Pretenders frontwoman and rock legend Chrissie Hynde made her feelings on cell phone use during concerts quite clear during a recent show in Dubai. There’s some history here, with Hynde sharing her feelings from the stage in the past, but the situation in Dubai left fans with a bad taste in their mouths. While headlining at the Irish Village’s Live on the Lake concert on Thursday, Hynde was greeted by several fans going against the band’s request to keep cell phones away during the show.
Before even finishing one song, the legendary lady of rock had already started to yell obscenities into the crowd according to The National:
“Chrissie Hynde told the crowd to ‘stop using your ******* phones, stick ‘em up you’re ****’,” he said.
“Needless to say some people took no notice of this, and she repeated the above sentence a number of times during their first few songs, sometimes picking out people in the audience specifically and repeating the rant.”
“Approximately three or four songs in, she stopped singing during one song and said that she ‘ain’t Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, so if you wanna use your ******* phones, go and see them, we are a rock band’
Several other fans at the event repeated the same story and Hynde ended up cutting the show short once the crowd started to boo:
“She said: ‘Is that for me or her?’, and was pointing at the person in the crowd who had offended her by using her phone to take photos, and a lot of the crowd shouted back ‘Yooooooou’…
“She said ‘if you keep using your phones, then I’m not singing and you can listen to us playing’, and so she stopped singing and at the end of that particular song, she said ‘Well, take a ******* picture of this’ and she and the band walked off stage.”
The incident prompted a response from Hynde on her Facebook page, apologizing somewhat for her actions but adding that fans shouldn’t expect much different the next time out:
I do want to apologise for being a bit of a bitch when it came to camera phones and just being myself in general. As you probably know by now, when i’m not on the stage, i like to retain a very ordinary profile and get embarrassed by uninvited attentions. So if I told anyone to ‘get lost’ – it’s just me being the citizen God intended me to be. I know sometimes I’m not the celebrity you want, but believe me, I suffer for it later that night and wish i could have been a nicer person. But I wasn’t, I’m not, and probably not going to change any time soon.
Some fans were not pleased by the show and Hynde’s outburst, sharing on social media that they’d want a refund and likely wouldn’t go to another show with the band again.
You can read Hynde’s full statement below. It’s hard to pinpoint the good guy in this situation, but the band did make it clear about cell phone use before the show began. While the outburst is hard to defend, the reason that led to it is not.