Friday, April 20, 2012

Live review: The Pretty Reckless, Visulite Theatre, 4/19/2012

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The Pretty Reckless
Visulite Theatre
April 19, 2012

"Sorry you guys have to wait so long," Pretty Reckless guitarist Ben Phillips told the waiting crowd, a soft reminder that the band was already running 30 minutes late for their set at the Visulite Theatre on April 19, 2012. "Here's some booty shorts, or something," he added, tossing a few garments to fans before disappearing again.

After briefly subduing an increasingly restless audience with free merch, The Pretty Reckless finally took the stage 10 minutes later and launched into a hard-hitting, yet brief, 30-minute set. The rock quartet quickly reminded those in attendance why they bothered to come out.

The immediate impression - very loud. Once the eardrums adjusted - worth the wait. The crowd, full of devotees in some form of lingerie and ripped stockings, were pleased their idol, rock chick Taylor Momsen, was on stage.

The set kicked off with "Hit Me Like a Man," from their recently released EP of the same name. Momsen immediately established her rock credibility with her signature throaty, growling vocals.

Despite rumors that the actress-turned-rock-star is slightly obnoxious, the girl can sing. Thankfully, she also seems to have grown up a bit - though still only 18 years old.

Only 16 when the band's debut, Light Me Up, was released, she's finally hit a point where she knows how to own the stage. She was even wearing more clothes than usual this time around - an oversized Cannibal Corpse t-shirt and leather shorts. Perhaps with age comes the confidence that eluded the angsty teenager?

As they plowed through most of the first album, she writhed on stage and used the microphone stand as a prop, especially during "Goin' Down." Still an improvement over the 16-year-old who was solely focused on trying to be a bad ass.

Speeding through each song, Momsen carried the band. Her band's musicianship was flawless, but clearly the audience was there to see her - and she delivered.

She urged the crowd to sing along, and they obliged at every offer as Momsen listened and smiled, especially on fan favorites "Just Tonight" and "Make Me Wanna Die." While some singers use audience participation as a cop out, Momsen's voice never wavered.

Another standout was "Cold Blooded," offering a haunting duet between Phillips and Momsen. "He'll love you and leave you alive, and there's one thing you must understand; you can't trust a cold blooded man," Momsen sang back and forth as though trading quips.

Though the delayed start affected the atmosphere, the Pretty Reckless turned the show around in quick order with a high-energy performance egged on by Momsen's stage presence. The set was short, but it was definitely what the fans came out for and a good display that they're all a bit more seasoned as performers.

Hit Me Like a Man
Since You're Gone
Miss Nothing
Just Tonight
Goin' Down
Cold blooded
My Medicine
Make Me Wanna Die
Factory Girl

Nothing Left to Lose

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