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She's Still Got It: Chrissie Hynde Slings Raw Rock And Roll

By Carrie McGath in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 14, 2014 9:30PM

Photo by Carrie McGath

It was apparent at The Chicago Theatre Wednesday night that Chrissie Hynde not only remains a force in rock and roll, she also still has a passionate fan base who express their admiration with a playful rowdiness. The crowd was barely seated throughout the show, with the majority dancing from start to finish. Hynde and her band played not one, but two encores to sum up a show that was a powerful mix including new work from her first solo album, Stockholm, and classic Pretenders material including "My City Was Gone" and "Don't Get Me Wrong." As a whole, the setlist was a nicely-balanced mix of ballads and driven rock, continually feeding the energy of the crowd.

Hynde’s raw songwriting and characteristic vocals were complimented by her band, showcasing her tough edge that’s laced with a progressive compassion. Playing both old and new material, their sound was a determined, textured rock and roll and they were joined by James Walbourn of The Rails, a London-based duo touring with Hynde.

Nods were given to her hometown of Akron, Ohio a couple times during the show exemplifying that she has not written off her roots, but celebrates them. It even feels sometimes that the industrious, steely home of Goodyear is one of her muses. Her complexity as an artist and a person combines to make her one badass queen of rock and her show this week in Chicago absolutely proved it.