The iconic Chrissie Hynde recently seemed like she was still in her ‘20s as frontwoman of the powerful rock band The Pretenders. The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey was sold-out and filled to capacity on March 30.
At 66-years-old, this magnificent rock icon was just as slender as ever and her sweet vocals miraculously were intact and capable of expressing a full range of emotion. Clad in her own band’s swag tee, and skinny jeans, Chrissie updated her trademark dark hair to blonde and exhibited her usual great feisty ‘tude.
In fact, right off, Hynde challenged her audience to put away their cell phones, and upon spotting a violator, Chrissie instructed him/her to “shove it up your ass!” Security pre-warned us before the show that anyone caught using a cell phone would be kicked out.
Amen! I applaud Hynde. I noticed that the legendary Bob Dylan was also able to have an impact on controlling the audience from using their cell phones during the performance within the past year.
I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed one of the best shows of the year. The song selection and musicianship were superb! Some of my top favorites performed were: “Talk of The Town”, “My City Was Gone”, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, “I’ll Stand By You”, “Mystery Achievement” and “Middle of The Road”.
I think that the songs from the new CD are solid, melodic and have modern themes that fit in with the Pretenders songbook.
The Pretenders opened with the title song from that CD, “Alone”. It was my first time hearing this, and I felt moved by this song mostly because of the message. “Nobody tells me I can’t/Nobody tells me I shant/ No One to say you’re doing it wrong/ I’m at my best/I’m where I belong/Alone/Yeah, I like it/I like being alone/What are you going to do about it?”
Hynde kept the show topical, and even had some props such as a photo of Alfred E. Newman, the fictitious mascot from Mad Magazine. “What, me worry,” Hynde said, referring to the current political climate in the US. She indicated that she doesn’t have to worry, as the tour was going back to the UK.
The crowd was enthusiastic. Security was on top of their game, and sent dancers back to their seats. Fortunately, my husband Franco Pietoso and I were at the end of the row, and got up to get a better look at The Pretenders.
We ended up at the foot of the stage for what would be a two encore set. First, “Back On The Chain Gang”, “Night in My Veins”, and “Tattooed Love Boys” were performed with zest. Then, a momentous evening ended with the band’s most huge hit, “Brass In Pocket” and lastly, “Precious”.
Hynde was joined by one original band member, Martin Chambers, who is the drummer. He was on fire, very exciting. The newer band members fit in so snugly, you wouldn’t have known when they joined.
I highly recommend that all fans of The Pretenders look at their calendar and see them. The Pretenders will perform again at The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on June 28th.
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