Pretenders– a name that has ricocheted through Europe and the states over the last 40 years are still ticking with board topping hits. The transatlantic band, heeded by the rough and tough, triple threat, seductive and fearsome Chrissie Hynde, polished a UK Punk Rock sound wheezing as it sputtered across the finish line of 1979 and into the 80s. Clearly notable for their “blistering tempos (Rock and Roll Hall of fame)” and “Brute force of Punk,” with songs like “Tattooed Love Boy”, The Pretenders landed themselves in Rock and Roll history; however, capable of paralleling the abstract ties to The Clash with melodic, subtly suggestive songs like “Brass in Pocket.” The unfortunate misunderstanding of their progressive sound has birthed them a title of Pop Punk, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
More accurately, The Pretenders timeline began with “Stop Your Sobbing,” a Kinks cover which in turn launched their career. The Pretenders jumped right ahead into what would become modern day alternative rock; surging forward on a collective tidal of success from peers and collaborators in Patti Smith, Blondie, and Squeeze. Pretenders established themselves firmly- and almost too early, as pioneers of what would become an alternative sound.
Chrissie Hynde is an image of badass, raw, feminine empowerment driven by a powerhouse of talent. Always leading an entirely male band, Hynde took the strife of the years, the almost loss recognition and recreated it into the 1995, “I’ll Stand by You,” that left original fans, mothers, children, and new fans eager for more. It isn’t an often occurrence to see a woman in a leather jacket, leading a group of men, and rocking the socks off the crowd. Even more, it isn’t often you go to a show and are filled with angst, aggression, melancholy, joy, and shear rhythmic pleasure- a whirlwind of emotion for sure.
The opportunity to relive past experiences with The Pretenders or create new ones comes this spring season at the Jackie Gleason Theater, Fillmore Miami Beach on March 22 at 9pm, a concert for the times- past and present, will commence and it’d be a shame and a disservice to oneself to not attend.
~ Savannah Sheehan