by Joe Kratz
Well, after 2 mind-blowing shows in Portland ( I was front center both nights) it was back up the Oregon coast
to my home soil of Canada for my third show in as many nights (once again front center....but unlike the cost effective
general admission shows in Portland where you simply "get there early" this one cost me $175.00 for front
row. What could the Pretenders possibly do for an encore??? Well the answer is simple, provide a performance with
the same intensity as the Oregon shows....Chrissie delivered!!! For the third night in a row Chrissie and Co. were
in fine form in the old and extremely lovely, historic Orpheum Threatre. A theatre that brings back memories of
some great shows for me including Lou Reed and Lenny Kravitz dating back to the early 90's. Although one would
be inclined to sit in the comfortable seats the Orpheum provides, it took only 3 songs for the fans to get off
their asses and rush the stage to join in the fun. After show opener "Samurai" and a ripping version
of "Legalize Me" Chrissie got rolling with a plea to put a stop to the "meat,leather and fur industries"
as she said "yeah fur , I know you guys like that up here (Canada)"!!!! .." all of you who've eaten
a burger today can go F&#K yourselves" . The crowd was very quiet... Chrissie said "well we're off
to a great start tonight!!" This brought chuckles to the faces of the entire band. I was laughing my ass of
The show was yet another display of why Chrissie is among the most important of branches on the tree of rock and
roll history (for me she's the entire tree!!). They belted their way through all the classics and a healthy dose
of new material. A nice touch as well is the inclusion of "Downtown (Akron)" from the underrated "Packed"
CD. This Vancouver show made me think back to the comments of a friend whom I'd taken to a Minneapolis show back
in 1994. It was his first experience seeing Chrissie and he wanted to understand why I am so "freaked out"
over Chrissie Hynde. After the show his words were "she's such a presence on stage..she really commands your
attention, what a voice....man!!!" That same friend flew with me to Vancouver to see this show and once again
was knocked out.
Before the show I was fortunate enough to have the rare opportunity to attend the Warner meet n greet back stage.
When I walked in Martin said with a smile "you again, don't you get sick of seeing us" what else could
I say but "never!" Adam and Andy actually remembered me from an Atlantic City show back in Aug. 99 where
I had the rare opportunity to hang and talk with them for a bit...it was nice to chat with them again....great
musicians but even greater people. Real class acts...and Chrissie well I could barely bring myself to go over and
get my "Packed" Poster signed. At one point I considered actually leaving the room and not bothering
her...but it was a once in a lifetime chance so I thought I'd better do it... she was kind and commented on the
"McShit" T-shirt that I'd thrown on the stage the night before in Portland "that was F#%ing great,
thanks" she said. (Hugh Brackett mentions it during his review of the Feb. 18th show) A memory I will never
forget...A terrific 72 hour visit to the great north west ...3 shows in 3 nights....
The real deal.
The reason I listen to music.