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    The Pretenders Outdo Cat Power in Central Park

    Even at 57, Chrissie Hynde has still got it. After three decades, one of the Pretenders' two remaining original members (drummer Martin Chambers is the other one) has held onto her provocative snarl and influential biker chick style. And even though the band went six years without a studio release before putting out last year's acclaimed Break Up the Concrete, Hynde's tough guitars and sweet melodic sensibility live on in the sound of followers like Ida Maria and Lissy Trullie. But there's nothing better than the real thing. Last night, Hynde and the rest of the Pretenders, as well as opener Cat Power, performed in the blistering heat as part of the Summer Stage Gala in Central Park. Singing in the large open-air venue, Cat Power (nee Chan Marshall) didn't fare that well.

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    Glasvegas Kick Off U.S. Tour

    The vibe inside New York City's Bowery Ballroom for a sold-out show by U.K. chart-topping quartet Glasvegas wasn't any less bleak and frigid than the freezing rain outside: Dressed all in black, the band unfurled depressing tales, dreary, pint-swilling Scot pride, and football-arena-filling anthems on the day their self-titled debut dropped stateside. And the verdict on the band's first proper U.S. tour? For a band that's clearly derivative, mostly positive. During the 45-minute set, the quartet performed nine of the ten tracks from Glasvegas, their SPIN-approved debut album.

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    Snow Patrol Open U.S. Tour

    Snow Patrol may have began as an indie rock band, but over the course of 10 years and five albums, frontman Gary Lightbody and Co. have created their own lovesick brand of commercially viable mid-tempo pop rock -- the kind their fans have come to adore. And last night on the opening date of the group's U.S. tour, Snow Patrol's sound bloomed further as the band unveiled the anthemic tracks off their just-released new album, A Hundred Million Suns. Playing at New York City's jam-packed Bowery Ballroom -- a surprisingly small venue choice considering their popularity level -- the Scotland-bred/Ireland-based quintet, joined by Belle and Sebastian's drummer Richard Colburn on percussion and keyboards, built a wall of perfect sound during their hour and a half set.

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    T-Pain, Busta, Luda, and Diddy Throw Down in NYC

    Monday night T-Pain brought his hip-hop circus to New York City for a MySpace Music Release Show, celebrating the arrival of his much-anticipated third album, Thr33 Rings, out today. Performing to a room full of dancing fans and music industry players at the Hiro Ballroom, T-Pain, 23, rattled off the sing-rap style he's notorious for. However, the Tallahassee, FL, MC left the auto-tuning and studio trickery behind, and just relied on his backing tracks and diamond-encrusted microphone. For more than two hours, T-Pain pulled out all the tricks to keep the audience hooked -- and succeeded. He had a creepy mime in cornrows and two midgets join him onstage throughout the set, while a girl dancing on stilts weaved her way throughout the crowd.

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