO, and pleased all of the die hard fans that span some four decades.
After a brief set by folk openers John Doe and Exene Cervenka, Manson and Garbage took the stage to the roar of their faithful freek and geeks. Manson is one of the most polarizing figures in rock music. She has no filter and is not afraid to gush, bitch, or really shy away from saying anything or about anyone. The set started off with a brand new single “No Horses” followed up by “Queer” and “#1 Crush”. Although Manson stopped the band mid song to restart “#1 Crush” and apologized to the crowd for a mistake it did not matter and the crowd loved it. Overall the band was in fine form from Manson’s seductive vocals to the drum rhythms of Butch Vig. A couple highlights in the set included a shout out the LGTBQ community and dedication of the song “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) and “The World Is Not Enough” from the James Bond movie from 1999.
Wearing a hat resembling a couple bees landing on her head, Harry burst into new wave mega-hits “One Way Or Another” and “Telephone” both would getting the crowd up from their seats. The current lineup still includes co-founder Chris Stein on guitar and Glem Burke on drums. Plus Tommy Kessler on guitar and Matt Katz-Bohen on keys rounds out a very cohesive live unit. It is hard to believe Harry just turned 72 years old. Yes. That may be hard to believe and her voice may have aged a bit but she still can hit the higher notes with a little tweaking and can still nail songs such as “Dreaming” and even “Rapture”. The set included a few new songs “Fun” and “My Monster” from the 2017 release Pollinator which fit nicely around classics as “Heart of Glass” and “Union City Blue”.
After seeing these two bands perform, it is clear to see why this tour was put together. Even though they are from different decades, they both are super talented front women who are very similar. They both have timeless material, show incredible showmanship, character, and attitude that easily inspires future female musicians for generations to come.