The Pretenders @ The Wiltern, 3/10/09
“We’ve been playing a lot of country tonight”, said Chrissie Hynde as the Pretenders returned for their first encore at the Wiltern. The previous 90 minutes had been heavily weighted toward the band’s latest album, the faintly Nashville-flavored Break Up The Concrete, with a healthy dose of their greatest hits and a couple of 80s-era fan favorites dropped in.
“But you deserve punk!”
With that, the band dove face first into “The Wait”, the first of four songs from the first side of their first album, an LP side that could be the most perfect twenty-minute slab of salty-sweet/ power-pop / punk-influenced classic rock ever concocted. By the time they hit the “fuck-off” climax of “Precious”, the crowd was foaming at the mouth. But it was during the closing “Up The Neck” that the show hit its high point.