It has been a better week this week than last. Apart from a couple of rants about a certain situation, I was much calmer and more relaxed. I don’t know exactly what factors were at play last Friday beyond some very nasty menstrual cramps, but I actually came within inches of fainting at a party. While some serious pain and standing for too long will make me feel faint, I suspect that last week’s stress had to have been the key ingredient to the near disaster.
I hope you had a chance to read Ima Hurting’s piece on Wednesday, Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Brazilians. It was fun having a guest writer; it’s been a while since the last one. I would love to have more! Contact me if you have a story idea.
The big excitement for me this week is I that saw The Pretenders last night in Boston at the Orpheum. I have always liked them but was never a big enough fan that I even owned any of their albums. On the other hand, “Back on the Chain Gang” is one of my favorite songs; I sang that and “Middle of the Road” when I was with a band. But anyhow, who doesn’t love “Brass in Pocket”? Or “Kid”? Great songs, unique sound. I readily said yes when Ron asked if I wanted to see them.
I know it is not the most descriptive word, but Wow. First off, Chrissy Hynde looks, um, wow. She sure doesn’t look, wow, 58. (I just looked that up; I am expressing my surprise in a very literate manner, as you can see.) There is nothing about her body that even vaguely resembles 58. No flat ass (see my piece Mommy Ass for a take on what happens to a women’s butt as she ages). I sure didn’t expect her voice to sound better than the recordings. She could sustain, she had great range and vibrato (yes, a rock star with vibrato), and her voice was as yummy as ice cream. It occurred to me that she had a better voice than I do (der) and the justice I thought I was doing to her songs with my band was delusional.
Her band was top notch. The lead guitarist was noticeably talented; when you have Chrissy Hynde on the stage, you wouldn’t think you’d notice anything else. She was gracious about sharing the spotlight. I don’t even usually pay any attention to the guitar solos, but you couldn’t miss how great this guy was. It wasn’t just that he was technically brilliant (which he was…I have never seen a guitarist move so fast and I’ve seen Prince), he sounded so damned good. (“He” was James Walbourne.) Not only that, but Chrissy on rhythm…when they were doing Precious, the stage was bubbling with all the movement. When I’m 58, will I be able to move like that? I can’t even move like that now. They were playing so fast, they seemed almost like a Ska band.
They were touring in support of their new album but managed to intersperse the new songs with the old well enough that I enjoyed it all. Maybe one song was a bit of a drag. From the old stuff, they played anything I could think of except “Middle of the Road.” (When they came out for their encore, I mentioned “Kid” and “Middle of the Road,” and Ron mentioned “Precious” as songs we hadn’t heard yet…they did “Kid” and “Precious” in that encore.)
“Precious” was exhilerating. The fact that they came out for a second encore after “Precious” told me that the second encore was probably discretionary; “Precious” was the show-stopper, and it should have ended the night, but the crowd was going pretty crazy after that so they did come out again. I don’t remember what they did in the second encore but it was all good.
One thing I noticed was that it was a very short night. I think The Pretenders might have played for an hour and a half. That is not how I remember concerts when I was a kid. It was an all-around different experience from back in the day when we drank blackberry brandy on the train ride from the ‘burbs into the Boston Garden, stumbled around Boston trying to find a pubic bathroom in which to pee, and sat through a deafening concert, the air thick with marijuana, nary an adult in site.
At this show, I don’t think too many people were under 40.
Anyhow, good stuff. I’m a new Pretenders devotee. I want to be Chrissy Hynde. I want to be able to say “fuck” at 58 and not be ridiculous. I’d like to be able to sing like she can, too, but that, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to be age related. I will say she was a pretty lousy dancer. She didn’t seem to like moving her body at all. On that I have her beat.
Hey, I am typing this with my eyes closed, which means I am probably at least 25% asleep. (I had to open my eyes for the percent symbol.) so that does it for me this week. Have a fab weekend (oh shit, I am closer to 50% asleep now…not good), and thanks for reading.