The Pretty Reckless Light Up Los Angeles, CA 12-6-16

The Pretty Reckless Light Up Los Angeles, CA 12-6-16

Rock-n-Roll is alive and kicking in the year 2016 with the proof laying in the heart of New York City based band The Pretty Reckless. Formed back in 2009 by then-actress Taylor Momsen, The Pretty Reckless immediately became her lone creative inspiration, devoting all her energy into living the Rock-n-Roll dream. Feeling uninspired from a career in acting and modeling, Momsen’s talents blossomed to new heights as she and The Pretty Reckless began to quickly create a buzz with their 2010 debut album, Light Me Up. Since touring, touring, and touring some more, the young band has grown as musicians, a band, as well as people. Now in 2016, with perhaps their strongest record to date, Who You Selling For, The Pretty Reckless are on the road once again for a headlining fall tour. 

Begun back on October 20th, the tour ran all the way into December with support from Holy White Hounds and Them Evils. With plenty of action occurring in a near two month span, the tour came to an end on Tuesday, December 6th, at The Mayan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. A fitting place to wrap the run up, the Mayan Theater is dressed with odd modern and festive decor mixed with old architecture, intriguing almost everyone who steps inside.

Starting off early in the evening, around 7 PM, it all began with the Huntington Beach, California band Them Evils. Heavily influenced by Classic Rock, the band has been playing around the Los Angeles area since 2013 after two-thirds of them landed in Orange County from Las Vegas. Proud to be playing straight up Rock-n-Roll, the three piece consisting of Guitarist/Vocalist Jordan Griffin, Bassist Jake Massanari, and Drummer David Delaney take big steps in the right direction on tour with The Pretty Reckless. 

Joining the tour on October 23rd, it was an exciting time for the band as they came out strong in front of a hometown crowd. Playing original tunes such as “She Got Nothin'” and “Untold,” they showed off a heavy, gritty Rock sound. Wearing their influences on their sleeve, they also mixed in AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” before closing out their set with Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades.” With three EP’s already under their belt, the future looks bright for Them Evils. 

Next up, acting as direct support was The Pretty Reckless’ labelmates, Holy White Hounds. Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, this Alternative Rock band dropped their debut album back on May 6, 2016, offering the world Sparkle, Sparkle. Proving a unique sound, Holy White Hounds are sure to be a hit with fans of Alternative and Grunge Rock. 

With some really great ’90s Rock/Metal playing over the PA in between acts, eventually, Holy White Hounds snuck onto the stage and began their ever so lengthy set. Completed with Brenton Dean (vocals/guitar), Ambrose Lupercal (bass), Seth Luloff (drums), as well as James Manson (guitar), among the finer moments were their offering of songs such as the moderate tempoed “Black Lust” and the single”Switchblade.” Showing the ability to put on a show, there were moments they sparked attention when sitting down to rev up the guitar or when they provided softly spoken wild tales. 

Playfully apologizing to the audience for not being The Pretty Reckless, their whole set was highs and lows of good energy that was snuffed out in odd places and then would creep back up. Closing out with angst-vibed “Catmondu” and more harder Rock “In Your Skin,” Holy White Hounds are certainly a mixed bag. They have already played aside Cage the Elephant, Sick Puppies, Cake, Wavves, Surfer Blood, Rob Zombie, and now The Pretty Reckless. Quite a diverse blend of acts, Holy White Hounds can satisfy Rock fans of all kinds. 

After another seemingly long interlude of fun PA jams, The Pretty Reckless was set to take over the stage in a forceful way that brought out an immediate heavy Rock atmosphere. This feeling stuck throughout the set until the very end when the music took a more modern turn and twisted a touch outside the Rock-n-Roll world. Led by Momsen on vocals and rhythm guitar with Ben Phillips on lead guitar, Mark Damon on bass, along with Jamie Perkins on drums, they began with “Follow Me Down” before jumping into “Since You’re Gone,” the lyrically intense newer song “Oh My God.” 

Momsen, only 23 years of age, has quite a mature voice that is deep, strong, and bluesy without ever sounding over the top as some of her predecessors have. This is a benefit for her style of music as it is heavy majority of the time with the range on other songs including their first ever single “Make Me Wanna Die” and “My Medicine.” Keeping the energy level at peak levels with speedy opening guitar rhythms on “Sweet Things,” the more Pop leaning “Light Me Up” was a wonderful diversion. A telling example of the band’s growth as songwriters, side by side, “Light Me Up” was followed in contrasted by the more moody “Who You Selling For.”

Keeping with the theme of the new record, the ruckus “Living in the Storm” led the way for “Heaven Knows,” “Going to Hell,” and hit single “Take Me Down.” Letting the music do much of the talking all set long, they concluded it all on a powerful note with “Fucked Up World,” offering a huge mouthful of dismal disintegration from Momsen. The sheer amount of talent Momsen has is enough to get the crowd excited. While some may complain Momsen does not throw herself around the stage like a ragdoll, she can wail better than anyone and it is evident that she is baring her soul in each note sung. There is something soothing about her subtle movements, a style that fits in with the music on most levels.

All this said, the overall consensus from the audience was overwhelmingly positive with many screaming any chance they could in the more quiet portions of the performance. Any loss of energy was few and far between, and for the final night of the tour, they showed no fatigue in their chops. Now that the tour is complete, The Pretty Reckless have a much earned break for the holidays before picking right back up come January to tour Europe into February, before returning home for Rock festivals come early spring. Those who still are foggy on who exactly the The Pretty Reckless are, they are a shining hope for no BS Rock-n-Roll.  

Photo credit: Sarah Mankoff Photography

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Lisa Burke
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Lisa is a metalhead at heart with a variety of musical genre interests, and the determination to save the world, one Metal show at a time. Her professional passions range from Rock n Roll and Gothic Metal inspired fashion design to Heavy Metal and Rock n Roll journalism for live and album reviews. She currently contributes these reviews to Metal Assault and CrypticRock.

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