REVIEWS: The face and voice of Pretending, Karen Alvarez in the role of Chrissy, replicates the sound of all of the band’s hits from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Karen particularly does well with songs from the early catalog, including ‘Mystery Achievement’ and ‘Up the Neck’
William D. • February 13, 2014
Will Book Pretending Again! Crowd Loved Them!
Pretending was playing and my friend who is a big Pretenders Fan was singing along to every song and kept saying to me that she loved the song choices of this band and that they sounded great. I totally agreed. Band was tight and everyone was having fun. I will book them again for sure.
Pretending Rocks it!
We had the pleasure of listening and dancing to “Pretending” at Georges, San Rafael in March 2013. What a blast! Karen, the lead singer, personable with her fans, engages her audience with the music of the Pretenders.
We have since followed this band throughout the bay area. We are now major “Pretending” fans!!!
Can’t wait for the next concert!!!!
Dori and Terry from Danville/San Ramon
Wayne W. • January 25, 2014
What a great tribute to the Pretenders! They have a “Chrissie” who actually plays the guitar and sings. She’s a bad ass. Their lead guitar player is fantastic. If you can’t play all those melodic hooks, it isn’t Pretenders music. This guy has it nailed down cold – with great tone. The rhythm section is tight like they have been playing together forever. They did the hits and the b-side material too – more than enough to satisfy a Pretenders fan. My favorite? Mystery Achievement. I would hire this band again for sure.
Jim C. • January 24, 2014
Fresh taste of the influential band of 1980’s New Wave
The Pretenders was one of the most influential bands that helped to define the New Wave genre of the 1980s. Chrissy Hynde was the consistent and persistent face, voice, and soul of the band through several lineup changes resulting from a series tragedies and the usual band chaos. Chrissy defined the sound of the band, and of the genre for many music fans. The tribute band Pretending does a wonderful job at bringing back the memories of the great music Ms. Hynde and her band mates gave to New Wave fans.
The face and voice of Pretending, Karen Alvarez in the role of Chrissy, replicates the sound of all of the band’s hits from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Karen particularly does well with songs from the early catalog, including ‘Mystery Achievement’ and ‘Up the Neck’, but also spans the range to give the more pop-ish/polished later songs like ‘Back on the Chain Gang’ and ‘I’ll Stand by You’ their due accord.
As with most quality tribute bands, the musicianship is top-tier with this group, with true-to-original guitar riffs by lead guitarist Rob McCullough, who responds energetically to the appreciation of the crowd. A steady rhythm section comprised of Brad Torres on drums and Adam Alvarez on bass set the table and guarantee that you will recognize each song from the first few notes.
The star of this band, however, is Karen. While she lacks the anti-establishment angst and aloofness of Chrissy Hynde, her stage presence and true-to-the-original vocals grab the audience from the opening note and have them singing along with her throughout the set. While she projects a softer Chrissy that is more in touch with the audience, she consistently sings true to the energy and passion of Hynde’s lyrics as they were written and intended to be performed.
If you are a fan of the Pretenders, the New Wave Genre, or simply have an appetite for 1980’s pop crossover music, Pretending is not to be missed.