May 24, 2019, Night one of the 2 night stint for Bristol based punk band IDLES came at the start of the Memorial Day Weekend. On a weekend that would normally find the city filled with tourists and vacant of its residents, IDLES managed to sell out 2 nights at the Great American Music Hall (not to mention their entire US tour) and keep the residents rocking out Friday and Saturday. Bringing along with them on the tour, IDLES brought along their Dublin buddies Fontaines D.C who were equally ready to destroy the stage and build the momentum before the main act.
Here are five reasons to see IDLES live.
5. The raucous riffs and tight pants of guitarist Mark Bowen
Lead guitarist for IDLES Mark Bowen is not your typical punk guitarist. Aside from his penchant for rocking out shirtless and sporting tight legging style pants, Mark loves to get high on the crowds energy. Bowen is often found crowd surfing while playing his guitar, as well as floating around the audience standing tall on his fans own palms.
4. The Chance to jump up on stage
Where as most punk bands don’t hesitate to welcome fans on stage as they jump back into the crowds hoping to be carried away like a king on the palms of others, IDLES not only encourages the crowd surfing, but also routinely brings fans on stage to perform with them. Whether you are worthy enough to show your skills on he drums during ‘Romantic Gestures’ or just lucky to strum a few bars
3. Impromptu covers of classic 90s pop songs
Although IDLES has quite enough hits of their own to fill a setlist, the band from Bristol England loves to mix it up by throwing in off the cuff covers of random pop songs. It is not uncommon to hear snippets of songs like ‘Waterfalls’ by TLC, or ‘Living on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi, in between fan favorites like ‘Danny Nedelko’ and ‘Well Done’.
2. Joe Talbot’s intensity and poise
As everyone knows, every punk band worth their salt needs a charismatic and slightly off kilter frontman. Lucky for IDLES Joe Talbot fits that bill and more. With his gruff vocal prowess and his energetic/slightly chaotic stage presence, Joe has cultivated a loyal following for IDLES.
1. A feeling of belonging and acceptance
Many think of Punk Rockers as outcasts and people that generally hate everyone else, however if you truly understand punk music you will know that it is actually about acceptance. IDLES may evoke a sense of insanity and anger to the untrained eye, but in realty they preach about community and helping your fellow human. Their latest album Joy As an Act of Resistance is a perfect example of trying to communicate the fact that there is a lot of craziness in the world today, and as long as you aren’t affecting others in a negative way, you should be free to be yourself.
IDLES is heading back to Europe for the Summer but will be coming back to the US again in October. Each time they tour they play larger venues, so if you didn’t catch them on this club tour last time, definitely don’t miss them next time around, because soon enough these guys will be headlining arenas!