What says tomorrow’s Thanksgiving like a rock show. The Pretty Reckless, currently touring in support of their new album Who You Selling For, brought their show to the Saint Paul suburbs on November 23rd. Taylor Momsen has added a much needed identifiable female voice to the today’s rock. Riding high on the momentum of 2013’s Going To Hell TPR hit the studio last spring to start work on their third full-length record, the result of which is a solid follow up to an amazing record. And they’re taking it on the road.
Opening the show was the California band Them Evils who has a new EP of their own to promote. I didn’t know much about Them Evils in the days leading up to the show but these young men from the Golden State bring the power trio rock with some force. Club tours can really show the merit of the first band as they are typically shoved to the front of the stage with their drum set knifing said stage in half. Jordan, Jake, and David bring a youthful passion any music needs to survive. They delivered a tight set with little banter and lots of rock. Featuring music from both of their EP’s before ending the night with a blistering rendition of the Motorhead classic “Ace Of Spades”. Them Evils should be climbing their way up the seeing eye chart list of bands of music festivals soon. Check ’em out if they come your way.
Next was a pretty silly quartet from Des Moines called the Holy White Hounds. You may need to squint to realize that Johnny Knoxville isn’t the lead singer. There is more than a hint of irony to their show. Even their Instagram account is largely them goofing off. Don’t let that fool you. These smiling chuckleheads deliver a taut rock show with riffs as loopy as they appear. There is nothing wrong with having fun with rock n roll. And these guys are fun.
Which brings to the reason so many apathetic teens made their way to Maplewood, MN the night before Thanksgiving. Quite likely hoping the hangover of a TPR show will layer a haze over the following days’ time with relatives. Even with a pitch black stage, the over excited crowd of angst-ridden fans could make out the clad in black lead singer Taylor Momsen as she made her way to center stage. Opening with “Follow Me Down” seemed to make most of us happy. They went further back with “Since You’re Gone” before delivering the new song “Oh My God”. All with sonic precision.
The rest of the night they weaved through their catalog in an all too short (13 song) set. Ending their set with latest single “Take Me Down” before returning for a raucous “Fucked Up World” for an encore. They came on a little late. They played a little short. The reality is The Pretty Reckless are what they are. The band surrounding Taylor serve little function visually. As good as they sound, and they sound fucking great, if your eyes dare venture away from lead singer Taylor Momsen you will see a band that doesn’t match the emotion of the music. That said, the nearly sold-out crowd didn’t seem to mind that or that they didn’t play “House on the Hill” (my choice for obvious miss) as they left the club and walked out into the suburban November night air. Many of which will surely be clinging to the memory of this night tighter than cranberries cling to turkey as a way to suffer through a national holiday. Or maybe they just had fun and are looking forward to time with relatives too. There’s no crime in that.