Review: Blondie and Cyndi Lauper

She Bop(ped) and the other brought the Rapture during the epic 80s nostalgia-fest that saw iconic pop queens Debbie Harry (and Blondie) and Cyndi Lauper enchant, captivate, delight and, yes, rock a super appreciative audience at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena.

Storming the stage and epitomising equal measures rock star swagger and bad ass seductive siren Debbie Harry, helming her killer band, sprinkled a handful of new tracks from their awesome new album Pollinator alongside crowd faves during a dynamic set where the audience were lashed with the punk pop fury of ‘One Way or Another’, ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ and ‘Call Me’, before things eased up with 60s’ nostalgia-tinged ‘In the Flesh’ and the proto-rap of ‘Rapture’.

With energy to burn they kicked on with crowd-pleasing renditions of a wickedly spiky version of ‘Atomic’ and brought the house down with their huge contributions to the disco scene ‘Heart of Glass’ and ‘Dreaming’.


Image: Guy Furrow

Meanwhile, from the moment cotton-candy-haired Lauper hit the stage it was clear she just wanted to have fun – and did the audience ever. The consummate performer is still as quirky and socially relevant as when ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ first burst onto MTV and dominated the radio back in the day, knows crowd banter in her sleep, and won everyone over with that classic New York accent.

Adding a country element to her set with some covers from her most recent album Detour, Lauper kept the crowd going with punky pop hit/celebration of self-gratification ‘She Bop’ and hit the high-notes on the moody ‘I Drove All Night’ before kicking things into overdrive with the joy-inciting ‘Girls’ and her powerhouse ballads: the haunting ‘Time After Time’ and an epic finale of the generation defining, impossibly beautiful acoustic, solo version of ‘True Colors’.

Proof that lightening does strike twice, and in the same night, this is a concert memory that will be cherished (and is likely to have us firing up those old LPs – or putting on high-rotation on YouTube!).

Catch Blondie and Cyndi Lauper at their next gig at Auckland’s Vector Arena on Monday, 17 April! Tickets available here.