After spending the first half of the summer in Europe, new-wavers Blondie will continue their reunion tour with a month of U.S. dates in August and September.
The second U.S. tour leg, an 18-date trek, will cover the northern half of the country and California before cutting across the South. It starts Aug. 8 at the Jones Beach Amphitheatre
in Wantagh, N.Y, and ends Sept. 2 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.
The first part of the tour in support of Blondie's 1999 reunion album, No Exit, officially ends with a June 10 show at Madison Square Garden Theatre, although the band has two more U.S. dates afterward -- a June 12 radio festival in Los Angeles and a June 13 appearance at the
Tibetan Freedom Concert in East Troy, Wis.
Though singer Deborah Harry said recently that the band was ready to reunite anyway after 16 years apart, she added that the end-of-the-century factor added some allure to the idea.
"It's sort of a symbolic [time]," Harry said in April, when the first leg of the tour was announced. "Why wouldn't you want to be playing at a time when the century changes? I think that's a pretty big deal. It's sort of, 'Wow, let's do it.' If anything's gonna give you a lot of energy, that's gonna be it.
"Also, I think bands work very hard for six to eight years, something like that, and then you become less interesting to the market, less interesting to the record company. It's hard to keep putting out product that's really good, and it really is hard work. And then you sort of step back for a while, and then you get reinspired, basically. That's what it takes."
The band that recorded No Exit (RealAudio excerpt of title track) and is now on tour features four members of Blondie's classic late-'70s/early-'80s lineup -- Harry, guitarist Chris Stein, keyboardist Jimmy Destri and drummer Clem Burke. Fans can expect to hear songs from the album such as the soaring pop single "Maria" (RealAudio excerpt), "Forgive and Forget," "Screaming Skin" and "Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom Room"
Of course, the band is also playing such Blondie classics as "Heart of Glass" and "Call Me" (RealAudio excerpt).
"We've been doing all the crowd pleasers; we're giving them what they want," Stein said in April. "I think everybody's just interested in seeing the band and seeing Debbie."
Blondie emerged from the New York club scene in the late 1970s and made a name for themselves with Harry's sensual, soprano vocals and a genre-bending style that fused pop, punk and, later, hip-hop. They released six albums in as many years before disbanding in 1982. They had four #1 hits:
"Call Me," "Heart of Glass," "Rapture" and a cover of the reggae song "The Tide Is High."
Stein said he feels a "personal nostalgia" playing in Blondie again that stems from seeing fans experience the band for the first time.
"That makes it fresh for me also," he said. "We get a lot of kids who say they were too young to come to the shows [in the '80s]. Five or six years ago it would have been a little horrifying to play these songs
over and over again. This time my own personal attachment to them has changed."
Stein said the band is already thinking about its next album, which he said would incorporate more contemporary sounds into Blondie's signature style. "When we started [No Exit], I hadn't been paying any attention to the current climate of music, and in the last six months
I've been paying much more attention to what's going on," he said. "If we did No Exit now, it would be completely different."
Tickets for the second leg of the tour will be available exclusively through MSNBC.com starting Friday (June 4); the same day, the band is scheduled to perform several songs on the NBC television show "Today" (the performance will be simulcast on that website). Additionally, the
band will chat with fans at the site at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday.
Blondie U.S. Tour Dates:
Aug. 8; Wantagh, N.Y.; Jones Beach Amphitheatre
Aug. 10; Hampton Beach, N.H.; Hampton Beach Ballroom
Aug. 11; Boston, Mass.; Bank Boston Pavilion
Aug. 12; Cleveland, Ohio; State Theater
Aug. 14; Chicago, Ill.; The Riviera Theatre
Aug. 15; Milwaukee, Wis.; Riverside Theatre
Aug. 16; Minneapolis, Minn.; Guthrie Theater
Aug. 18; Salt Lake City, Utah; E Center
Aug. 20; Concord, Calif.; Concord Pavilion
Aug. 21; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug. 22; Los Angeles, Calif.; Universal Amphitheater
Aug. 25; Santa Fe, N.M.; Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
Aug. 27; Dallas, Texas; Bronco Bowl
Aug. 28; Houston, Texas; Aerial Theatre
Aug. 30; Orlando, Fla.; House of Blues
Aug. 31; Miami, Fla.; Jackie Gleason Theatre
Sept. 1; Tampa, Fla.; Sundome
Sept. 2; Atlanta, Ga.; Tabernacle