NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When two icons like Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders play together you can't just write about the headliner and give a few words to the opener because they deserve so much more.
Chrissie Hynde is a rock star, punk princess and a sultry songstress and the Pretenders hit the ground running as they crashed their way through two new upbeat rockers from their latest album "Alone," released in October.
The album was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and these songs showcased the band's ability to still kick into high gear.
Their third song though was a blast from the past as they tore into "Message of Love" which was released on an EP then Pretenders II after their debut struck gold.
Hynde looked sharp in nearly all black and hair teased up, ever looking like the "adultress."
She gave a shout out to the bands' original drummer Martin Chambers as "the greatest drummer in the world."
Those two have been through a lot together and they looked as if they were having a great time.
Hynde was all smiles as she pointed out someone dancing near the front.
"Call me sexist but it's always fun to see a pretty girl dancing." Hynde's not always so bright. But this night it was all smiles from one rock's most unique singer/songwriters.
"Talk of the Town" is one of many songs that Hynde projects with her beautiful hanging vibrato and this night she was dead on.
"Back on the Chain Gang" woke up the crowd as Pretenders settled in for a run through their classics.
While Hynde is known as a straight up rock and roller who can punk it up as well as she can sell pop gold, no one can deliver a ballad with as much heart and soul.
"I'll Stand by You" brought the floor crowd to its feet as Hynde pierced the air with a gut-wrenching version of the beautiful song from their "Last of the Independents" album.
New Orleans always seems to get love from its visitors and Hynde was no different, "New Orleans, always a great time here, beautiful city!"
The hits flowed like "Don't Get Me Wrong" and "Stop Your Sobbing," a Ray Davies song the Kinks cut in the early 60's. The Pretenders final four was sweet like March Madness and Hynde may love New Orleans but this next song was one from her heart.
"You'll never be as great as my hometown Akron, Ohio."
She may love her hometown but "My City Was Gone" is a dark song about returning to her birthplace to find it in rough shape. The song was a band highlight as they gave a crunching rendition.
Chambers led the band through "Mystery Achievement," another standard from their debut album before launching into "Middle of the Road."
"We're here to rock, please join us," said Hynde.
As an opening act, Pretenders roared through an hour long 15 song set. They appropriately closed with "Brass in Pocket," the song that introduced them to America.
Hynde, usually with a guitar strapped on her back, dropped it with good effect. She strutted back and forth across the stage engaging the crowd in a sing-along. It was the perfect ending to a perfect opening act for Stevie Nicks.