by Anne Hickman
For three days now, I've been on cloud nine after seeing the Pretenders show in Portland Oregon Saturday night.
Total bliss! Think of every positive adjective that you know and apply them all and you'll get the idea. I guess
it's high time I wrote something about it now.
There were plenty of happy fans around me. Portland really showed its appreciation for this band. I hope they saw
that too so they'll come back again someday ("maybe tomorrow maybe someday ... " )
Did I mention that this was a great show? Indeed, the band was righteously on target. They all seemed confident,
relaxed, and having a swell time. (Maybe as happy as me?? Nah. No way.)
I suppose that the only complaint I had was that I forgot to bring pencil and paper, so you'll not get a set list
from me. (And I had tried so hard to think of everything to bring with me too. Water, sunscreen, sunglasses. But
no pencil and paper. Darn!)
The show followed pretty much the same pattern as all the others reported. No "Rabe de Nube." They did
"Thin Line between Love and Hate" for the "ballad portion" of the show. They also did a slow
burn on "I'll Stand by You" which really impressed one of my friends who went to the show with me. They
were on fire for "My City Was Gone". And dancin up a storm on "Mystery Achievement."
Mostly similar comments and banter throughout the concert as reported for other shows: comments on the Lilith backlash,
dedication to Pete and James on "Kid". Chrissie Hynde did add a pretty raunchy joke about her "policy"
on hot dogs. (Very funny though).
And there were the inevitably, grouchy security guards (one glaring right in front of me during "Thin Line"
as he checked tickets on an appreciative fan who had worked her way to the front). Chrissie Hynde got even for
all of us by inviting everyone up front during the encore. Way to go!!
And did I mention how fantastic the show was? The band looked great too. Chrissie Hynde wore that black Pretenders
t-shirt with the hot pink letters, cowboy hat (which soon came off), cowboy boots and black pants. Adam wore those
cute jeans with the turned up cuffs. And Andy and Martin wore tank tops. (Very nice sets of biceps on those two
The venue was in the run-down, riverfront, industrial part of town with a view of the best of Portland's many bridges.
We had to wind our way across railroad tracks and around warehouses to get into the venue. Personally, I liked
this part -- very post-apocolyptic -- made me feel just right for a Pretenders show. The weather was very pleasant
with a light breeze and a bit of sun breaking through the cloud cover now and then.
One of the local papers emphasized the Pretenders part of the show including a photo of the band in their announcement
of the concert.
On a personal note, I was also honored to meet Taunia and Lisa. Hope that you two had as much fun as I did.
The only thing I could have possibly wanted was more of what they showed us. The only words I had left in my vocabulary
at the end of the show were: WOW! AWESOME!! FANTASTIC!!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After we found the venue, which was very much like a big fruit stand, a very big fruit stand, we took
our front-row (finally! - and thanks to an angel) seats and held our breath - we knew this show, the last one on
the tour, was gonna rock! There were no surprises in the set list other than the fact that they only did one slow
song in the middle (Thin Line) and left out Hymn to Her/Rabo de Nube.
There was a girl with the black '87 tour shirt with Chrissie's guitar on it in the front row. Chrissie told Adam
at one point, "Adam, if you forget any of your parts, there's a girl up here playing air guitar, so you can
check with her... she's wearing my old guitar, too."
Before Tattooed Love Boys, Chrissie told the audience we'd been to all the shows (prompting a mass of people to
approach after their set to ask if we really went to all the shows on the tour...). Then she looked at us
again and said, "You two are insane" and said the next song was for us! I kind of have mixed feelings
about that event... I love the song, it's always been a favourite of ours, but the subject matter has me concerned!
Their set was absolutely fantastic. During the encore of Mystery Achievement, she asked if anyone wanted to come
up and dance with her and the stage was rushed. We ran up there (the security had been keeping everyone on the
audience side of a painted white line) to enjoy the last of the show from the edge of the stage.
Then they left the stage. But later on, they came back out! Yes, during The B's set, they returned. Near the end
of the show, during Love Shack, the guys (except Mart, who was filming the fiasco) came out in full drag! Andy
had a white long-sleeved sequined blouse with a black gauzey pleated knee-length skirt and glitter on his face.
He wore a shoulder-length wig and a gold glitter-covered antenna on top of his head. Adam wore a lovely red dress
and had a bosom of oranges. Can't remember what Zeb wore, but it seems like it was a long dress. Some of the roadies
dressed up too.
Chrissie also joined them, dancing off to the side while the guys strutted their stuff, or lack thereof. Fred Schneider
said "These are some poor excuses for women." He called them the Wonderland Dancers. Adam lost his oranges
soon enough. It was difficult to stand up at this point, we were laughing so hard. When the B's returned for their
encore, the guys came back out with bubble pipes. They blew bubbles and spun around, sort of floating across the
stage. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
What a great fucking night. What a great fucking tour. To the Pretenders, the B-52's and the Royal Crown Revue,
we say a humongous "THANK YOU!" for making this one fantastic summer.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
by Sarah Campbell
Once again Chrissie Hynde was amazing. The venue was outdoor and the crowd was psyched for a good concert. Chrissie
was in ultimate form. She invited us to dance with her during "Mystery Achievement". I will never be
able to listen to that song again without thinking of her voguing on stage. She brought tears to my eyes with her
love ballad "Thin Line Between Love and Hate". She was that powerful of a performer that night. (No one
has ever brought me to tears before with their music, but she has.) And of course the band brought the entire crowd
to a higher level with the final song "Brass in Pocket". She and the band of course rocked hard. Chrissie
came out during the B-52's portion of the show to dance with the gang to "Love Shack". Chrissie acknowledged
a couple of fans who have apparently traveled to every show. She also acknowledged the two Pretenders who have
passed on and made reference to hoping they were up there and not below. References were also made to the band
member from Sheffield, England where a lot of great musicians are from. (I've found the Sheffield, England phenomenon
to be interesting as well.) Chrissie also encouraged us to eat our vegetables and to leave the poor creatures alone.
Martin Chambers was fabulous and witty on drums. (He was also easy on the eyes as well.) What else can I say. I
wish it wasn't the last show in the tour because I would have followed them any where to hear them play another
night. We love you Chrissie and we love the Pretenders.