Blondie & Cyndi Lauper

Photos by Leah Victoria

Photos by Leah Victoria

By Wal Reid

Artist: Blondie & Cyndi Lauper

Date / Venue: Monday April 17th, 2017 - Vector Arena, Auckland

I cast my mind back, when the Solid Gold Dancers & Blondie were every teen boy’s wet dream pin up (moi included), and Cyndi Lauper the quirky chick with the multi-coloured hair,who didn’t give a shit how she looked, with the catchy pop songs.

The eighties were my jam, at the time I was fully immersed in the Punk subculture but still had one ear on the top 40 with radio jock Casey Kasem.  Amused with the double - billing, got me wondering, how they would sound after all these years?

Actually, not bad - Sure, they’re a tad older but their voices still retain that essence, the sound unmistakably theirs, while the vibe and energy, still in abundance.

As Cyndi Lauper took to the stage, she wooed and danced her way to the applauding packed crowd on the country-esque opener Funnel of Love, while letting loose on her hit She Bop, dedicating the song to all the “wankers out there”.   

She fondly remembered the ‘Dolly-Lama’ (Dolly Parton) and even blamed Donald Trump for forgetting her cue on You Don’t Know.  “What’s that disease I can’t remember the name of?”, she confided upon hearing the news of Prince’s death which “killed her” before starting her sped up version of his song, When You Were Mine.

Lauper’s New York accent charmed the audience as she weaved stories in-between, some went off in tangents, some hilarious, as she pampered the audience with songs like I Drove All Night, Time After Time, while keeping fans happy standing for the encore, True Colors.

There was a quick interlude, as the throngs of fans poured back in on hearing Blondie’s band start to fire up One Way Or Another, the crowd barely had time to compose before she quickly launched into Hanging On The Telephone.

Blondie oozes cool, those full lips, the enticing voice all added to a memorable night. Original member’s guitarist Chris Stein and powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, sounded just as good as back in the day, going all out on Heart On Glass and Call Me.

Blondie was right when she mentioned “It doesn’t get better than this”. She engaged the crowd now & then, but just enough to titillate the Vector audience, admitting she had watched films with New Zealand in them, rattling off Whale Rider, LOTR and Top of The Lake as some of her favourites.

She appreciated the crowd adopting the new material as she played newer songs My Monster and the Charlie XCX tune Gravity, which still retained that Blondie sound with a modern slant, of course, it wouldn’t be a Blondie show without Rapture... her rap skills still razor sharp, and this way before Drake or Iggy Azalea were born.

It was a chance to see two music greats together on stage. A dream tag-team that would be the envy of the WWE - if there was a musical equivalent. Great songs stand the testament of time, tonight that theory was well and truly blown out of the water.

However, it wasn’t just about the music, they both really looked like they were enjoying themselves, given how many times they’ve sung the tunes over the decades, this spoke volumes - and one, I’m thankful for being a witness to.