Home Live Review Live Review: The Pretenders @ The Atlantis — 8/31/23

Live Review: The Pretenders @ The Atlantis — 8/31/23

Live Review: The Pretenders @ The Atlantis — 8/31/23
The Pretenders perform at The Atlantis in DC on August 31, 2023. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

With the release of their 12th studio album a few weeks away, The Pretenders are on the road alternating gigs opening stadiums for Guns n’ Roses with headlining some small club gigs as they make their way around the country. The latter brought them to The Atlantis last Thursday for a very special and intimate gig.

While their sets playing to tens of thousands of people have skewed heavily towards the band’s hits, of which there are *many*, these club dates have swerved hard in the opposite direction, featuring older songs and deep album cuts along with a few newer songs. So anyone hoping to hear “Brass in Pocket,” “Back On the Chain Gang,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” or “Message of Love” were totally out of luck.

But longtime fans were in heaven and were thrilled to hear “Stop Your Sobbing” (a Kinks cover that served as the band’s first ever single in 1979), 1981’s “The Adultress” as well as “Time the Avenger” and “Thumbelina,” both from 1984, at The Atlantis on August 31. Their new album Relentless, out Sept. 15, provided four songs in the set, including the standouts “Let the Sun Come In” and “Losing My Sense of Taste.”

Stream “Let the Sun Come In” by The Pretenders on YouTube:

By the way, Chrissie Hynde turns 72 this week. You’d never guess it by watching her live. Her voice is still strong and her unique vocal phrasings make her one of a kind. The current line up of the band is particularly strong with guitarist James Walbourne taking the heavy lifting on most songs with support from a very strong rhythm section featuring bassist Dave Page and drummer Kris Sonne.

Hynde and The Pretenders have always straddled the line between the pop charts and alternative rock world and their performance at The Atlantis was a great example why. Seeing such an iconic band play selections from their entire career in such an intimate venue is something those in attendance won’t soon forget.


Losing My Sense of Taste
A Love
Turf Accountant Daddy
The Adultress
Downtown (Akron)
The Buzz
Domestic Silence
Time the Avenger
Boots of Chinese Plastic
Don’t Cut Your Hair
Gotta Wait
You Can’t Hurt a Fool
Let the Sun Come In
Junkie Walk

Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks cover)
Tattooed Love Boys

Here are photos of The Pretenders at The Atlantis on August 31, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Kyle Gustafson.


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