The Pretenders | 02.06.09 | Philly

Words by: Cat Chapman | Images by: Rod Snyder

The Pretenders :: 02.06.09 :: Electric Factory :: Philadalphia, PA

The Pretenders :: 02.06 :: Philly
The Pretenders are currently on tour promoting their 9th album Break Up The Concrete (see JamBase review here) which was released on October 8th 2008. The touring lineup is with Chrissie Hynde is guitarist James Walbourne (The Pernice Brothers), pedal steel player Eric Heywood (Son Volt, Richard Buckner), bassist Nick Wilkinson and fellow founding Pretender drummer Martin Chambers.

They came to Philadelphia with opening band American Bang, a Nashville, Tennessee band slightly reminiscent of '70s Southern rock with a slight Kings of Leon sound. They slowly but surely won the crowd over and were loudly applauded at the end of their set.

The Pretenders took the stage with "Boots of Chinese Plastic," the first single off the new album, offering a great rockabilly sound with a classic Pretenders twist. Hynde's voice was exactly as it was in the 1980s and she looked fantastic - hard to believe she is 57! The crowd, mostly older middle aged, were ecstatic to see her and were cheering and whistling.

Hynde was very interactive with the crowd throughout the evening, and gave a shout out to Morrissey during "Message of Love," changing the lyric from "like Bridgette Bardot" to "like Morrissey!!" she exclaimed with a laugh.

But beware! It's obvious that Hynde loves performing and loves her audience, but it became clear that she hates being photographed! Repeatedly throughout the evening she gestured to people in the crowd with camera phones to move off to the side, and announced, "The photographers in front are there to torment her, but put the camera phones away," and then posed for one shot with her guitar before starting off "Talk of The Town."

The band played most of the hits ("Back on the Chain Gang," "Stop Your Sobbing" and more) and a healthy mix of new music, too. In addition to the long set, they did three energetic encores.

Chrissie Hynde and her ever-changing band have been performing for 30 years. Through it all, she has been a powerful, tough, sexy female icon. You should definitely catch them if they are coming to (or near!) your town. Guaranteed, you won't be disappointed!

Here's The Pretenders live with one you may recognize.

Continue reading for more pics of The Pretenders and American Bang...

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