Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Taylor Momsen live in Melbourne!

The Pretty Reckless @ Thornbury Theatre, 29/02/12
Review: Jordana Borensztajn
Photo: Talitha Conway

Taylor Momsen is worth all the hype.

TV star turned grunge goddess Taylor Momsen lived up to all expectations during her sold-out Melbourne Sidewave gig.

In front of an intimate but very vocal crowd at the Thornbury Theatre, Momsen proved she isn’t just another run-of-the mill actress who traded screen time for stage time just for the hell of it.
The celebrity proved that she's worth all the fuss the media makes over her; she’s fierce, mysterious, passionate, bold and unafraid.

Momsen, who played the bratty Brooklyn-based character Little J in the hit American television show Gossip Girl, boasts music talent that is raw, unprocessed and all too rare in today's industry.

Her gravely vocals – reminiscent of one of the world’s most treasured gutter-mouths, Courtney Love, with a sprinkle of Blondie’s Debbie Harry – puts a whole legion of lip-syncing pop stars to shame.

As much as Momsen tries to detach herself from acting and escape the world of TV, after seeing her perform on stage last night, it’s clear she simply cannot let go of the actress within. And she shouldn’t try.

Being a great musician today isn’t just about having a great voice or an aptitude for songwriting. It’s about the whole package; what you offer on stage, what you offer off stage, your charisma, your controversy and of course, your level of intrigue. And Momsen is the real deal.

She’s splashed all over magazine covers, continuously serves up edgy and shocking behavior for eager journalists to stick their teeth into and has the ability to penetrate you so deeply with her vocals that if you’re not careful, she just might take your breath away.

To top it all off, she’s only 18. When Momsen started penning tunes, most kids her age were playing with Barbie Dolls and eating fairy floss.

Growing up as a child star, racking up years of screen time under her garters, has equipped Momsen with a set of stage skills that ensured she kept her Melbourne fans captivated and engaged from the opening track right through to encore.

Her intense facial expressions, her carefully coordinated movements that coincided with guitar strums and even her questionable rubbing, gliding and sliding up and down her band mates’ backs made for stage viewing that hooked everyone in, from start to finish.

The passionate Melbourne crowd showed Momsen that even without any Aussie visits, her following Down Under is dedicated and loyal.

On at least eight occasions through the show, Momsen pointed the microphone toward the crowd, and they chanted back every single lyric she was pining to hear.

Highlight tracks included “My Medicine”, “Going Down,” “Just Tonight” and of course, the band’s breakthrough single “Make Me Wanna Die”.

Despite the success The Pretty Reckless has achieved in the States and across the UK – touring with Evanescence and Marilyn Manson are pretty good indications of the direction they’re headed overseas – Momsen seemed genuinely grateful to be playing for a room full of Melburnians.

Whether Momsen’s offstage behavior is good or bad, reckless or conservative, or damn right messy and out of control, when a young artist has as much raw talent as she does, they should be able to behave in any damn way they want. All gossip, hearsay, headlines and rumours become irrelevant when this girl grabs the microphone.

Thanks to Jordana @ Nova!


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