Touring in support of her first solo album ever, Chrissie Hynde touched based at Tulsa’s historic Brady Theater last night, bringing a mixed bag of a songs split between Stockholm, her new release, and a string of old Pretenders classics.
A decision to play 8 out of 11 songs from her new album ended up testing the audience, most of whom were obviously there to hear songs from Hynde’s Pretenders catalog. There were many Pretenders tracks — Talk of the Town, Kid and a great take on Downtown, among others. To her credit Hynde did her best to break up the new material with strings of Pretenders classics, but each time time she started on a string of new material the energy in the building seemed to instantly drop. This isn’t to speak to the quality of the record, which contains some of Hynde’s strongest song writing to date, but I don’t think this was the show many in the crowd were expecting.
Luckily, Hynde and her band were on point so it would have been difficult to have not seen the effort and passion applied to each song, old and new. Hynde’s voice in particular has aged very well, remaining as soulful and powerful as ever before. From the beautiful melody of Don’t Get Me Wrong to the deeper growling Downtown, Hynde has no trouble sounding almost studio-perfect on the vocal front.
Prior to the show starting, several announcements were made asking the crowd to please refrain from taking photos or videos during the show. This seemed to deter many people from doing so, but during the first few songs Hynde spent a significant amount of time chastising those in the audience still trying to snap pictures. It’s one thing to ask people not to take photos — but it becomes a bit much when you decide to stop singing song lyrics and instead tell people to put down their phones. It’s Hynde’s (and her band’s) decision, but it’s far more distracting to hear a vocalist yell “PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE” in the middle of a song than it is to see glowing screens throughout the crowd.
While there may have been a struggle to keep the crowd engaged for some of the show, by the time the tail end of the show rolled around a long string of Pretenders songs reeled the crowd back in.
Make no mistake about it, Hynde is not currently touring as part of the nostalgia circuit. While she may bring out a large number of Pretenders hits to sate the masses, she is standing firmly behind this new solo release. It’s just too bad most of the audience doesn’t seem to be supporting the album the way she wishes they would.
Don’t Lose Faith in Me, Biker, 977, In a Miracle, Like in the Movies, Talk of the Town, Kid, Sweet Nuthin’, You or No One, Down the Wrong Way, A Plan Too Far, My City Was Gone, Downtown, The Phone Call, Night in My Veins, Don’t Get Me Wrong, Back on the Chain Gang, Adding the Blue, I Go to Sleep, Precious, Tattooed Love Boys, Dark Sunglasses
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