The Pretty Reckless
Holy White Hounds
Who You Selling For Tour
November 21st, 2016
Weather delays and illness had caused The Pretty Reckless to cancel 3 of their past 4 Omaha area concerts, but nothing was going to stop the band from taking us to church tonight. Touring in support of their most recent release, Who You Selling For, The Pretty Reckless would be joined by label mates Them Evils and Holy White Hounds.
Tonight’s show would be the first time time Lav Vegas’ Them Evils would be rocking an Omaha crowd. The band’s half hour set was a late-night joyride through rock and roll’s seedy underbelly. While few of the crowd were familiar with the band’s original songs, the band easily worked covers by AD/DC and Motorhead into their set to give fans the opportunity to sing along.
Touring in support of their debut full length major label release, Sparkle Sparkle, Holy White Hounds are no strangers to the Omaha music scene. The band, hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, worked hard for their success, and their high energy stage show proves it. Holy White Hounds used their set to amp up the crowd’s energy.
Tonight would be my first time seeing Holy White Hounds live, and I wasn’t the only one in the crowd excited. Having cut my teeth in Des Moines in the mid-90’s during the inception of bands like Slipknot, Stone Sour, 35″ Mudder, and Smakdab, I have exceptionally high expectations for any band from my first adopted home town.
It didn’t matter if the crowd wasn’t very familiar with their music, vocalist and founder Brenton Dean worked the crowd like a circus ringmaster. The stage belonged to them, and we belonged to the band. As a special treat, the band included a cover of The Brave Youth’s Cheap Desire, a song that has only been played live and doesn’t exist in a studio recording. Needless to say, these four young men didn’t disappoint.
Holy White Hounds’ setlist:
Cheap Desire (The Brave Youth cover; never recorded by either band)
In Your Skin
After Holy White Hounds left the stage, I made my way outside to chill with the smokers group. One drunk fan worded his excitement perfectly. “I would drag my balls over a mile of broken glass to hear (Momsen) sing to me through a walkie-talkie.”
As the crowd inside waited and grew more anxious for The Pretty Reckless to take the stage, band members and crew from tour walked on stage, TPR t-shirts in hand, and tossed them into the eager crowd. It was almost time for our main course!
It had been over two years since The Pretty Reckless had played Omaha, and we were ready to welcome them back with open arms and mosh pits. Omaha’s rock scene is full of patient, dedicated fans. Which is exactly what we needed to prove to Taylor Momsen tonight.
I’ve been a fan of the band’s music since first hearing Make Me Wanna Die on the Kick-Ass (2010) soundtrack, and was put completely under the band’s spell after seeing them open for Marilyn Manson in 2012. Having recently released their latest album, Who You Selling For, tonight’s should would be the first time many of us would be hearing the band’s new material. Personally, I was looking forward to hearing how the new material would fit with the band’s older music.
Opening their set with Follow Me Down, one of the heaviest tracks off of the band’s Going to Hell release, Momsen and her band set the tone for tonight’s performance. For over an hour, Momsen stalked the crowd as she paced back and forth across the stage. Guitarist Ben Phillips and bassist Damon, who’s been my Momsen’s side since 2010, provided backing vocals for most of the songs played, and remained on their respective sides of the stage. Drummer Jaime Perkins, who’s also been with the band since 2010, was an absolute animal behind his drumkit.
The band’s set didn’t focus on any one specific album, or era of their music. While their latest release may not be as heavy as their debut and sophomore albums, the tracks off of Who You Selling For were given an edgier vibe when played live and perfectly fit the tone and mood set by the band.
Hitting the halfway point this tour, the band switched up their setlist. Just Tonight and Going Down were swapped out in favor of new songs Hangman and Prisoner.
To prove how much Omaha loves The Pretty Reckless, several times during the night a thousand fans started an impromptu clap-along while the band played, once during My Medicine and again during Heaven Knows. The grin on Momsen’s face as the crowd united their voices during the majority of each of the band’s songs proved that she was enjoying the evening just as much as we were.
With each show, Momsen continues to be on the top of her game. Her vocal prowess ranges between the soft, melodic hymns of an angelic choir for Like A Storm, to the guttural growls of Sweet Things. This amazing young woman knows how to rock.
Before ending their set, Momsen thanked the crowd again for sharing the evening with the band. She was then handed a guitar and showed us her skills as they hammered through Take Me Down. The only ironic portion of tonight’s set was the track the band chose to encore with. Was Momsen psychic when the band recorded Fucked Up World? Arguably their fans’ favorite track, it was a perfect end to an amazing evening.
After having endured years of being dismissed by the music industry and fans of the genre, The Pretty Reckless have earned their position in the pantheon of great rock bands and continue to influence millions of fans with their music. Hopefully The Pretty Reckless won’t wait another two years before returning to Omaha.
The Pretty Reckless setlist:
Follow Me Down
Since You’re Gone
Oh My God
Make Me Wanna Die
Living in the Storm
Going to Hell
Take Me Down
Fucked Up World