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Chrissie Hynde Boston Orpheum Theater, Saturday November 1st, 2014

took a fucking picture...sue me

took a fucking picture…sue me

“It’s a thin line, between love and hate” and I walked that line like a tightrope last night in Boston.  What could have been the concert of the year ended up being one of the biggest disappointments of 2014.

In a two thirds full theater whose median age was 55+, you would think things would be pretty subdued.  An AARP meeting for the baby boomers but  after a rather unenergetic set by Londons The Railles, the rowdy was coming on strong.  Greeted by screams and roars louder than I anticipated Hynde stepped out in what appeared to be Liberaces bathrobe.  A pink glitter monstrosity and opens up with…”Dont Lose Faith In Me”.. one of the worse and slowest songs I have ever heard open a gig.  There’s a way to quiet down a room.  But Chrissie was wincing and nodding her head ‘no’ right into the next dud of a tune “Biker”- and then shit got bad.

Chrissie opted to stop mid song stand front and center in the stage still wearing that idiotic jacket spread her arms and say…….”OK Take my picture now”  Then storming back to the mic scolded in her most bitch tone for everyone to stop taking pictures as it was all she could see and advising us that we were warned by the signs in the lobby (I saw none) and that security would now be engaged and people would be removed.   Proving how out of touch she is, she referred to camera phones as camphones….

I will say that at first I thought she was joking, perhaps a sarcastic gesture and we would be asked with decorum to refrain, but no- like a bitchy old hag she went off.  Right down to that smirk of her punk goddess days.

And that was that, with one insanely out of line rant Chrissie Hynde single handedly killed the vibe of the entire group.  Later in the set she stated “Sorry about going off like that.. that was fucked up”  But it was too late. Much too late.

The  only life that came to the room is when The Pretenders tunes came out.  Silence for cuts from her new album Stockholm.  Luckily for her and those 50 somethings in the crowd there was plenty of Pretenders and they were done properly  From the amazing “Kid”, to “Precious” the hits were there and its hard to hate on classics. I doubt they were pure live vocals though, Chrissies signature vibrato far too strong to be natural which made me question if a back up tape was employed.  Its obvious her guitar was either off or so low it was impossible to hear most of the time, but Railles guitarist James Walboune saved her rather ample ass numerous times.  Thank you Mr. Walbourne for doing so or I fear things would have been even worse..  Speaking of guitars, seemed her road crew couldn’t get the tuning right either, as she tinkered and fucked about with her guitars so long that she ended up telling a bad joke while they were tuned up.  God forbid she actually interact with the audience in this lull.  About all she said is ‘wow there are some old faces out there’.. .trust me it was all I could do to scream back “Sugar you’re looking all of 62”

So whats the problem?  Chrissie has no Pretenders.  Up there on the stage there is no safety net of Martin Chambers.  No one for he to give that sarcastic ‘better than thou’ smile too.  Shes up with guys half her age who appeared bored servants to the queen, not allowed to have personality.  Boring- and doing their job.

Its not easy to pan an idol.  For the past 35 years I have virtually worshiped the woman (other than that Fairground Boys bullshit) and tonight I discovered that she is done.  Stockholm is a great album- cliche lyrics but she sounds great and the music is perfection.  But live- she is awful.  As if doing us a favor and dare I say blowing lyrics all over the place.

So lets wrap this up, shall we?  Chrissie Hynde will forever be a legendary performer she leaves a legacy of insane magnitude.  Bostons crowd was treated like shit by Hynde and her staff.  She gave a lackluster and bitchy performance on the second night of her North American Tour.  Not once did she preach her animal rights convictions (right there you know something was off, she never misses an opportunity to soapbox) but you could buy a $30 PETA t shirt at her merch booth if ya wanna.  Pretty sure the snack bar was serving up some chicken nuggets right near that kiosk.

Off night?  Blame the rain?  I don’t know but if you see her in your town hide your camphone or the bitch gonna go cray.

Grade… D

 

 

 

 

 

 

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