Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ (https://celebritytheatre.com/ )
Date: Friday August 12th, 2022
Tour: The Roadside Tour 2022
The show started with three of my favorite Billy Idol songs, “Dancing with Myself”, “Cradle of Love” and “Flesh For Fantasy”. In typical Billy Idol fashion, he came on stage and started fist pumping and belting out the lyrics. Tonight’s show was unique in that the stage is round and rotates. As the stage rotated, Billy and the band were constantly performing to a different section of the crowd. This didn’t stop Billy as he roamed the stage singing to everyone. Normally I follow the stage around to photograph, but tonight after the first song, I just stayed in one position for the next 2 songs and waited for the stage to come around. Usually for each song the stage was positioned in front of you at least twice.
Billy was joined by an amazing cadre of musicians. On lead guitar was the renowned guitarist, Steve Stevens. Not to be outdone, Billy Morrison provided a stellar performance on guitar. Providing the soul and bass line was Stephen McGrath. The heart pounding beat was provided by drummer Erik Eldenius. The group was rounded out with keyboardist and guitarist Paul Trudeau.
For the next 90 minutes Billy Idol had the Celebrity Theatre crowd in his hands. Almost everyone was standing for the entire show. As the stage rotated, the fans in the front kept taking photos and videos with their cell phones. At 2 different points in the show, a couple of ladies tossed their bras on the stage. One lady got taken off the stage by security as she jumped on trying to touch Billy. I saw another drunk lady being escorted out from the front row as she was constantly attempting to grab at the band. Otherwise, the crowd was just there to have fun and listen to some great music.
This was the first time I had seen Billy Idol perform. Somehow, I had missed him back in the 80s. It was everything I expected and more. I got to hear all of my Billy Idol favorite songs from the 80s and some new material from his just released EP and a couple of new songs performed for the first time, “Cage” and “Running From The Ghost”. During some of the songs, usually the hits, the crowd would sing along and Billy would just point the mic into the crowd. The main set ended with his classic “Rebel Yell” and all of the crowd was singing along. They left the stage and returned to perform 2 more songs including his mega-hit “White Wedding” as the last song of the night. After the song, the band remained on stage and Billy introduced each member. During this time the band through guitar picks and drum sticks into the crowd. The kid next to me ran down to the front and was lucky enough to get one of the drum sticks. His mother was so happy for him.
It was a great show. Billy and the band were outstanding. The sound quality and lighting at the Celebrity Theatre was great as always. The only strange thing was the 2 video screens in the theatre kept showing an overhead view of the stage and the band which I thought was strange. They normally show frontal views of the band which is great.
If you just want to hear some great 80s music performed by an awesome band then I would recommend seeing Billy Idol. Billy Idol will be touring the western part of the US for the rest of August. In the beginning of September, they are touring South America. The end of September and October they tour Europe and UK. They will return to the US in November. For tour dates and to purchase tickets (and VIP packages), please go to Billy Idol’s website.
Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved
Billy Idol Setlist: (Album / Cover)
Dancing With Myself (Don’t Stop)
Cradle of Love (Charmed Life)
Flesh For Fantasy (Rebel Yell)
Cage (New Song Premiered in Phoenix)
Speed (Idolize Yourself)
Bitter Taste (The Roadside (EP))
Eyes Without A Face (Rebel Yell)
Mony Mony (Don’t Stop / Tommy James cover)
Running From The Ghost (New Song Premiered in Phoenix)
100 Punks (Generation X song)
Blue Highway (Rebel Yell)
Rebel Yell (Rebel Yell)
Born To Lose (Johnny Thunder and the Heartbreakers cover)
White Wedding (Billy Idol (1982))