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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 44
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Hot in the city

Billy Idol keeps on rocking

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

BILLY IDOL
THE SHOWBOX SODO
October 26


Age ain't nothing but a number, and 56-year-old Billy Idol proved it with a high-energy performance in front of a sold-out Seattle audience last weekend.

He looked every bit the rock star that he was in the '80s and early 90s with his spiky blond hair, exposed smooth chest, leather-studded jacket, and devilish grin. Not only did he look great on stage, but his growling voice was surprisingly still intact. He glided through a two-and-a-half-hour concert that featured all of his top solo hits and a few from his days with punk outfit Generation X.

'Dancing With Myself,' 'Cradle of Love,' and an awesome extended version of 'Flesh for Fantasy' were rolled out in a three-song run early in the show, which highlighted some tricky guitar work from longtime cohort Steve Stevens. There were moments when Stevens completely stole Idol's thunder, like when he plucked an electric guitar behind his head during 'Blue Highway' - and then topped that stunt by playing it with his teeth.

CLASSICS WITH A TWIST
Displaying versatility, Idol added a rockabilly take on 'To Be a Lover' and an acoustic rendition of 'Sweet Sixteen' to his set list. His soft version of 'Eyes Without a Face,' performed while standing atop a pedestal wearing an angel-white button-down shirt (completely unbuttoned, of course), was dazzling.

He closed the main set with 'Rebel Yell,' shifting from side to side screaming 'Do you feel alright?!' in the middle of it. But he wasn't done yet. As the crowd chanted 'Billy! Billy! Billy!' he reappeared and performed 'White Wedding' that began acoustically, then picked up considerable speed and volume towards the end. He finally capped the show with 'Mony Mony,' finishing it all off by beating his bare chest and belting out his best Tarzan impersonation.

The Seattle concert was apparently a special performance, a gift to a local fan who pestered Idol for many years to play at his birthday party. The fan, Michael Henrichsen, was invited on stage near the end of the show and everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.

But the real star on Friday night was Billy Idol. Yes, he's older. But the guy still rocks!

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