Whipping It at Sunrise MarketPlace
What do you get when you mix a bombastic blonde with a quirky group of men? Some might say an odd mix of new and old as Blondie and Devo rollout their Whip It to Shreds Tour, bringing with them some newer material.
With only 13 dates scheduled in the Whip It to Shreds Tour, Sunrise Marketplace was lucky to land the unlikely duo for the last night of the Sunrise at Night Concert Series on Friday.
Over thirty years ago both Blondie and Devo were household names in the music world, as MTV was ramping up to play a steady stream of music videos, California had an actor as Governor, and Madonna was a piece of art, not a piece of work.
Ahh, so much has changed since then, just ask a teenager who Blondie or Devo is. You’ll get one of those looks that make you feel older than dirt – trust me I’ve seen that look.
Neither group is standing on their laurels either as both are out promoting their new work. Blondie with her latest album Panic of Girls and Devo with their album Something for Everybody. Both albums have respectable reviews, but could they possibly invoke trips down memory lane as some of their hits do? Songs like Blondie’s disco-infused “Heart of Glass,” and Devo’s wildly popular “Whip It?” I think not.
Devo started out as a twenty something group of nerdy guys and have “devolved” into a sixty something group of nerdy guys. The weirdest part for me was these guys were awesome! Their sound, their message, their style, played well in the 70’s and 80’s, and it plays well in the 10’s (I guess that’s what you call the 2010’s).
With brothers Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, and Gerald and Bob Casale, all original band members, Devo kicked off their set with “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)” and “Peek-A-Boo!”, wearing plastic masks in what looked like some type of uniform.
During their set they played three songs off their latest album “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man),” “What We Do,” and “Fresh.” The rest of their songs were their oldies, but goodies.
As is normal for this quirky group of guys, there were numerous wardrobe changes, plenty of videos playing in the background and even popcorn flying through the air. “Whip It” found the group wearing their signature hats as fans went crazy.
After a brief set-change Blondie made their way on stage as original lead singer Deborah Harry came out singing “Dreaming” and “Hanging on the Telephone.” Deborah sounded good and the audience gave her a warm welcome, but I believe they made a fatal mistake, as do most aging bands. They played too many newer songs, losing the audience.
As Blondie continued with “Love Doesn’t Frighten Me” and “D-Day,” both songs from their latest album, the crowd settled down. However, whenever they started in with an old hit like “Call Me,” the crowd would go wild, only to settle back down while the continued on to a new song. They played a total of six new songs, one from 2003, and five from 2011, all unfamiliar to the crowd.
Her encore won the audience back as she closed with “Relax” and “Heart of Glass.”
In my opinion Devo was the better performance with their quirky style. I’m surprised that I’m saying this, but I think Devo should have been the headliner, or close the show, as their tour is being billed as “co-headlining.” In the end Blondie played too many newer songs, while Devo, for the most part, stuck to the sounds that got them where they are today.
This show concludes the Sunrise at Night Concert Series at Sunrise MarketPlace. It all started when Sunrise started to host the Sacramento Capitals and erected a small arena, so the powers to be decided to, dare I say capitalize, on having arena by turning it into an outdoor concert venue.
The Series brought over 10,000 people to Sunrise Marketplace, with 7,000 concert goers coming from outside the area. These were people who normally would not have made the effort to visit the area.
Many of the visitors who had not been to Sunrise Marketplace in quite some time were surprised and impressed with the number of changes to the area. Merchants also saw in increase in sales with close to 50% of attendees visiting and patronizing their favorite stores.
While the concert series got off to a slow start it gained momentum as the season unfolded, ending with full house for their final concert.
Look for an even more exciting concert series next season!