top of page

The Pretenders: Back on the Chain Gang and Back on Tour at Taft Theatre

Playing worldwide tours and festivals since their inception, The Pretenders have set the standard for rock’n’roll since their formation in 1978. In the middle of their tour, lead singer Chrissie Hynde is coming back to her home state of Ohio playing with another famous 80’s group, The Rails.

Back in 1970 at Highland Junior High in Bellevue, Washington, Kelly Nobles (drummer), Terry James Young (bassist/vocals), and Andy Baldwin (guitar) formed The Rails with Rick Knotts joining 3 years later. The Rails established themselves as a famous Seattle band winning “Best Local Act” 3 years in a row in their early career, but after being discovered through MTV’s Basement Tapes in 1983, this gave them the chance to tour with national bands such as Van Halen, Ted Nugent, and the Beach Boys. They’ll bring you back to the 80’s with iconic classic rock music, hailing back to the better days of rock stars with big hair and eyeliner.

Headlining the show is rock legend The Pretenders, an English rock group formed in 1978 and still performing today. The band has had countless members pass through but lead lady Chrissie Hynde has been taking the stage since the beginning. The band has lead 80’s rock into the 90’s, bringing together their new wave rock roots and the r&b, funk, and soul influences on the band through the years. The Pretenders have released 11 albums and have been featured in movies such as G. I. Jane and the Bond film, The Living Daylights.

In the 70’s Hynde moved to London from the States and began playing with early versions of the Clash and the Damned. She was discovered and after making a studio demo, Anchor Records insisted on forming a more permanent group. She pulled together James Honeyman-Scott on guitar and Gerry Mcilduff on drums, naming the band The Pretenders after the Platters song “The Great Pretender.” Their first album debuted in January 1980, following the hit singles “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Kid,” and “Brass in Pocket.” The first album, Pretenders, is considered to be one of the best of all time-- VH1 voted it no. 52 and Rolling Stone no. 155.

After a 4-year hiatus, the band regrouped into a new line up, adding Robbie McIntosh and Malcolm Foster (who’d later join Simple Minds) for guitar and bass. The four of them produced “2000 Miles” and “Middle of the Road.” In the 1990’s, when Hynde became the sole original member of the Pretenders, she teamed up with many other well-known musicians for recording and live shows but finally settled on a line-up that lasted for 13 years. They were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in March 2005, accompanied by the release of the box set Pirate Radio 1979-2005. Since then, they’ve made another two records, the latest being Alone (2016) and have been touring the world. Going through countless members and line-ups, Chrissie Hynde has kept the Pretenders name alive for 40 years.

You can’t miss this one-night-only event with rock legends The Rails and The Pretenders. It’s sure to bring an exciting night for classic rock lovers and hair thrashers alike.

TL;DR Where: The Taft Theatre When: Friday, July 6. Doors open 6:30 / Show 7:30 Tickets: $39.50-$99.50



bottom of page