GIG REVIEW: The Pretty Reckless, Them Evils & Holy White Hounds Live At St Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, MI
Hot on the heels of the release of their third album ‘Who You Selling For’, The Pretty Reckless roared into Detroit for a sold-out gig at St. Andrews Hall. I refuse to label this band based on their lead vocalist and will instead say that this band kicks rock n’ roll ass! Taylor Momsen dressed in a long leather jacket, t-shirt and trademark black boots hit note after note without fail. Supported by Ben Phillips on the leads, bassist Mark Damon, and drummer Jamie Perkins, this was probably everyone’s last chance to see this band this up close and personal.
Opening with “Follow Me Down” off 2014’s ‘Going to Hell’, Momsen rocked the room with her heavenly vocals and tantric body moves. The twelve song, 65-minute set was sprinkled with classics like “Fucked Up World”, “Going to Hell”, and “Heaven Knows”. But it was “Living in the Storm” and chart topper “Take Me Down” that showed that this band is ready to explode and will soon be more than capable of holding its own on a full arena tour. I was a little disappointed that “Kill Me” was left off the setlist, but I’m sure it will be added as this tour ramps up in size and venue over the coming months.
Opening the night was former-Las Vegas-now-Orange County, California rockers Them Evils. I first saw this band when they caught my ear at this year’s Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch their opening 2 songs then and was looking forward to seeing the full set tonight. I was not disappointed! I’m pegging this band and placing them as my pick for the best new band of 2016. Part Zeppelin, part Black Crowes, part Rival Sons…in your face rock and roll. Guitarist Jordan Griffin, bassist Jake Massanari, and sticksman David Delaney didn’t leave anything behind as they rolled through “Untold”, “Put Your Love on Me”, ”Get You Out”, and my favorite “Bleed”, off their self-titled debut EP. Finishing up with their own version of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”, I can say that Lemmy would have been proud to call this his own. This is definitely a band you don’t want to miss on their next roll through town.
Next up was small town Iowa’s own Holy White Hounds, with their self-titled “feral alt-rock” sound. Lead singer Brenton Dean, mostly hidden from sight under his hoodie, had a hard time connecting with the crowd. A mixture of Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age, I was a little bored until their final number “Switchblade”. The band is young, recently signed, and at times seemed to be just having some beer drinking, and jamming for fun, at the audience’s expense. One highlight was the axe skills shown by lead guitarist James Manson, but this won’t be enough to keep the band from tumbling down the stairs into the basement if they don’t take a more mature course going forward.