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At Terminal 5 the bass was heavy, floors vibrating and all, and while you could barely hear anyone singing, you could feel the instruments pulsating through the ground.
Review (with Spoilers)
This is only my second concert, the first being Lindsay Stirling’s Shatter Me Tour. So, with that said, my experience at concerts is nil. However, like the majority of people on this Earth, I am a music lover and one band I’ve been kicking myself for missing out on seeing live has been The Pretty Reckless. But with me being more comfortable trekking through New york alone now, I finally got to see them live! Let’s go through the experience, shall we?
First and foremost, Terminal 5 requires a bit of a walk to get to. Which isn’t horrible, but it seemed like this is one of the few theaters, movie or for plays/ musicals, which seems so isolated from the NY subway. Most seem to be 2-3 NY blocks away, but this seemed farther. Which I’m not complaining about, it just seemed a bit odd for a venue.
Outside of that, though, their event staff was nice, the security check in didn’t take too long, to me anyway, and their scanning devices were ready and working. Also, the place was thankfully clean. I was up on the 2nd floor, to avoid the potential of a mosh pit, and the bars looked fancy, the bathrooms, tiny as they were, didn’t have piss all over the place or even much graffiti. As for the sound, I really wish I took the advice of this facebook dude and brought some ear plugs. As noted below, the whole place shakes due to the sound system and my left ear, by the time The Pretty Reckless was done, seemed numb and beaten up. But what is a rock concert without blaring, deafening, music?
Opening Act #1: Them Evils
Them Evils, like most of the bands, I could barely hear for the sound of the instruments were turned up to high hell and thus the voices got drowned out. However, I must admit what I could pick up did sound interesting. Them Evils has the vibe of old school rock bands. They’d probably be more comfortable in the times of when AC/DC and, as shown through their cover of Ace of Spades, when rock music was more drug, sex, and alcohol and not so much weed, molly, alcohol and women who you need to check the ID of. With that said, honestly as I listened to their songs I felt like they were a cover band in transition. For some of their tracks sounded like they took the melody of well-known songs, changed it enough to likely not get sued, since they are small time at this point, and then they wrote their own lyrics.
Another thing I must note: they were stiff as hell. I mean, there was the usual hair twirling and head banging, the guitarist who wasn’t singing climbed stuff, but the energy of the music far surpassed their stage presence. The non-singer even tried to liven things up by playing among the 1st-floor fans, but it seems like that idea wasn’t really thought through so he gave up on that after a few chords.
Opening Act #2: Holy White Hounds
Despite a name which makes me think of white supremacy, this band was so much better than the first. Both the lead singer and one of the guitarist had very good chemistry and were doing kicks, vibing off each other’s playing, and their pseudo-Blink 182 vibe was good. Heck, I even remember one of the songs are called Switchblade since it seems they knew a little more about not only marketing themselves. For rather than just say what the name of their band was, yelling something to the tune of “ROCK AND ROLL” and thanking the NY audience, they actually noted what songs they are doing.
But while 2 of the 4 members were really into it, thus getting you into their performance, one of the guitar players was just so stiff and awkward he distracted you from the theatrics of the lead singer and the 2nd guitarist. He kept facing the drummer and while he perhaps got into the music himself, he wasn’t really sharing that energy with the crowd. He spent more than half of the set facing the drummer and the lead singer and his friend to the right, they barely interacted with him. Which was strange since with their group thing before the set you’d think they were all friends, but the set made it seem this other guy was there perhaps because they needed his skills more so than wanted him personally.
The Headliner: The Pretty Reckless
Can I just say, the crowd, in general, was pretty dead. Well, at least with me expecting people banging heads, stomping and all that. Granted, I was upstairs looking down, and they did sing when she asked, but between the phones out and lack of general movement, I was kind of wondering if this is what rock shows have become.
That aside, TPR was as good as expected. What was slight nods to the music before their set became held back head bangs because the last thing I wanted was my glasses to fly away. Though, urgh, I so badly wanted to rock out like I was in my car or something. Taylor’s voice, despite having to cancel the Boston show, was as you’d expect it to be of a rock star. There were screams, expletives, and then her going into a softness for songs like “Sweet Things.”
Though I should note, though not as long as the periods between each act, there was about a minute or so between each song where it was like they were setting things up for something elaborate. Likely it was just Taylor following whatever regimen she needed, but every pause felt like an eternity and it made it so your energy dropped as you waited to learn what song was next.
Of which there weren’t many, at least to me. With a new record out you’d think at least half of it would be played and mixed in would be either the most popular songs/ the ones the band loves to perform. However, there were maybe 8 songs and even with that number I almost felt, as I left, her set was barely longer than her opening acts.
Yet, for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not perhaps enough to go see her again, for I must admit I was slightly left disappointed, but it isn’t like this was a big venue. Plus, Taylor was sick the night before and honestly I think if this wasn’t the band’s hometown, much less NY, likely this would have been rescheduled. So I’m chalking up any “meh” feelings to her still recovering.
Each Band Made You Move
While you may not have heard the opening acts that well, you felt the music and while you may not have been doing hair flip worthy head bangs, you were definitely tapping your feet or nodding.
Holy White Hounds Theatrics
I think with time, and a bigger stage, the band could definitely be known for their stage antics. It seems they are really trying to have fun as they play and the lead singer seems like a bit of a joker. So they definitely are a group to watch out for.
Honestly didn’t understand the need for 2 Opening Acts
At this point, The Pretty Reckless has 2 studio albums, 1 EP, and then there are the songs from when the band first launched with tracks like Panic, Sleeze Sister, and etc. Which, I assume, Taylor is allowed to perform live. So, with that said, I don’t know why her set wasn’t longer? Granted, she cancelled the show the night before due to sickness, but it seems with each corresponding tour the setlist got longer so it being dialed back kind of sucked. For while we got “Make Me Wanna Die,” “My Medicine,” “Take Me Down,” “Going To Hell,” “Heaven Knows” “Sweet Things,” “The Walls Are Closing In – Hangman” and one more song from the new album, it was unfortunate she didn’t play more.
Though I should note, I didn’t stick around to see if there would have been an encore since I had to get my Black ass home.
Long Setup Times
One of the main things which might have made the first two acts stiff was they had everyone’s drum kit and stuff on stage so when one act finished, they removed the drum kit and the next act just had to setup their microphones and position their guitar stuff. With that, the space was limited for everyone but Taylor to do her thing.
Leading to the questioning of why, between acts, things took so long to get going again. It kind of made things into a sputtering car which, with there being two opening acts vs. one, it made me more and more frustrated as the clock ticked away. For honestly it didn’t feel like the opening acts were warming us up, but more so giving Taylor time to do whatever she needs for her vocals. For while Them Evils had a similar sound to The Pretty Reckless, Holy White Hounds sounded more Rock/Pop and it kind of threw things off.
On The Fence
Headliner Could Have Played Longer
Again, didn’t stay for a potential encore, but most encores are only 1-3 songs. So with the aforementioned number being around 8, though lets say 9 songs in case I missed one, it was disappointing. Yet, with Taylor’s style of singing, it being winter, and her being a smoker, plus her cancelling the show the night before, I almost feel like I should be grateful. With that said, It kind of sucks that if you don’t have social media then you would probably have to call the venue to see if they were still going on.
While I enjoyed myself, this didn’t set a fire in me leading me to believe I need to go to more concerts, especially rock concerts. For while I love The Pretty Reckless, and think Them Evils have potential, once they find their own sound, and Holy White Hounds could become big in a few years, honestly the sound system of Terminal 5 kind of made things bleh. I mean, I dug the pulsing room, but it was kind of clear that someone didn’t really turn up the mic as much as they did the guitars and drums, and who is there just to hear instruments?
But, as said, 2nd concert ever, and 1st rock concert, so maybe this is just how things are? Either way, I’m glad I supported the band, even got the album for buying a ticket, and while I may not check out future concerts, I’ll still look forward to new track releases, Eps, and full-length albums. TPR for life!