It must be nice to have a high budget for exploring your teenage angst. That would be Taylor Momsen, aka Gossip Girl‘s Jenny Humphrey, aka “The girl from The Grinch” with her rock/punk/grunge-style band The Pretty Reckless. Rolling through Toronto Saturday night, the band played the appropriate Tattoo Rock Parlour to a sold-out crowd of impressionable all ages.
The approximately 45-minute show had a solid delivery of a 10-track set list. For saucy song Goin’ Down, Tay Tay asked for stage dancers to grind with: “I don’t touch dudes, I’m a ladies lady.” The banter was kept to a minimum, yet enigmatically charming and fitting of her on-stage persona and image. Taylor picked up the guitar for My Medicine (a personal favourite), cooing in a low, raw, yet strong voice, while Factory Girl and single Make Me Wanna Die ended the show with inspired karaoke.
Gyrating around in black lamé boy-shorts and a tank that states everybody’s obvious collective feeling of “I FUCK FOR SATAN”, the 17-year-old definitely feeds off the shock value of her underage provocativeness. The seemingly-inappropriate feeling of Taylor’s style is an ode to vintage scandalousness a la The Runaways and Cherie Currie‘s Cherry Bomb-status corset. Yet as hooker as the superficial aesthetic may seem, it comes off less-cheap than the Miley Cyrus girlies of the industry.
Coming from teenage-aimed television fame, The Pretty Reckless have finagled a strong following of young girls. Usually skeptical of acting-to-music transitions, Taylor is owning it by straying from the generic pop-electro-yawn genre and doing exactly what she wants without being perceived as cheap fame-seeking and empire-chasing. Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester, take note.
Currently on tour across North America, The Pretty Reckless’ debut album Light Me Up is a musical collection worthy a play-through, unrestricted to a specific demographic.
I love to hate and hate to love. Yeah, pretty fucking reckless.
P.S. Below, TPR’s first single and your new anthem… (If it’s not already your ringtone. Ahem.)
Words by Melania Fedyna
Photos by the fabulous Al D