Music is inextricably linked to memories of youth, from discovering your new favorite band to getting grounded when your parents grossly misinterpreted the lyrics of "MMMbop." Enjoy music without horrifying glimpses into parental minds with this GrouponLive deal to see Blondie, with special guests The Smithereens, at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. For $19, you get one ticket for seating in the midbalcony or gallery on Tuesday, October 2, at 8 p.m. (up to a $48 value, including the facility fee). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
American new-wave pioneers Blondie continue to build on their already legendary careers this fall as they tear their way down the East Coast. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees rose to prominence in the late ‘70s and single-handedly saved the hair-bleach industry with the help of flaxen-haired lead singer Debbie Harry and a slew of electrified hits. After a decade-and-a-half hiatus, the band reformed in 1997, picking up where it left off and turning out genre-bending music with Chris Stein's amped-up guitar and Harry's distinctively smoky vocals. Blondie sends fans into a fever pitch with a back catalog of iconic tunes, such as "Call Me," "One Way or Another," and “Heart of Glass,” while also introducing ears to contemporary tracks from its 2011 album, Panic of Girls, praised by AllMusic.com for retaining the band's "cosmopolitan cool."
The Smithereens warm up the stage with their Jersey-bred college rock, which blossomed out of the ‘80s and into the collective consciousness. Original members Pat DiNizio, Jim Babjak, and Dennis Diken have welcomed bassist Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion to the band to rip through their catalog of hits, including the moody "Blood and Roses" and the poppy, guitar-soaked ballad to the agonies of unrequited love that is "A Girl Like You." Last year's aptly titled album, 2011, drew praise from USA Today, which said "start to finish, it's classic Smithereens: Marshall-amped post-mod power-pop."
State Theatre New Jersey
The State Theatre New Jersey was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre New Jersey to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.