Chrissie Hynde Rocks Tower Theater

Last Tuesday night, the incomparable Chrissie Hynde, front woman of Pretenders rocked Tower Theater.  She strutted out in ripped skinny jeans and a kick-ass, embroidered white tuxedo jacket, embodying the essence of old-school rock.  My mom, a huge Pretenders/Hynde fan gushed: “Is there anyone cooler than her?!”  I could not agree more, as the spry 63-year-old vegan rocked multiple instruments (her signature white electric guitar, a tambourine, an acoustic guitar…did I miss something here?) and schooled us all with her beautiful, unchanged voice sounding better than ever before.

Opening for Hynde were The Rails, London-based acoustic duo Kami Thompson and James Walbourne.  The duo was superb musically, and each gave it their all with the delicate yet powerful songs from their new album Fair Warning (listen on Spotify here). I was certainly impressed by Walbourne, who would later join Hynde in her performance, tweeting:

Once their short set was over (I wanted it to be longer!), the pressure was on for Hynde.  As the excited, mostly over-thirty crowd filed in carrying drinks, many remarked, like my mother, for instance, on the legendary acts last seen in the Tower’s historic halls, like David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Genesis.  The once-relaxed energy in the room became a frenzy as everyone shuffled to their hallowed seats, anxious to be in the right spot as the saintly attendants carefully shined their flashlights and directed them. Once the lights went out and the stage lit up, that was it.  The frenzy became a storm as the crowd embraced their rock ‘n’ roll queen, who swaggered out in all of her shining glory, and launched with no introduction into the Pretenders’ “Don’t Lose Faith In Me” and “Biker.”  It was not until after the third song, another Pretenders’ track, “977” that Hynde briefly remarked: “It’s rare that I go that long without talking, but…” immediately went right back to playing, starting up “In a Miracle” off her new solo album Stockholm.  Her adoring, dancing horde did not seem to notice, grasping and gulping at every chord, thrilled just to be in her presence.  No matter what song or era it was from, the crowd sang along, not missing a beat.  The crowd was having so much fun that Hynde invited a lucky fan to join her, remarking, “I saw all these girls dancing and singing–just had to do it!”

Other highlights of the night were James Walbourne’s AMAZING GUITAR SOLOS…

…spirited aisle dancing, lighter-waving, Hynde’s quippy one-liners (i.e. “This cuddly teddy bear makes me feel like Stevie Nicks“), and her overall mind-boggling performance.

In other words, Chrissie Hynde’s concert was an amazing experience and it was such an honor watching a pro like her perform.  She has such a huge presence and so much energy it was hard to keep up with her, and that was such a refreshing feeling in a world of carefully choreographed performances. Alternating between instruments and, of course, leading the way with her astonishing pipes, it was no longer a mystery as to how Hynde is such a talented, effortlessly powerful, and lasting performer–she just is.

Listen below to the incredible Chrissie Hynde’s solo album, Stockholm, and get it here!

1 Comment

  1. Mars Blomgren

    November 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Great review, you nailed it. Loved the very excitable tweets you were throwing out there in the twitterverse during the show. I had no time to be tweeting during it I was too busy singing, dancing and floating on air.

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