A little under a week ago, I wrote an editorial that was a rebuttal to Gene Simmons statement that “rock is dead”. You either reacted in two ways: saying “hell yes” with metal horns in the air or saying, “who the hell does this guy think he is, that THE Gene Simmons”. If that was not enough to sway that rock is indeed alive and breathing, I introduce to you the Going to Hell Tour featuring The Pretty Reckless.
Opening up the festivities was a band from Boston named Crash Midnight which very much reminded me of older rock bands like Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. There was an embodiment that big vocals and big guitar sound that is reminiscent of the popular 80’s style. They even did a cover of “Mr. Brownstone” during their six song set.They also played songs such as “151” and “Welcome To Boston”. The crowd did seem engaged into the performance and it set the tone for what would be a whole night of just non-stop rock music.
Whenever there is a sell out at the TLA in Philadelphia, it’s most likely a rock show that’s coming to town. The place was packed and while the TLA is small, there is just enough space to get around. The next act I was able to see was the alternative metal band Adelitas Way. I’m not going to lie – I was impressed of their energy. Previously, I had heard a couple of songs including the single that the WWE used, “Invincible” which they closed their set out with. They opened with the lead single off their new album, “Dog on a Leash” which sent the tone for their whole set. Songs like “Sick” and “Save The World” had the crowd singing along as well. Sound wise, Adelitas Way sounded really tight, although the light show (tried) to reek havoc for my camera.
The lead singer, Rick Dejesus is a Philadelphia native, so this was a homecoming show of some sort. Dejesus made a motion for all the fans to meet him at Lit Ultrabar after the show, although as it’s a EDM spot – I’m not sure how this crowd would mesh in with that atmosphere.
Alas, came the headliner, The Pretty Reckless. Say what you want about Taylor Momsen, but for a genre of music that is clamoring for more females – Momsen does a very good job at carrying the torch. The front row was lined with mostly young girls which is great considering the alternative which might be a One Direction concert (no shade One Direction fans). There were also older metal fans mixed in towards the back. In talking to some fans, they likened The Pretty Reckless to an older, mature rock band – to which I agreed.
As they played songs like “Since You’re Gone” and “Why’d You Bring A Shotgun to the Party”, you can tell that this was going to be a party. Bassist Mark Damon kept a serious demeanor throughout the show and guitarist Ben Philips did a great job with guitar and backup vocals. The overall show which had a vintage feel to it given the low lighting. Momsen performed like a 60’s vocalist akin to Janis Joplin – you can definitely tell she may have been born in the wrong decade. I’ve seen a lot of great female vocalists and I judge my experiences based on how the live sound is. Momsen gave a great vocal performance as her charismatic and raspy affliction style permeated throughout the venue.
There was a break in the middle of the show where Momsen and Philips performed older songs like “Just Tonight” and “Miss Nothing” that was a nice chance of pace. If the band decided to record a acoustic ep of some sort, I definitely would not be opposed. Like I said, rock is alive and well. Look no further than the Going to Hell tour and shows like it.