Live in London

by: Pretenders

Proving that the Pretenders' unexpected 2008 revival wasn’t limited to the studio and the excellent Break Up the Concrete, the 2010 CD/DVD set Live in London finds Chrissie Hynde’s band lean and vital, running through classics and new tunes with equal vigor. While this is founded on the former -- “Back on the Chain Gang,” “Brass in Pocket,” “Middle of the Road,” and “I’ll Stand by You” all make appearances -- the newer songs gain strength in this setting, and the Pretenders slip in some nice surprises, chief among them an airing of “Cuban Slide” toward the end of the set. What’s best about this set is that it’s not a grand reunion or an attempt to recapture past glories: it’s a testament to the power and pleasure of a working band. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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