COUNCIL BLUFFS — These women rock.
A trio of the baddest female rock singers ever — Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Garbage’s Shirley Manson and X’s Exene Cervenka — took the stage at Stir Cove one after the other and put on a seminar in unrelenting awesome.
Each singer lavished praise upon one another, and deservedly so. Wednesday’s concert was a showcase of excellent music.
“This really is an extraordinary tour,” Manson said. “Thank you, Deborah Harry. You are a goddess on this earth.”
Garbage was a force of nature.
I’ve seen the band play a few times, and I’m always impressed at their solid chops and hard-charging dark and melodic alt rock.
Garbage worked through hits such as “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains,” and they even played the band’s James Bond theme, “The World Is Not Enough.”
Manson was talkative throughout the band’s hourlong set and introduced songs such as “Blackout” and “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” with dark tales interspersed with a little of her wry Scottish humor.
She also gave a shout-out to Garbage guitarist Duke Erikson, a Nebraska native, and the large amounts of his family who showed up to cheer him on.
“We partied massively with them the last time we were here, and honestly I hope we don’t repeat that,” she said.
“Oh, come on, Shirl,” Erikson replied.
“I do like to party, but not that much. You guys are mental,” she said.
Garbage continued to charge through their set, and Manson walked into the crowd during songs such as “Special.”
The band is incredibly tight, which is no surprise with guys like Butch Vig playing in the group. Erikson was especially fun to watch and his dissonant solos during “Stupid Girl” have the song new flavor while retaining its edge.
Blondie followed with a set full of classics such as “Call Me” and “Heart of Glass” as well as several selections from the band’s latest album, “Pollinator.”
This was all with Harry fiercely strutting across the stage, as amazing at 72 as she was when “Heart of Glass” was released in 1979.
Blondie wasted absolutely no time in performing the 14 songs on its set, barely taking an hour to smash through them.
And despite the wicked heat, fans turned out in force. Harry dug their energy.
“I actually thought it was cooling off for a minute, but you’re making me hot,” she said.
Harry was wonderful. Rocking white shades, her classic platinum blonde hair and a black cape emblazoned with “stop (expletive) our planet,” she swaggered around the stage while singing with her golden voice.
Guitarist Chris Stein stood to the side and mostly out of the spotlight, but looked perfectly rock ‘n’ roll as he bashed out riffs in his dark sunglasses.
The band played a whole lot of songs from its latest record, “Pollinator,” and the tunes fit right in with the rest of the Blondie catalog.
The audience loved it, especially women in the crowd who kept pushing closer and closer to the crowd to get a better look at Harry and the band.
Harry was full of energy through to the end, telling fans to “Cruise on!” during “Heart of Glass.”