here, there, everywhere

Billy Idol Weird

In At home, Concerts on July 11, 2008 at 5:49 pm

This past weekend as a family event, my brother, sister, and I went to check out Billy Idol live in concert.  “Live” might be a misnomer since Billy wasn’t very lively, more stoned and confused.  The concert started off in a promising manner with the stage going dark and the sounds of lions and tigers and general jungle atmosphere rocking the theatre while the band came on stage.  Lights up and… Billy wanders onto the stage looking like he’s not quite sure where he is.  He lifts his head for a moment to look around and then treats us all to a big yawn.  We three siblings look at each other to confirm that we saw the same thing, yep, and we’re off to the stoner races.

I can’t even remember what song he started with but he manages to sing it in key and with most of the lyrics intact while looking at the floor and tapping his chest in time to the beat.  A little karaoke-ish, no?, and I want to yell, “It’s ok, Billy.  They’re your songs, you can own them.”  Song’s over, he mumbles something incoherent and we move on to White Wedding which he also performs moderately well.  A few more songs, then everyone but the fanastic Steve Stevens (dude, what is that on your head??) leaves the stage for a break while Steve-O brings down the house with his excellent guitar riffage.  Billy takes a hit of something backstage cuz when he comes back on he’s animated for all of 20 seconds.

We’re thinking the road crew must panic a little with the worry that Billy might wander off somewhere and disappear so it looks like they’ve given him tasks while he’s up on stage not singing.  Like a roadie brings him an acoustic guitar which he expertly swings onto his neck before playing… nothing.  Just standing there for most of the song with fingers on frets but no movement.  Then he lifts his hands like he’s going to play and… more of nothing.  End of song and two small chords later he passes the guitar back to the roadie.  Then another rocking song with yet another fantastic solo by S.S., more time to kill for Billy.  So he wanders back to the drum kit and picks up a drum stick, positioning himself behind the snare like he’s ready to kill it.  Nope.  Instead he tap tap taps it like he’s testing a steak on the barbecue for doneness and then pauses long enough to spin the cymbal around and stare at it in it’s rotating glory.  A bit more tapping, spinning, tapping, he’s done.  But there’s still more soloing going on and Billy needs purpose so one of the roadies has put a stack of white discs at the front of the drum kit.  Billy picks them up and stares at them for a good minute or two before whipping them out into the audience.  Fan appreciation moment over.

Not that I’m complaining.  As we discussed afterwards, we all felt like we’d gotten our money’s worth although perhaps not for the show we were expecting.  Nobody yells as well as Billy and Rebel Yell was worth the price of the ticket alone.  Plus he has THE SEXIEST SPEAKING VOICE of anyone on the planet and his stomach still looks rock hard.  Yes, he took off his shirt.  As we exited the theatre I saw a few star-gazing, feminine mulleted variety ladies holding those white discs.  Up close I discovered they were not Frisbees but white Corette paper plates with Billy’s autograph.


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