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Year: 2009

Runtime: 01:00:00

"Live In London" is a live performance masterpiece that captures The Pretenders at the top of their game. If you saw them live on their 2009 tour, you'll know what I'm talking about. You owe it to yourself to get this program as a reminder of just how amazing this band is on the road.

"Live In London" succeeds where The Pretenders' studio albums fail. They are one of those rare bands that truly does sound better when they're playing in front of an audience -- an intimate small theater crowd here.

With all due respect to original guitarist James Honeyman Scott and bassist Pete Farndon, The Pretenders latest lineup is the best Chrissie Hynde has ever staged. With the steady pounding of original drummer Martin Chambers, newcomers James Walbourne on guitar, Nick Wilkinson on bass and Eric Heywood on pedal steel rock from start to finish, revitalizing Pretenders' classics like "Message of Love" and "Kid," while adding new ones like "Boots of Chinese Plastic" to the playlist.

You'll be blown away by Walbourne's electrifying guitar work. It starts with the first licks of the opener "Chinese Plastic," scorches through "Rosalee," and climaxes with the show-stopper "Precious." Walbourne delivers pure, unadulterated, raw, rip-snorting rock 'n' roll. His on-stage chemistry with Hynde is self-evident.

As per usual, Hynde's vocals are impeccable, showing great range, dynamics and emotion, equally adept at punk rockers like "The Wait" and ballads like "I'll Stand By You." This woman has earned the right to work the stage with the swagger of a rock star. She is it.

The direction and camera work throughout "Live In London" give the viewer the perspective of being on stage with The Pretenders. Tight crops interspersed with effective wide angles make one feel like he can count the streaks of mascara multiplying on Hynde's face and see the beads of sweat building on Chambers' brow as the night rocks on.

The Pretenders Available In:

Rock, New Wave, Punk

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