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Pretty Reckless Concert Review at HOB Orlando

Photo: Andrew LipovskyPhoto: Andrew Lipovsky

The hottest band in rock ‘n roll came to Orlando over the weekend and delivered a fantastic show.

The venue was the House of Blues, in the heart of the recently rebranded Disney Springs. I arrived as the sun went down and though the line of The Pretty Reckless fans wrapped around the building, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly myself and the other concertgoers made it inside. I have to give credit to the HOB staff for being super-efficient and always friendly.

As the crowd settled in, I couldn’t help but notice how broad of a range of fans there were. All types of people were in attendance, from hipsters to head bangers, college kids to rockin’ soccer moms. Clearly, having consecutive number one hits draws fans from all walks of life, and that’s just what The Pretty Reckless have.

Pretty Reckless Concert reviewThe Pretty Reckless, Welcome To Rockville 2014. Photo: Bob Creedon
Them Evils

The opening act was a three-piece group hailing from L.A. called Them Evils. Their sound unmistakably reflected that Sunset Strip vibe, reminding me of bands such as Motley Crue. It could almost be considered a classic hard rock sound, somewhat of a rarity among popular bands today, most of whom have some elitist sub-genre pinned to their names.

That aspect in itself was refreshing. Hearing rock ‘n roll in a very pure state, the way it sounded when rock was the king of American music, gritty and loud. They played songs such as “Untold”, and “Bring Me Down”, both available for purchase at their website along with many others: http://www.themevils.com/music .

They entertained us with their own brand of good old American hard rock, but ended their set with a great cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”. It seemed to me very fitting. It was at this venue that lead singer and founder, Lemmy Kilmeister, gave one of his last concerts before succumbing to the grim specter of death a little under a year ago. Not only that, but add to it that Lemmy might have been born in England, but Sunset Strip in L.A. was his home, and he inspired many young artists who cut their teeth playing seedy, little clubs in that scene, including these young men.

I turned to the audience, and thought of the young people who may have been hearing this song for the first time, and the fact that they might go home and listen to the original on YouTube. It warmed my heart thinking these young men may have just opened the door to a whole lotta music these kids would love just by paying homage to one of their heroes.

Holy White Hounds

Holy White Hounds was up next. I had never heard of them, and would have to describe their alt rock sound as something between Weezer and The White Stripes. Their stage show was fun, nothing too serious. Vocalist Brenton Dean joked with the audience, and used the entire stage putting on the show, sometimes kneeling during a guitar solo, Jimi Hendrix style, and other times leaping into the air, but rarely still.

The rest of these young men from Des Moines, Iowa were no slouches, either, guitarist James Manson started off the set with a broken string but still running circles around many good axe men I’ve seen. He and Brenton played off of each other, in one song even having a “Dueling Banjos” type of interplay.

I cannot leave out the rhythm section. Bassist Ambrose Lupercal set the tone with some funky bass lines while percussionist Seth Luloff kept up with frequent changes in timing and intensity. Brenton and crew conversed with the audience and kept us all entertained quite well. I wondered why I had never heard of these guys before, that is, until they played something I recognized: “Switchblade”, from their album Sparkle Sparkle.

As I heard the familiar tune, I was struck by the fact that in my head, it had been performed by a group of skinny, young alt-rockers from England, brandishing their hip, retro sound, such as The Struts. But these weren’t Brits, they were Americans from our heartland that had embraced and remade that sound. The old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover,” came to mind, though it would be more like don’t judge a recording artist by their sound.

Pretty Reckless Concert ReviewPhoto Courtesy of Rob Fenn
The Pretty Reckless

After they finished their highly entertaining set, we waited for The Pretty Reckless. And waited. Then, we waited some more. Finally at ten o’clock sharp, Ms. Momsen and her hard rocking band took to the stage to rock us all. They started off with my favorite TPR tune, “Follow Me Down”, and ended with my second favorite, their newest hit, “Take Me Down”.

In between, they played many hits, like “My Medicine”, and my pick for what should be the second single to be released from Who You Selling For. Vocalist Taylor Momsen Went from head down, hair covering her face to hand out, beckoning to the crowd with her black-ringed eyes.

Their set was impeccable, straying little from the original recordings, but inviting the fans to sing along loudly. Everyone did. The college kids, the rocker soccer moms, the hipsters, the head bangers. The Pretty Reckless proved why they are currently sitting on top of the rock world right now. They deserve to be. With songs ranging from sultry to slamming, TPR has something for everyone, and they don’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon.

I encourage you to go to their website and buy the new album; Hell, buy all of them, see them on tour somewhere, like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theprettyreckless/?fref=ts . Tell them RARA’s Farm sent you.

The Pretty Reckless is touring in support of their new album: Who You Selling For, which can be purchased in a few convenient formats depending on your taste via their website: http://theprettyreckless.com/ . I had been playing this album over and over again while writing my review of it, http://rarasfarm.com/2016/pretty-reckless-album-review/ , and was stoked to have the chance to see them perform their billboard-topping hits live.

While I have to give props to Taylor Momsen and company, let’s not forget the awesome groups on tour with them. For more about Holy White Hounds, check their website: https://www.facebook.com/theprettyreckless/?fref=ts , or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/holywhitehounds/?fref=ts .

While you’re at it, like Them Evils’ Facebook, too: https://www.facebook.com/ThemEvilsBand/?fref=ts .

As always, keep listening to new music, and keep up with RARA’s Farm for the latest in rock news and articles about your favorite musicians! Make sure you Like / Follow Us below to keep in the loop on new music worth a listen, or just to be nice to us.

Rock On!
Phil Snyder