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February 25, Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre

by Dave GS

Went to the Pretenders concert February 25 in Chicago. Been a big Pretenders fan since back when. Thirty-eight bucks each for the tickets. Cab ride to and from, about 32 bucks. Not cheap for a working stiff with the first kid on the way, but probably the last night on the town for a while so....

Much anticipation! The Pretenders! Brass in Pocket and Kid and Message of Love and Back On The Chain Gang and Biker. Wow. Venue was a funky old movie theatre in Chicago. Maybe 1500 seats and standing room in front of the stage. We wait a half hour past the posted start time and the opening act is... Sandra Bernhard. So we listen to a half hour or more of "comedy" and bad singing. Lots of feminist rant in the style of Dennis Miller.

Hey, is it okay to stereotype and denigrate Asian and Latin women for being "passive" if you're a feminist? Must be.

Pretenders finally take the stage. They absolutely rock. Martin Chambers on drums is amazing. Adam Seymour and Chrissie on guitar are perfect, although they could have mixed Adam up in volume some. Loving every minute of it. Then between sets Chrissie starts in on the PETA thing. "Hey who ate meat today? Well, F*** YOU!" "When you're eating your hamburger tomorrow, just remember F*** YOU!" "We're gonna protest tomorrow at the GAP for selling leather clothes" etc. The pattern of the spontaneous onstage talk seemed to follow the script of the other show reviews posted here pretty closely.

Hint for the stage manager: Don't shine a megawatt purple spotlight in the crowd's face so they can't see the show because of afterimages. Musically speaking though, a great show to see. This is no studio band. The Pretenders just plain rock. But am I wrong to expect a band just shut up and play? Does saying "F*** YOU" to your fans win any friends for PETA?

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