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 Billy Idol
is Back "Rocking"


 
Billy Idol represents the bridge between punk rock and hard rock/metal, a logical enough connection that somehow seemed unlikely until he made the transition. Idol left Sussex University in 1976 to join the punk movement, specifically the group of rabid Sex Pistols fans called the Bromley Contingent. Many of the members formed their own bands, and Idol began Generation X with Tony James. Generation X became a moderate success during the punk heyday of the late '70s, especially in England, with Idol on snarling lead vocals. When the band split in 1981, Idol went to New York and hooked up with manager Bill Aucoin (who had handled Kiss, among others). This resulted in Idol's grooming as more of a mainstream rock figure. His debut album, Billy Idol, came out in 1982 and spent two years on the charts as the result of such video hits as "White Wedding" and "Hot in the City." But it was Idol's second album, Rebel Yell, that was his big breakthrough, selling two million copies and spawning hits in the raucous title track and the ballad "Eyes without a Face
.......Billy Idol seemed to have changed very little when he hit the stage last night at the Warfield in San Francisco. After being AWOL for most of the decade, Idol's gravelly voice, bleached spiked hair, leather pants and the ever-present sneer all were intact. Idol proved to be in far better shape- like if time stood still for this guy.
......"It's good to be rocking again" he announced to the capacity crowd. His performance was electrifying, and thier was a surprising number of young punks, along with plenty of late-30-somethings who probably welcomed the chance to dig their old dog collars out of the closet. Lead guitarist Steve Stevens was in true form too, making the chemistry between the two musicians still very strong.
......Billy proved he still has some bad boy in him when his mic starting cutting out he threw a huge tantrum, hurling his non-working mic and a lot of curses at the techies, flinging a mic stand across the stage, and kicking a fan and amp out of his way repeatedly. Then he stormed off while they tried to fix the problem. I was a little worried that when he came back he would be in a bad mood, but he seemed to get over it, and jammed with Steve Stevens and danced around like nothing was wrong. Wow! that's Rock n Roll for you.
.....There was a good mix of hard driving favorites and some great slower tunes. The 90-minute set had a definite feel of '80s nostalgia. Idol even performed the Simple Minds song from the movie "Breakfast Club" "Don't You Forget About Me" . The song "To Be a Lover" benefited from a scaled-down arrangement, sounding more rockabilly than disco and "White Wedding" had a sensitive acoustic ring, proved to be a big hit.
..... But Idol's big hits - "Dancing With Myself" "Rebel Yell" and "Flesh For Fantasy" - made the packed house go crazy. Billy Idol continues to perform with style and strength. That style and strength is still present today and came through loud and clear at his show last night

By Randy Cohen

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  Set List :
San Francisco, CA . 8/30/01
Cradle Of Love Dancing With Myself Flesh For Fantasy Don't You (Forget About Me) * Whooping The Monster * End Of My Life White Wedding (Acoustic) Sweet Sixteen To Be A Lover (Rock-a-Billy) Eyes Without A Face Spanish Guitar Solo (Steve) Don't Need A Gun/007 Theme Blue Highway Ready - Steady - Go Rebel Yell ------------------ Mony Mony LA/SF Woman





 
 
 
 

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