BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
“My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant.” – Elvis Costello
The bespectacled, Grammy award-winning British rock singer/songwriter, who has done lots of different things music-wise, was known for his funky rock ‘n roll songs early on as well as a slew of diverse melodic pop tunes that filled the air waves.
Genre-spanning visionary, amazing songstress, style icon and the ever-popular new wave group Blondie’s luminous front woman, Debbie Harry, once said: “Music has its own emotional embodiment. It carries an emotion with it…”
These two iconic musicians have been shaking up the contemporary music scene for years and audiences still can’t get enough.
This summer, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie will be rocking Forest Hills Stadium with their exciting co-headlining performance on July 24. So, mark those calendars and get your tickets.
The memorable event will mark the first time Blondie has graced the Forest Hills stage and a return for Costello, who last performed at the venue on his Imperial Bedroom tour nearly 35 years ago to the day.
Costello’s last national tour in late 2018 was a great success. The band “came out swinging” (Star Tribune) in Minneapolis, were “unstoppable” in Anaheim (OC Register) and played an “epic and euphoric” (Variety) show in LA that even at nearly three hours “[left] ‘em wanting more.”
The Imposters are: Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass) and Pete Thomas (drums).
Costello, Thomas and Nieve are all members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Costello is a Grammy award-winning composer and member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
American rock band Blondie hit the road with their uber-collaborative “ode to bees” album, Pollinator (BMG) in 2017, and fans went wild. Featuring the disco-infused single “Fun,” the 80s-esque anthem “Long Time,” and the irreverent “Doom or Destiny,” Blondie’s eleventh studio album was praised by the New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and others for its dynamic mix: the band’s trailblazing sound combined with new influences from some of modern music’s greatest innovators, like Joan Jett, and others.
Blondie’s spectacular live shows were famous for their “flair and precision” (Rolling Stone).
Their influence both shaped and continues to inform, music, fashion, art and pop culture.
Costello and Blondie shared the limelight near the top of the UK Singles Chart 40 years ago when Blondie’s unforgettable “Heart of Glass” went neck and neck alongside Elvis Costello & The Attraction’s “Oliver’s Army” in the company of The Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor and ABBA. Blondie’s seminal album “Parallel Lines” reached #1 on the Album Chart the same week, while Costello’s “Armed Forces” landed at #3.
Costello’s eclectic recording career began in 1977 with the release of “My Aim Is True.” And fans will surely remember This Year’s Model and Get Happy, King of America, Blood & Chocolate, The Juliet Letters with the Brodsky Quartet, The River in Reverse with Allen Toussaint and Wise Up Ghost with The Roots. Produced by Geoff Emerick, who engineered all of the Beatles’ most ambitious records, Imperial Bedroom has been described as traditional pop with a post-Sgt. Pepper production.
Costello & The Imposters’ well known “Look Now” was released by Concord Records in 2018. The catalogue will soon include the E.P., “Purse,” containing songwriting collaborations with Burt Bacharach and Paul McCartney and musical settings of lyrics by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1976, Blondie has managed to bring rock, punk, disco and ska together racking up four Billboard Hot 100 #1 hits: “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me,” “The Tide Is High,” and “Rapture.”
It was their boundary-pushing pop that made Blondie widely recognized as one of the most influential bands of our time. Debbie Harry will reflect on this and more in her highly anticipated memoir out later this year.
Described as international ambassadors of New York cool, Blondie – vocalist-songwriter Debbie Harry, guitarist and co-writer Chris Stein, powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, and long-time band members bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen – their chart-topping success, fearless spirit and rare longevity led to an induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, various awards, and more than 50 million albums sold worldwide to date.
Costello’s unconventional memoir, “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink,” was published in 2015. The book went on to spend several weeks on the NY Times Best Seller List.
For more info. or to buy tickets, visit ForestHillsStadium.com. Tickets to all events will be available without service fees at the new Stadium box office, located just outside on Burns St., every Friday from 12 pm – 8 pm. Fans can also purchase tickets at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade (located off of Bedford Ave stop on the L train) during their box office hours, Fridays & Saturdays 12 to 6 pm.
Forest Hills Stadium is located just steps from the E, M, F, R subway trains at Forest Hills-71st Ave. as well as the Forest Hills LIRR station.