The Pretty Reckless
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
Irving Plaza, New York, NY
November 9, 2013
Concert Review: The Pretty Reckless
How many successful models and actresses can you name that have successfully transitioned into the world of music? Well Taylor Momsen certainly doesn’t want to hear it. Not after the acclaim that her band The Pretty Reckless has been receiving in the rock community and certainly not after a wildly successful sold out show at New York City’s Irving Plaza on Saturday night. Fronting the band, the former Gossip Girl alum and her mates pounded through an abbreviated but effective 75 minute set in front of a passionate collection of excitable fans that would rival any local rock show in recent weeks.
The lights went dark shortly after 10pm and the Irving Plaza crowd erupted in anticipation of the blonde haired Momsen, the group’s singer and rhythm guitarist. Outfitted in a long black patterned jacket layered above a top with a gold cross with an emblazoned arrow pointing toward her nether regions, the front woman certainly looked the part as rock music’s latest defiant beautiful focal point. Even more impressively though, the group’s live show more than lived up to expectation as the band’s 14 song set was a riff-laden, catchy run through the band’s debut album and recently released EP as they approach a 2014 release for their follow up.
Opening with the rocking “Follow Me Down,” Momsen’s slightly raspy vocals screamed even more life into a wide awake crowd now going bonkers for the band’s penchant for stop and start blues filled romps. Tracks like “Since You’re Gone” and the familiarly antagonistic “Hit Me Like a Man” punctuated The Pretty Reckless’ talents from the show’s open- relatively simplistic but head pounding riffs behind Momsen’s outstanding live vocals amid a smoke filled stage. In fact, between the fog inside the building and Momsen’s blonde locks draped across her face for much of the show catching a glimpse of the singer’s face proved challenging for much of the show, hardly a mistake given the band’s rather mysterious aura.
Between tracks, Momsen’s interaction with the crowd was minimal, often getting a rise out of the building by simply shouting ‘New York City’ with her hand raised high overhead. The band’s 2010 hit “Makes Me Wanna Die” was among the show’s strongest points with the audience singing along in unison- but to their credit, their fans admirably filled in on backing vocals for much of the performance anyway. The track “Going to Hell,” not coincidentally is the name of the band’s next release would close the main set out in a fury, but Momsen would return on her own for the encore, performing an absolutely stirring cover rendition of Audioslave’s “Like A Stone,” and one that would likely put a smile on Chris Cornell’s face. Her range vocally was spectacular during this song as well as on the anthemic “Just Tonight” before set closer, a raucous new song called “Fucked Up World” effectively removed any suspicion about Momsen’s dedication to her musical craft. With just a few years under her belt as a performer and at just 20 years old, the best certainly seems yet to come.