I Was There: Idles – Lincoln Hall (Chicago) – 8/1/2019
Thursday night was a late one with Idles taking the stage a little after midnight. The drowsiness of a late weekday night melted away like butter on a hot pan when the the Bristol group took the stage.
Before Lincoln Hall was blessed with Idles, A Place to Bury Strangers opened. Now I have listened to this group in the past, but have never seen them perform live. The sheer volume that came from the trio was absolutely over the top and terrifying. A NASA shuttle launch was coming out of the speakers right into my ear hole.
Outside of the skull shattering noise, A Place to Bury Strangers played an awesome set. The lighting was interesting with strobe lights going into the crowd and eventually with the trio setting up shop in the middle of the floor. There was some sort of wacky blue lighting going on as they played in the middle of the venue floor. I was afraid to take a real good look as I was convinced I was going to get sucked into a wormhole.
When it comes to Idles, Frontman Joe Talbot was the star of the show. Connecting and interacting with the crowd again and again. Never afraid to speak his progressive attitudes or what was on his mind. When someone asked Joe’s thoughts on new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Talbot responded by saying that “Boris is a racist piece of shit”. Later in the show before “Mother” Talbot told that crowd that on in front of us on the stage were five feminists. Love it or hate it, there’s something special about someone who isn’t afraid to say what is on their mind and what they believe in.
Idles are really a special group. Terrific eye opening songs about issues that cut deep and mean something. There’s a reason why their album was among Sleep So Late’s Favorite Albums of 2018. Idles performed 13 songs and each one had more energy in it than the last. Highlights included “I’m Scum”, “Mother” and “Danny Nedelko”. When the group closed with “Rottweiler” it felt like the perfect ending to a perfect night.
It will be interesting to see what direction Idles will continue in. Whatever it is, we have something really unique on our hands with this group. Do yourself the service and see them play if you can.