The Pretenders: 3/28/2018

So I had some reservations about going to see this show. The reason being, I had seen the Pretenders back in the 80’s, and they were AWESOME! They were so great, I was afraid that seeing them 34 years later would be a let-down. (Note: This show was exactly 34 years to the day after I first saw them.) Anyway, my wife wanted to go because she loves the Pretenders and had never seen them, so I bought tickets. I’m damn glad I did.

The band was playing at the Peace Center in Greenville, about an hour’s drive. The venue has great acoustics and comfortable seats, but it’s a little strange. Most of the people who go there are old. Now I am no spring chicken and have earned my rank as a veteran concertgoer, but I felt like a teenager there. I think that many people purchase season tickets, but I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just older than I feel.

Anyway, the opening band was pretty good, although I forgot their name. But not long afterwards, the Pretenders took the stage.

What can I say? Chrissie Hynde still looks and sounds incredible. She took the stage in tight black pants, tee shirt, pink blazer, and leopard skin shoes, looking every bit the rock goddess that she always was. She had a great band with her (Martin Chambers on drums was the only other original), and the guitarist was especially good, channeling the classic riffs with punk-rockabilly flare.

What I thought was cool was that Chrissie was adamant about people not using their cell phones during the show, stating that they needed to just focus on the music. Now I have no issue with snapping a picture or two, even taking a short 30-second video to share on Facebook if that’s your thing, but I confess an annoyance when I am looking toward a stage and all I see are devices in the air, as if the experience is not real unless it happens on your iPhone screen. So Chrissie did shame someone for trying to use a phone, and I think that scared everyone else.

As far as the performance goes, it was kick ass from beginning to end, with an encore that was mind-blowing. She interspersed the tunes with some banter and cool stories, but not to the point of drudgery. The energy was high, and she played for what felt like a long time. Totally felt like I got my money’s worth.

I found a setlist online, but there were some things that I noticed were definitely not correct, so I edited it a little. I think this is mostly right now, but I am not promising 100% accuracy. But you should be able to get an idea of how the show was.

Thanks Chrissie, for all the great music. Long may you rock!

Setlist:

  • Alone
  • Gotta Wait
  • Talk of the Town
  • Down the Wrong Way
  • Private Life
  • My City Was Gone
  • Let’s Get Lost
  • Kid
  • Back on the Chain Gang
  • Hymn To Her
  • Forever Young
  • Don’t Get Me Wrong
  • I’ll Stand by You
  • I Hate Myself
  • Thumbelina
  • Night in My Veins
  • Middle of the Road
  • Mystery Achievement

Encore:

  • ?????
  • Stop Your Sobbing
  • The Wait
  • Tattooed Love Boys
  • Precious

The Pretenders with The Alarm: 3/28/1984

This concert ranks among my top shows. It was nothing short of amazing! Two great bands for $11.75. This is why I am glad I grew up when I did.

I went to this show with my girlfriend, Enid. We both liked the Pretenders, but I was really psyched. I had a secret crush on Chrissie Hynde.

We had great seats close to the front: Row F, which I suppose was sixth row. The Alarm opened and played a kick-ass set. They were on acoustic guitars and I remember thinking how hard these dudes rocked on acoustics. I was familiar with a couple of their tunes from the radio, but I bought their record not long after seeing them live.

Then The Pretenders came out and opened with “The Wait.” Oh… My… God! Seeing Chrissie on stage clad in leather pants was like the vision of a rock and roll goddess. I was in complete lust. But my appreciation for the band’s musical talent quickly took precedence. They were tight, high energy, and rocked from beginning to end.

I had an opportunity to see Chrissie solo a few years ago, but I passed. This concert was so great and so perfect, I did not want to taint the memory. I want to keep the image of her singing “Bad Boys Get Spanked” pure and adulterated.

Here are the set lists from both acts. Rock on!!

The Alarm’s Setlist:

  • Shout to the Devil
  • Declaration
  • For Freedom
  • Third Light
  • Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke
  • Reason 41
  • The Deceiver
  • Howling Wind
  • Blaze of Glory
  • The Stand (Prophecy)
  • Sixty Eight Guns
  • Marching On

The Pretenders’ Setlist:

  • The Wait
  • Message of Love
  • The Adultress
  • Time the Avenger
  • My City Was Gone
  • Show Me
  • Talk of the Town
  • Private Life
  • Thin Line Between Love and Hate
  • Thumbelina
  • Back on the Chain Gang
  • Pack It Up
  • Bad Boys Get Spanked
  • Mystery Achievement
  • Middle of the Road
  • Up the Neck
  • Precious
  • Room Full of Mirrors

The Kinks: 8/23/1980

kinks_8-23-80

Some people seem to be pretty down on The Kinks, which is understandable. They think that their music in the 80’s was too commercial, and some people are upset over Ray Davies’ relationship with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. That said, I am glad that I got to see the band before they collapsed. I thought they were really good live, playing a nice mix of old and new songs with the same energy and enthusiasm.

Since this concert was almost 37 years ago, a lot of the details are fuzzy, but I remember the playfulness of the band on stage. They would tease the crowd with a few chords from a song, stop, and then play something else, returning to the song later to satisfy the hungry audience.

Some of the songs that stand out in my memory are “Lola,” “You Really Got Me,” “Paranoia,” and “All Day and All of the Night.”

I was not able to find the setlist online, but I did find a site where someone took photos from this show and posted them. Pretty cool! Here’s the link if you want to check them out.