Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Monday, July 11, 2005

With a Rebel Yell...

I don't go to a lot of concerts. I went to see Heart, back when they wore faux gypsy style clothing and used the mandolin in their instrument line-up, and Adam Ant during the height of his penchant for swashbuckling, romantic outfits, and two drummers. Both of these concerts were in San Diego and the biggest impression they left was that I enjoyed both bands better when listened to on a record player (we're talking early '80s when CDs were new and 30 bucks a pop), no crowds, no drunks spilling beer on me, and no ear plugs required. So when Gayle asked me if I wanted to go see Billy Idol at the Civic Center Auditorium in San Jose, I wasn't exactly wildly enthusiastic.

I loved his music, sure. The Best of Billy Idol had become our road trip music; Gayle and I never started any driver shorter than two hours without first cranking it up on the car stereo. But go see him live? Have my eardrums blasted out by music cranked way too loud for anyone not already deaf? My toes stomped on by clueless morons?

Then again...it was Billy. Billy Idol, who looks like Spike on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Or does Spike look like Billy Idol? Like the chicken and the egg, it doesn't really matter. They're both hot.

Besides, I hadn't been to a concert since my early '20s, so maybe it was time to give it another try. And it was so worth it!

Not only is Billy's voice still in excellent form - he sounds as good live as he does in his recordings - but he still looks as good as he ever did back in the day. Either he's using Botox or the man's got a self-portrait in his attic. And...he took his shirt off. Did I mention he looks like Spike on Buffy? And that one of my favorite things on Buffy is when Spike takes his shirt off?

Okay, back to the music. The band was excellent and the musicanship (guitarist, drummer, bassist, keyboardist and two additional guitarists as needed) was stellar. True, the lead guitarist had a 'do that looked like a brunet Rod Stewart, but damn, could he play! And they all seemed to be having so much fun, Billy included. Billy would give his trademark sneer, then grin at the audience as if to let us all in on the fact that he wasn't taking himself seriously. The performance, yes. But the whole rock'n'roll diva mentality? If he's still got it, it wasn't evident.

They played most of the old Idol classics (White Wedding, Rebel Yell, Dancing with Myself, etc.), as well as some tunes off of his new album, and a kick ass cover of "Who Are You." I can't think of a weak number in the two hour set. And he took his shirt off. Did I mention that?


  • At 4:27 PM, Blogger FreeThinker said…

    While I can live without imagining Billy Idol with his shirt off, I must say I regret missing this concert. I like his music, but I have only seen him once ... playing the Mod leader Ace Face on the Who's "Quadrophenia" tour in 1996.

    Check out this blog for more 80s music nostalgia, and don't forget my own take on 80s music.

  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Well, the shirt shucking was definitely part of the whole experience...but I can see where it would be of less interest for you than myself!

    never saw Quadrophenia, but I'm a big "Tommy" fan!

  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger FreeThinker said…

    ... and of course I loved Billy Idol's role in "The Wedding Singer" ... !

  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    dude, that was sting in quadrophenia. but spike's look is supposed to be a play on that of ace face (sting).


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