Blondie & The Beastly Elvis Costello Bring the Heat to Mohegan Sun Arena


By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England

Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut-Sunday July 21, 2019


With temperatures topping 100 degrees outside,  Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie’s red hot coast to coast tour stopped in Connecticut and seared the sold out MoSun Arena.  The queen of the New Wave, Harry, along with one time love interest, guitarist Chris Stein, founded Blondie and exploded onto the New York City punk scene in the late 70’s.

Blondie opened up with “Call Me” (one of her four Billboard 100 #1 hits) , pop megahit “One Way or Another”, and “Doom or Destiny”.  Even at age 74, Debbie Harry proved she can still get a rise out of a crowd with everyone on their feet rapping along to “Rapture”.  Playing all the popular hits, “The Tide Is High”, “Atomic”, “Dreaming” and disco mainstay “Heart of Glass”, Blondie harkens back to iconic nightclubs of the day (CBGB, Studio 54) when Blondie’s unique mix of disco, rap, punk, and pop helped propel them to the top of the New Wave movement.

Elvis Costello

It was clear from the start, Elvis and The Imposters came to play. Co-headliner, Declan Patrick MacManus aka Elvis Costello, along with The Imposters, Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass) and Pete Thomas (drums) with Aisha “Kitten” Kuroi and Briana Lee on vocals, kicked off the second half of the show with a smashing “Pump It Up”, that immediately caught the crowds attention. With a musical career spanning over 30 years and over 30 albums to his credit, Costello brought out some of his best Sunday night. “Clubland”, “I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea”, and “Alison” were just a few of the standouts.

Elvis Costello

While at times a harsh lighting scheme made it difficult to see Elvis, it had no effect on the music as The Imposters were on point all night. “Beyond Belief”, “Green Shirt” and “Accidents Will Happen” carried the set while Elvis began with ‘A Look Of Love” intro to “Photographs Can Lie”, a song he co-wrote with the great Burt Bacharach.

Collaboration has become somewhat of an Elvis trademark. Paul McCartney, T Bone Burnett, and Alan Toussaint,  top a long line of songwriters, producers, and composers he has worked with over his career. The personable Costello explained to the audience that the break up song ,“Burnt Sugar Is So Sweet” was co-written with Carole King.

The full (18 song) set continued on with a few covers “I Cant Stand Up For Falling Down” (Sam and Dave), and “What’s So Funny ‘bout Peace, Love ,and Understanding” (Brinsley Schwarz), mixed with the popular “Everyday I Write The Book”, and ‘Watching The Detectives”.  The Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie tour s just heating up with many available dates throughout the summer.

Blondie Set list:
Call Me
One Way or Another
Doom or Destiny
Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover)
Picture This
Rifle Range
Wipe Off My Sweat sangria style Mexican guitar salsa style
The Tide Is High
(The Paragons cover)
Old Town Road (Lil Naz X cover)
Too Much
Long Time
Orchid Club
Heart of Glass

Elvis Costello Set List:
Pump It Up
Accidents Will Happen
Green Shirt
Photographs Can Lie with book of love intro (wrote song w/Burt)
Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter (wrote w/Carol King)
Beyond Belief
Watching the Detectives
Less Than Zero
This Year’s Girl
(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea
Mr & Mrs Hush
Mystery Dance
I Cant Stand Up For Falling Down
High Fidelity
Every Day I Write the Book
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Brinsley Schwarz cover)



Mike McKenney