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Review: The Pretty Reckless rocks at Saint Andrews

Frontwoman Taylor Momsen sings with The Pretty Reckless live at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan, Nov. 10, 2016.Frontwoman Taylor Momsen sings with The Pretty Reckless live at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan, Nov. 10, 2016. Photo credit: Ken Settle

By Anne Erickson, For Digital First Media

POSTED: 11/11/16, 10:38 AM EST | UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO

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The Pretty Reckless live at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan on 11-10-2016.The Pretty Reckless live at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan on 11-10-2016. Photo credit: Ken Settle

DETROIT — The Pretty Reckless first garnered attention around 2010, partly thanks to frontwoman Taylor Momsen’s notoriety as an actress on CW’s “Gossip Girl” and in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but on Thursday night, Nov. 10, at Saint Andrews Hall, Momsen showed she’s not the average actor-turned-musician. For Momsen, music comes first.

Momsen and company — with her trademark wavy, dirty-blonde hair and rock star attire, pairing black skinny pants and a shiny, long black coat over a dark tank top — took to the stage around 9:50 p.m., energized and in her element. While the Saint Andrews show came smack-dab in the middle of a 30-day-long stretch of North American tour dates, the group spent much of this year off the road, holed-up in the studio, so the excitement and passion of a band craving the road was evident all evening.

Related: The Pretty Reckless at Saint Andrews, 5 Things To Know

Thursday’s concert was in support of the Pretty Reckless’ third and latest studio album, the just-released “Who You Selling For,” but some early Pretty Reckless tracks made the night a well-rounded concert experience for fans who packed the venue. The band didn’t abandon previous hits such as “My Medicine” and “Make Me Wanna Die” from its debut album, 2010’s “Light Me Up,” and performed the neo-grunge tracks with the sophistication of a band that acknowledges its past but is moving towards the future.

There was still no mistaking that this was a concert to promote the shiny new tunes. The 65-minute set worked in rugged, near classic rock-sounding newbies such as “Oh My God,” “Living in the Storm” and the Pretty Reckless’ fourth and newest No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs hit “Take Me Down,” all incorporating a natural, raw freeness that fit the material as well as stayed honest to the luster of the studio recordings.

All that made the Pretty Reckless’ show nothing but a hit. Part Kurt Cobain, part Janis Joplin, Momsen showed off some serious vocal chops and towering onstage charisma — the kind that hints this one-time actress is genuinely focused on achieving enduring musical relevance.