'The Pretenders - With Friends' [BR+DVD+CD]
(The Pretenders, et al / 3-Disc BR+DVD+CD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Entertainment / MVD Visual)
Overview: Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling band The Pretenders featuring the Legendary Chrissy Hynde performs with special guests including Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus, recorded live at the Decades Rock Arena in Atlantic City, NJ.
Blu-ray Verdict: 2006, a hot August night in Atlantic City and the Decades Rock Arena was packed and a film crew was in place to capture the magic of Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders on stage with her special guests: Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus.
The 16-song set performed that evening featured a number of the group’s hits from the early ‘80s, including “The Wait” (The Pretenders, 1980), “Talk of the Town” and “Message of Love” (Extended Play, 1981), “Back in the Chain Gang” (Learning to Crawl, 1984), plus their aforementioned special guests team up for renditions of “Middle of the Road” and “Brass In Pocket” (Incubus), “I'm Only Happy When It Rains” (Shirley Manson), “Precious” and “Candy” (Iggy Pop), and “Drive” (Kings of Leon).
Trust me when I say that this new Blu-ray+DVD+CD 3-Disc set is truly an incredible showcasing from every angle of this magnificent Decades Rock Live! show featuring The Pretenders with Friends.
Inclusive of superb guest stars, sure, for my money it's her still-exhaustive dedication to the musical cause of Chrissie Hynde that makes this show what it is.
Opening with "The Wait" from The Pretenders' debut studio album and backing that up with the brilliant "The Losing" - from their highly underrated 2002 album Loose Screw, when Shirley Manson comes on for a couple of tracks (dressed in a super-short pair of hot pants) the vibe, let alone the temperature of the show really turns up!
Dressed simply in black jeans with a black vest and a tie (no shirt underneath, of course, as is her fashion way), Hynde together with her still-perfect voice is as engrossing to watch and tock out to today as she was when the band first got together back in 1978.
"Day After Day" - from their sophomore album Pretenders II in 1981 - is yet another underrated gem and is backed by the Kings of Leon on both "The Bucket" and a breathtaking "Up The Neck."
Hynde and the boys then mix and match musical traits with Brandon Boyd from Incubus on both "Drive" and "Message Of Love," before another cut from their debut album, "Precious" is brought forth.
But, and as fully expected, it's the arrival of the one, the only Iggy Pop on stage that truly ignites the audience - and seemingly too Hynde herself. For as much as she had been trading musical barbs nicely throughout the show with her other guests, once Iggy was alongside her, well, the levels were upped in all regards.
Wearing combat pants and a tight black tshirt, his long flowing blonde locks being whipped around at any and all given opportunity, Iggy is definitely enjoying himself out there on both "Fools Must Die" and the stand out highlight of the night, "Candy."
After another cut from their debut album "Mystery Achievement," the always-brilliant "Brass In Pocket" is loving lapped up by the audience, before the show rounds out with everyone back on stage for a mid-tempo version of "Middle Of The Road."
In conclusion, and as much as it is obvious once watched all the way through that Hynde herself doesn't know all the lyrics to the other musicians songs, and as much as her vocals cannot come close to matching the ferocity of "Only Happy When It Rains" and "Candy," Hynde is as great a performer, an entertainer now as she ever was. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the aforementioned Bonus Features of a DVD and an Audio CD of the show.
'The Pretenders - With Friends' [BR+DVD+CD] is out July 12th, 2019 via Cleopatra Entertainment / MVD Visual.