The Pretty Reckless [Live Review — The Scala, London, 10/10/2016]

On the way to this show, I was stopped for speeding. I was let off with a warning: Slow down in the future.

This is not advice offered to rock bands — and even if it were, The Pretty Reckless still wouldn’t listen. Who You Selling For — The Pretty Reckless’s third album, due out on October 21 and reviewed in full here — is already in the process of pushing one of the biggest female-fronted rock bands of all time into the stratosphere, their near-matchless power outpowering the doubt and hate that serves as the music world’s equivalent of gravity.

In my review of Who You Selling For, I pointed out that The Pretty Reckless kick ass regardless of gender-related labels, so I won’t labour the issue again. TPR are above all else an all-time great rock band presently sitting on one of the albums of the year. They’ve also sweat blood to get where they are — and at this sold-out one-off Central London show, every inch of their progress showed, simultaneously clear as crystal and black as a bruised heart.

The Pretty Reckless were once accused of being posers — and while a familiar orgasmic intro played, they did indeed pose for a bit. But from the moment Follow Me Down kicked in amid strobe lights and pogo pits, The Scala was pulled back into the present, where The Pretty Reckless proved themselves a force to be reckoned with from note one.

Besides, rock stars are allowed to pose.

Chilling in the Scala’s guest bar throughout this show and treated to sound mixed exactly as the sound guys hear it, I was blown away by how goddamn accurate The Pretty Reckless are right now. You could release this set as a live album with a handful of edits, and it would be top quality. Taylor Momsen’s vocals are world class; Ben Phillips’ solo moments never fail to stun; and bar one hilarious cueing issue right at the end of the set, bassist Mark Damon and drummer Jamie Perkins laid solid foundations for the stars of the show to dance around on as they pleased.

With Who You Selling For out in mere weeks, this was a set made mostly of old favourites, with singles from The Pretty Reckless’s latest scattered throughout. The full list: Follow Me Down; Since You’re Gone; Oh My God; Make Me Wanna Die; My Medicine; Sweet Things; Fucked Up World; Just Tonight; Goin’ Down; Heaven Knows; Take Me Down; and Going To Hell. All killer, no filler.

With a full-scale world tour on the way to support Who You Selling For, expect plenty of exceptional new cuts to join the above. Expect incredible musicianship. Expect Dio-style devil horns. Expect an incredible show. Even when they’re playing a so-called warmup show, The Pretty Reckless are on fire.

Overall: An intimate, electrifying riot.

TMMP RATING: 100% (Easily.)

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The Pretty Reckless official website.

For more about Who You Selling For, click here.

Originally published at The Musical Melting Pot.