By Rhianna Mcghee (she/her)
Performing a sold-out gig at one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues, it would only be fitting to declare ‘Little J’ from Gossip Girl as the new ‘Rock and Roll’ frontwoman of the Barrowland Ballroom.
The Pretty Reckless is an Alt-Rock band from New York that racked up 13 years of music industry experience. Starting with their moderately successful album in 2010, Light Me Up, the band has worked its way up to becoming the first female-fronted band to have five number-one singles upon the release of their number-one fourth album, “Death by Rock and Roll.”
As the band took to the stage on 26 October, it was evident that they literally intended to create ‘Death by Rock and Roll’ on a casual Wednesday that turned into a mosh pit full of memories.
From the opening chaos of heavy electric guitar and drum solos, the band’s passion for rock reverberated through the springing floor of the Barras right into the hearts of the audience. Following an outstandingly aggressive warm-up from the support, The Cruel Knives, a night of rock was on the cards.
The setlist catalysed with non-other than the titular track from their new album, but what followed was an uphill journey to the fitting encore of ‘Fcked Up World’, an anarchic blend of a 10-minute drum solo and Taylor Momsen’s stunning vocals. The singer addressed how the song relates to “Our fcked up world” over the past couple of years which only created an even greater sense of harmony between the band and audience.
Following on from the opening track, Taylor Momsen and her band – made up of Ben Phillips (lead guitar), Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (Drums) – went on to demolish the cares of the world in a whirlwind of intense tracks such as their well-known ‘Make Me Wanna Die’ and the US and UK rock chart toppers of ‘Heaven Knows’ and ‘Messed Up World.’
Each song was accompanied by an all-consuming light show which only spurred the passionate audience on. The sweaty smell of ‘Rock and Roll’ was all-consuming, and the frontwoman certainly delivered in performance. Singer-model-and-actor Taylor Momsen really can do it all, proving that ‘Little J’ has what it takes.
Not only did the band deliver on the music front, but the vibe was one of intense love for what they were doing. This was clear in the fierce solos played by each member. The appreciation for musical experimentation was rabid in their performances, and the audience responded with pure admiration.
From track to track, Momsen made sure to tell the audience that, of course, Glasgow has the best crowd. And, to be honest, she wasn’t wrong. From Dads with their punk daughters to grungy teenagers, it was a mixed bag, and each person was just as enthralled as the next.
The wild Wednesday in the Barras was certainly ‘Reckless’ and should not have been anything but. From the claim that all she wanted to do in life was “Rock”, Taylor Momsen showed that being in the moment of your biggest passion was all you needed. The gig was a lightning bolt of devotion to music, and the culture of ‘Rock and Roll’ is very much alive.
‘The Pretty Reckless’ gig wreaked havoc on the oppression of the past couple of years and showed that through it all, music lives on.
The concert brought in every kind of person you could think of and created a community where in this ‘F*cked Up World,’ the only thing that matters is that you are at a sweaty rock concert and screaming your heart out to ‘Little J’ from Gossip Girl creating a complete rebellion to the indignation of the world.
The Pretty Reckless played the Barrowland Ballroom on Wednesday 26 October.
Pitch given by Danny Munro
Edited by Theerada Moonsiri