Blondie and Garbage The Rage and Rapture Tour Ravinia Concert Review – Women Who Rock

On Saturday, July 22nd, 2017, at 6:30pm, the wonderful outdoor music pavilion, Ravinia, in Highland Park, a north suburb of Illinois, hosted the Blondie and Garbage The Rage and Rapture Tour. The two classic and beloved music groups teamed up for the tour, in order to promote Garbage’s latest album, Strange Little Birds, and Blondie’s new album, Pollinator.

Blondie performing on Ravinia stage.


The opening act at 6:30pm was with John Doe & Exene Cervenka, pioneering veterans and members of the LA punk and blue grass band X, which had impressive vocals and music. The band was one of the best openers I have ever seen for a music concert. This year, X is celebrating its 40th anniversary.


Opening act, John Doe & Exene Cervenka, members of the band X.


The extremely talented band, Garbage, along with Scottish lead singer, Shirley Manson, was the next performance. I thought that Garbage, along with a powerful, emotional performance from Manson, was the best part of this performance.  Watching her onstage showed me just what an amazing singer and professional entertainer she really is. While the band Blondie is classic and fun to listen to, it is really unfortunate that Garbage did not headline. Manson definitely commanded the stage, along with her band members, and her vocals were better than ever, especially hearing her live for the first time. This was my first time seeing Garbage live, and it was amazing to hear her sing versus simply recorded on a CD.


Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage.



One thing I also really liked about Manson is that she seemed like a very down to earth person, who becomes a completely different person when performing onstage. When she spoke to the audience, she joked a lot, and mentioned that the irony of performing in Highland Park, since this was also the name of her favorite Scottish whiskey! She also enjoyed being in Chicago since she was first discovered by Garbage in 1994 while performing at Chicago’s Metro Theater back in 1994. She said that Chicago always holds a special place in her heart.


Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage.


When Garbage concluded their amazing set of old and new songs from their latest album, Strange Little Birds, it was 9pm and time for the finale, Blondie! Blondie, just like Garbage, did not fail to impress its fans. It was certainly a treat to see such a fun, classic band of over 40 years, live and up close. Blondie’s lead singer, Debbie Harry, who in my opinion, looks pretty great for age 72! She could still dance and sing. It was also fun to see original members on stage, such as Chris Stein and Clem Burke. I also understand that Harry was promoting her new album, Pollinator, but I found it awkward that she performed her opening number of One Way or Another (my favorite Blondie song), wearing an insect mask, covering her beautiful looks. It was a great experience singing along to Hearts of Glass.


Blondie performing on Ravinia stage.


Overall, Ravinia that evening aced it with three entertaining, talented bands, as well as billboarding and celebrating women in rock and roll. I hope they return to Ravinia soon.


Please credit: Pedro de Jesus / Ravinia


For more information, or to purchase tickets for Ravinia’s current festival season, please visit the website.


Tickets: $90 / $70


Lawn: $38**

**Lawn ticket price increased by $5 on the day of the performance.



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