The Pretenders Saturday, November 25th, 2016 Mohegan Sun Arena Reviewed
Chrissie Ellen Hynde is the leader of the pack for the Pretenders. Outspoken and tough as nails I have adored her since I was a schoolgirl. No one really knew this and when I saw her a couple years ago and tore up her set for her shit attitude and lack luster performance her ‘fans’ attacked like rabid bees.
I try not to give a shit. I mean let’s face it Chrissie kisses no ass and if she sees something that sucks she will call it out as we all should. For me to pan a performance of a woman who I basically have worshiped for 40 years is no easy doing. I refuse to be a fan who sees no wrong in an artist- do your job, maintain your standard, serve me exactly what made me love you to begin with, or shut up
This go ’round we have The Pretenders opening for Stevie Nicks. Of those I have polled it was determined this bill should be reversed. It was also discussed that the tour title be changed from the ’24 Karat Gold Tour” to “the Golden Girls Tour” or perhaps ‘The Menopause Tour’, but the ladies showed up in Uncasville CT at the clanking, light flashing smokers wet dream facility known as Mohegan Sun Arena. A casino to cringe over where doughy sad sacks dress up in cheap ‘fancy clothes’ and pretend they’re celebs while playing the slots and losing the rent money. Oh what a lovely time.
But this is Connecticut not exactly the entertainment mecca of the world, our downtown are ghost towns and if you want culture, go buy some yogurt. I’m being a bit harsh, there are pockets of culture and art- you just have to look hard for it, really hard.
Tonight I saw the Pretenders I remember. Martin Chambers holding down the drums apparently is all it takes to turn Chrissie from bitching diva to honest to goodness rock and roll queen. In a set plagued by mistakes and technical difficulties you would expect Ms Hynde to spout off. Shes known for being temperamental (part of her charm) but for some reason tonight she was so full of smiles and self depreciation that you couldn’t help but find it endearing. Chrissie called herself out numerous times wondering if we’d caught all the ‘fuck ups’ cuz ‘she did’, but I aside for some out of tune guitars and a couple flubbed lyrics- who was keeping track?
The simple fact of the matter is that despite the abuse, the decades of performing and the endless rants her voice is 100% perfect. No loss of range or power, its exactly the same. Exactly distinct. Despite physical changes (a rounder looser Chrissie) and her newly grey/blonde coif, Chrissie Hynde is that same chick from the ’80s. Her bookends once again two cute Brit boys will never be Honeyman-Scott and Farndon but they fit right in with the badass babe. There were technical difficulties for them as well and it seems only drummer Chambers was without snafu.
A set list heavy on the new album left this Stevie crowd cold. Dressed in what appeared to be Thanksgiving table clothes and other witchy like garb they only came to life when the hits were hitting- I on the other hand am digging their new album “Alone” and opening with the title track started off the night with perfect words and a danceble hook.
Hits were played, from ‘Brass in Pocket’ and “My City Was Gone’ to “Don’t Get Me Wrong” and “Ohio” so there was enough for the old timers to sing along to- but we can’t dismiss the fact that The Pretenders new album is greater than noteworthy.
Now, I know that she does a duet with Stevie “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”, I believe, but honestly- no. I had no desire to see the twirling gypsy and honestly after a fantastic set it would have been a drag. I legged it, there’s no reason to tarnish perfection.