September 9, 2022 The Pretty Reckless At The House Of Blues

Published by Victor Barr on

Blood pumped through my veins and my fingers tingled with the excitement of the day. My favourite new band was only hours away from taking the stage and I couldn’t wait for the show to start. 

We met our friends in front of the VRBO place we’d booked in the middle of downtown San Diego. We chose the closest most affordable place to The House Of Blues and hoped that it would be ok. Thankfully it was a good place with a clean and comfortable bed. What more could we ask for? I didn’t care the Hustler Sex Shop was the next-door neighbour. Although our friends looked at the location and I could tell they were wary of it. We grabbed our luggage and packed them up the stairs. The place was secure and the hallways were clean. And it was only a three-minute walk to the venue.

What more did we need?

The area was a little on the rough side, many of the restaurants and shops were boarded up. A combination of the economy and the pandemic has taken its toll on that part of the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego. But it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Hastings Street in Downtown Vancouver.

None of that mattered to me. I was there for one thing only; watching The Pretty Reckless headline a small venue. I would not be disappointed.

he four of us found a nice restaurant on the main strip and sat on the patio for happy hour. I was feeling restless as the time crept closer to six o’clock. We’d paid extra for early entrance into the venue and I did not want to miss the chance to get up front and centre. So by quarter to six I grabbed my wife and left our friends at the restaurant. We walked the four blocks to the venue and made it just in time to get in.

Except the wifi for The House Of Blues was not secure and I couldn’t open the tickets on the phone. The tickets were secure and they could not be screenshots they had to be the original ones. After five minutes of frustration, I ended up spending the fifteen bucks on my roaming fee and turning on the data so we could open up the tickets.

It worked and we were on our way into the line.

That was when they chose to explain that my wife’s purse was not permitted into the venue and there was nowhere to store it.

What?!!! Good thing our room was close.

But we were losing precious spots in line.

I thought briefly about sending her back to the place on her own but was afraid she would get lost. So I grabbed my wife by the arm and off we walked quickly to our place.

Hurry up honey was all I could think, it wasn’t her fault she had to carry a purse was it? Why was there so much security these days anyway, why do women need purses? To much time to think as we stalked the three-minute walk back to our place.

Soon enough we were back and down the stairs into a nice little bar area. It was a staging place for the people with advanced entry and VIPs to wait to be let into the show. There were seats and there was a bar selling drinks. The line had formed and we were about thirty people back from the front.

If only they didn’t have the stupid rule about purses…

Time inched by rapidly and the doors opened up. It was pretty cool hanging with people that love The Pretty Reckless as much as I do and we all compared notes on our favourite songs. 

Anticipation rose.

And like that the doors opened.

It was time to move, the middle rail was already full within seconds of marching into the venue. It was smaller than I thought, I’d been to too much bigger bars in my time. But it oozed class and history and the sign above the stage said all I wanted – in huge letters “The Pretty Reckless” hovered over us. We walked to the far end of the stage and found a spot right on the railing. It was seven o’clock and soon it would be time to rock.

Aryan Jones took the stage and warmed up the crowd. We could feel the energy and excitement pulse. They were good, but they were not the reason we were there. Soon, the headliners would take the stage.

It was a small stage and a very cosy spot to watch a concert. But it didn’t feel like a concert. It felt more intimate, more like a performance for their friends. And almost everyone in the venue felt like one of a special group of friends with The Pretty Reckless.

With a jolt of energy, they took the stage. The first beats of the song Death By Rock And Roll filled the air and my body. We were on the front rail and the music took over my soul.

For the next ninety minutes, I was in rock and roll heaven.

They played much the same set as the one we’d seen only ten days before in my hometown of Kelowna.

But this was different, it was closer it was filled with a crowd that was there to see the band. The crowd was there because they loved the music. Unlike Kelowna where the crowd was there more for Greta Van Fleet. The connection between the crowd, the band, and the music was subliminal and I felt it in every fibre of my being.

Rock and roll heaven indeed.

This time when Taylor Momsen asked for the crowd to join the band, they did and belted out the words to Heaven Knows, so that everyone could hear it from blocks around.

The bassist stood over us and we waved our arms in the air he casually flicked a guitar pick towards my out-stretched arm and the lady beside me reached out at the same time. We both missed it but I grabbed it off my wife’s arm and handed it to her. She beamed in gratitude and I looked back up at the stage. The bassist, Mark Damon smiled at me and tossed another pick right into my outstretched hand.

Woohooo!

Most expensive guitar pick ever, and worth every penny. 

The show ended with a bang as they played their biggest song Take Me Down as their encore. I cheered and screamed for more, but they didn’t play my favourite song – And So It Went. I wanted more! But all good things must come to an end.

It gave me a reason to see them again one day. 

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