New Blog + The Pretty Reckless Concert Review

The Pretty Reckless - Wonder Ballroom

Hey all, I just wanted to post up to kick off my new blog. Here you will find more casual info about me and random music-related stuff that doesn’t fit on the rest of the site. Like this…

The Pretty Reckless Concert Review

Last weekend I caught The Pretty Reckless at The Wonder Ballroom in Portland for their “Going To Hell” tour witih Adelita’s Way and Falling Through April. Here’s a quick recap.

Falling Through April

I wanted to not like these guys…I really did. They came across as a boy band with instruments. But damnit, they had to go and win me over with a stellar performance of Katy Perry’s “E.T.” The guitarists seemed to have chops, the rhythm section was solid, and the vocalist just nailed it. Their original material was hooky and tight as well, so if you can get over the boy-band factor, definitely check these guys out.

Adelita’s Way

Clearly the reason that a lot of people came to the show, Adelita’s Way commanded a huge response and kept the energy going throughout the set. Vocalist Rick DeJesus handled the audience well, but it wasn’t hard to see that he was just going through the paces as he rambled without much forethought.

I’ve gotta give props to guitarist Robert Zakaryan though; the guy has chops. It’s a shame that the lack of a second guitarist hurt the mix so much. His blazing solos came across muddy and annoying when they should have been the highlight of many songs. Bassist Andrew Cushing was solid as well, but the spectacle in this band is Tre Stafford. This guy is easily one of the most entertaining drummers I’ve seen live in a long time. Not only is he a killer drummer, but I’m pretty sure that his sticks spent almost as much time flying above his head as in his hands, all without missing a beat.

All that said, the band’s music is only mildly memorable, and I just can’t call myself a fan. It’s great radio rock, I suppose. If that’s what they’re going for, more power to them.

The Pretty Reckless

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge The Pretty Reckless fan, and no, it’s not just because Taylor Momsen is hot (though, that definitely helps). Their music just has a depth to it that I haven’t heard from a lot of modern rock bands; it’s reminiscent of ’70s rock with modern edge that connects them to the current generation.

What’s striking about the band is the blatantly-obvious age gap between Momsen and the rest of the group. I won’t dwell on this, but I will say that I understand the ’70s connection better after seeing them live. Haha!

Even though The Pretty Reckless headlined, their lack of on-stage energy and effects was a bummer, especially after Adelita’s Way. I realize that they are leaning heavily on the stripped-down rock vibe, but this made for a really dull stage-show. Taylor did great (I think…she rocked out but barely showed up in the mix). The string section was another story; they barely moved. Ben Phillips is an accomplished guitarist, but looks like he’s been around long enough to know better than to kill himself on stage…for better or worse. Mark Damon stood like a statue, sporting sunglasses, giving a “too cool for you” vibe. This may work for signing sessions, but on stage…c’mon man, snooze fest. Drummer Jamie Perkins rocks. He’s just an all-around solid drummer…not flashy, just great at what he does.

They played most of the songs I expected to hear and the crowd loved them, so that’s all that really matters, I suppose. The drum solo at the end of the set was also a pleasant surprise, and it DOMINATED.

All in all, it was a great time. Check them out on their tour.

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