Billy Idol @ House Of Blues Sunset, 9/16/08
The cradle of love was definitely rocking as I took a trip back to Sunset Blvd. circa 1984 in my DeLorean as Billy Idol opened the House Of Billy, the first of a three night stand at the House Of Blues Sunset. The 80's icon (now in his early 50's) came full force with the snarl and full fist pumping punk rock attitude that made him one of the most recognizable artists of the time.
Before I start this review I must confess something, I wasn't born until 1984 (nor do I have a DeLorean) so my familiarity toward Idol's music is mainly through the legacy of his catalog of the 80's and early 90's. However what I do know is a good show and the performance that he put on Tuesday night was quite remarkable. The voice is still there, the attitude, although now more of a re-creation of his attitude of years past, is still there and most importantly the music still holds up and made for a thoroughly entertaining show.
Not wasting anytime getting to the hits, Idol opened with "Rock the Cradle of Love" followed by "Dancing by Myself" and "White Wedding." The packed House of Blues crowd was hooked from note one as he unleashed his hits. Idol's performance seemed to start a bit stiff and reserved, however it wasn't long before he was in full Billy Idol mode, stomping and sneering across the stage. By the time he closed the main set with "Rebel Yell" he was in complete control of the House Of Blues and the crowd was fully unleashed. The show closer "Mony Mony" became an orgy of guitars as everyone, the drummer, guitarist Steve Stevens, the keyboard player and even Idol him self let lose into an epic crescendo of sound before closing the set.
I must say that for someone who has lived quite a "fast" life being able to put on the show that he did Tuesday is quite remarkable. That unmistakable voice was in full force and did not show one hint of age or the barrage of drugs and alcohol that Idol unleashed on it throughout the ages. As I have said in previous reviews this year, it really is amazing to see some of these older, especially iconic, artists perform. Their command and control of the stage is remarkable and only something that age and experience can produce. Billy Idol has always and still has this command and even at his age he puts younger acts to shame.
One more night remains (Fri, 9/19) at the "House of Billy" and Idol will also perform at the Entertainment Tonight/People Mag Emmy Party at the Walt Disney Concert Hall this Sunday.