Billy Idol began his set with the new song "Postcards from the Past" at the Riviera Theatre on Feb. 7 and, for many, it was a rocking trip down memory lane. Having last seen Idol perform in 1987 at the Starwood Amphitheater in Antioche, Tennessee, it was a night for nostalgia for this reviewer as well.
He still arrived dressed in leather with a spiky blonde punk haircut and moves that have not changed, from the punching in the air to the trademark sneer.
The English singer first achieved fame in the band Generation X and played hits from that group such as "Dancing with Myself" and "Ready Steady Go." His setlist was complete with his many memorable melodies like "Flesh for Fantasy" and "Eyes Without a Face." He changed the lyrics of The Doors cover "L.A. Woman" to "Chicago Woman"a move that kept the cougar ladies in attendance dressed in cheetah print screaming for more.
Idol has acquired many followers over the years and the middle-aged crowd was composed of women, straight men playing air guitars and gays attracted to his bad-boy attitude.
The 59-year-old singer showed no signs of stopping. Last year, he released a new album Kings & Queens of the Underground and wrote an autobiography titled Dancing with Myself.
His sidekick, famed guitarist Steve Stevens, has returned to support him with some wicked solos that brought him into the spotlight several times.
While new songs such as "Whiskey and Pills" were on hand, it was his greatest hits that had fans dancing at this sold-out concert. "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding" haven't lost their luster over the years.
Closing the night with an encore of Tommy James & the Shondells' "Mony Mony" had him riding the pony out the door to his next stop on the tour. There was nothing Middlesex left about this still-sexy British singer as he showed he still has the moves to entertain even a brand-new generation.
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn