Chrissie Hynde, seen here with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys in a screen grab from the video for ‘Holy Commotion,” returns to Red Bank with her 2016 edition of the Pretenders for a Thursday night concert.
Last time Chrissie Hynde trod the boards of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, two years ago, the face, voice, heart and soul of the Pretenders offered up a showcase of her debut long-player Stockholm, chased by a lip-to-label spin through the mega-classic 1979 Pretenders LP, its fab 45s and deep-cut classics “Brass in Pocket,” “Kid,” “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Mystery Achievement” and “Precious”).
Bolstered by the accrued good-will generated by the album and road itinerary, the Hall of Fame rocker entered a Nashville studio earlier this year with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach for some sessions intended to yield her sophomore solo release. But something surprising must have happened inside that soundproofed space, as “those driving guitars, ragged-but-righteous arrangements, tough-yet tender lyrics delivered by the most beautifully distinctive voice of a generation” (according to the press notes) suggested nothing less than that the Pretenders were back.
So when Hynde and company return to the Basie Thursday night, it will be in support of Alone, the first new Pretenders platter in nearly a decade.
Having reversed her opinion that the Pretenders brand had become something of a “tribute act” — years after the drug-related deaths of two charter members and several lineups worth of (largely forgotten) replacement players — the expat American who emerged out of London’s 1970’s punk scene by way of Ohio drew newfound inspiration from her collaboration with fellow Akron native/ starstruck fan Auerbach and a studio full of Music City session aces (including 1950’s twangy guitar legend Duane Eddy).
It will be another new platoon of Pretenders that will take the stage with the Alone-in-the-crowd Hynde for the 8 p.m. concert, putting forth a set of all-new songs that highlight the frontwoman’s signature tough-love honesty (“Holy Commotion,” “I Hate Myself,” and the title track), and presumably spelunking the rich vein of catalog classics from the nine previous Pretenders needlebenders — records that helped take back The Rock from ponderous album/arena bands, and made the world safe for smart, sweet, savvy singles once more.
Take it here for tickets ($72 – $120) to the 8 p.m. show — or go here for more info on other upcoming concert events at the Basie, including Joe Bonamassa (11/22), and Christmas-themed events featuring the Brian Setzer Orchestra (11/21) and Jackie Evancho (11/25).