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February 3, Austin, TX - Music Hall

by Jerry Elmas

Unfortunately the Pretenders did not have a good night last night here in Austin. I got a sense that due to the audience they were going through the motions more than anything else for over half of the show. The band was tight and Adam Seymour was incredible. But it was only toward the end of the show the band seemed to actually be enjoying themselves. What should have been a great show really was at least for this fan quite a disappointment.

But don't blame the Pretenders for all of the problems. Blame the crowd because in many ways this audience was the problem. The Pretenders in the end were gracious with Chrissie saying that "you guys were better than us tonight".

The show started off on the wrong foot with a number of microphone and guitar problems which caused Chrissie to have to switch guitars a few times. She made a comment to the effect that she was having "a bad guitar day". But the problems like I said were really with the crowd.

On (2) separate occasions Chrissie stopped in the middle of a song to chastise members of the audience in the front rows. During "Kid", she put the microphone down to the person causing the problems and said something to the effect of "if you have something to share with the class, let's hear it". It sounded like this idiot was making some reference to Chrissie's PETA stand. It was hard to tell but you could see that Chrissie was disgusted by this. Somehow she was able to start the song back up but there was no energy. It was all quite awkward.

Chrissie also stopped during performance of Pop Star. It seemed to be because of the same people as before.

The crowd gave only a tepid response to the songs off of "Viva". Chrissie referred to "Who's Who" as "Another song you've never heard" and continued by saying "We'll get to the older songs which you obviously prefer in a little while".

There were no seats so you would have expected people to be dancing, to be moving. But for the most part people just stood there.

Show started off with "Samurai" which heard live has a much stronger effect than the studio version. Very sensual and well done. Except for the problems with the crowd previously mentioned, the repartage between Chrissie and the audience was good. We also were treated to a spur of the moment change to "Don't Get Me Wrong" where after Chrissie took a joint from the crowd she launched into a mock high version of the rest of the song. Band played "Precious" as a final encore which did not seem part of original set list.

Set list was:

Legalize Me
Message Of Love
Talk of the Town
Downtown (Akron)
My City Was Gone
Baby's Breath
Who's Who
Back On The Chain Gang
Don't Get Me Wrong
Night In My Veins
Room Full Of Mirrors


Pop Star
Middle Of The Road
Mystery Achievement
Stop You Sobbing

I'd like to say this was a great show. But the fact is it was not. it should have been a great show but because of the stupidity of a few and the lethargy of the others it was only a fair show.

I for one do not subscribe to Chrissie's view on eating meat etc. But the fact is that I plucked down my money to see her and the band, not to be sidetracked by the doings of a few idiots. Her world view is not the reason I was there. I was there for the music and in my mind the music suffered last night. To all in the crowd who made this a less than stellar show I'd like to say, "Thanks for nothing".

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