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June 30, Richmond, VA - Classic Amphitheatre

by LB

Break out the Geritol. No, not for the band members, for the audience. The Pretenders put on a near classic performance at the Classic Amphitheater in Richmond, VA and the crowd's appreciation was displayed by very nearly all of them remaining on their lazy butts throughout the entire performance. This is NOT TV, for chrissakes! It's a real live performance by real live people who respond to enthusiasm with enthusiasm. If you're gonna go sit on your ass while the band is onstage busting theirs, stay home, save yourself 30 bucks, and spare the band the insult.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the performance!

The day started off as hot as a blast furnace, but by showtime it had cooled down and a wonderful breeze streamed through the amphitheater. The selection of songs played before the band came out set the mood (and the inclusion of "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?" was amusing to me because SJ is my hometown).

The Pretenders came out and tore into the new song, "Legalise Me". Chrissie wore a red jacket, black pants and white shirt, Martin a white t-shirt and green pants, Andy all black, and I'll be damned if I can remember Adam's attire other than black jeans. "Message Of Love" followed and the band didn't let up once.

Hynde stopped a few times to tease the guys, mainly Martin, about England losing their chance for the World Cup. Luckily, the loss didn't slow Martin down one bit.

Chrissie appeared to be a bit disappointed by the audience's lack of enthusiasm. After "I'll Stand By You" failed to ignite a decent response, she said, "You don't want to hear that slow stuff, do you?" and the band jumped into "Don't Get Me Wrong." Adam hopped out to the front of the stage and broke loose with a solo that was both smooth and electrifying.

A few songs were removed from the set list: the new one, "Rabo de Nube", "Private Life" (sadly), and "Thin Line Between Love And Hate", but "Stop Your Sobbing" (yeehaw!) and "Hymn To Her" (the Isle Of View version) were added. During "Hymn To Her", some birds, shaken by the noise when the band came out, returned to their nests up in the support beams. Apparently they'd decided the music was all right because they didn't leave again when the band kicked back into high gear for the encore, "Brass In Pocket". Chrissie's voice is clear and pure. It is not the voice of an angel, but one that make angels jealous.

Adam showered the audience with a handful of picks near the end of the show. The audience didn't deserve it.

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