The Pretenders @ 9:30 Club - Monday, February 2, 2009 - $45
There are a number of nostalgia tours operating these days. I'll admit to throwing my money at one not too long ago (Van Halen), and my morbid curiosity was the driving force behind my going. I saw The Who last November; not quite nostalgia as they had released the Endless Wire album in 2006.
In theory, I don't support nostalgia tours. Ever since The Eagles came out with their money grabbing "Hell Freezes Over" tour, I've not been keen on the idea. It was 1994 and they hadn't made any music in 14 years. Doesn't seem right. Who, today, would pay big bucks to sit and listen to Jerry Seinfeld tell the same old jokes he told at the height of his career? Musicians can get away with it, though.
Even though I'm anti-nostalgia tours, there are a few bigger acts that I would see as they promote a new album. Nine times out of ten, I won't care about the new album, as I simply want to hear legendary musicians knock me out with songs I've been hearing all my life. This was the premise around seeing the Pretenders Monday night.
I am not a Pretenders superfan. I know the basic radio-play tunes; your Ohios, your Back on the Chain Gangs, and your Middle of the Roads. But the Pretenders are promoting a new album, Break Up the Concrete. And we heard a number of tracks from Break Up the Concrete on Monday night - yet no Middle of the Road, much to my disappointment.
How was the show?
It was packed inside the 9:30 Club with a core of middle-aged folks in attendance. Chrissie Hynde came out looking pretty much as she always has. Time has been kind to her. There are obviously some younger dudes now in the line up (though one grew older Monday night, as it was guitarist -James Walbourne's- birthday).
The major take aways from the show:
- Not as loud or rocking as I would have expected, though probably at the right levels when I stop to consider the performers and the audience.
- Chrissie Hynde claimed to be desperate these days, and jokingly (?) suggested that anyone interested should line up after the show. And no, sacklunch, she hasn't been married to Jim Kerr from Simple Minds since 1990.
- Hynde apparently has no love for one (or maybe all) Oboe players, as she ridiculed one for a few minutes, ultimately informing us all that the Oboe has the smallest reed.
- Two encores, without Middle of the Road? C'mon. Do it. Sing it. You know the words. It would have been easy.
Name the top 10 women of rock (all time).
A few of my choices: Joan Jett, the ladies of Heart, Janis Joplin, Debbie Harry...
Who would you choose?