Billy Idol

Concert Review: Billy Idol, The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA, 08-17-10 (Tuesday)      
 
          On August 17, 2010 Billy Idol played a sold out show at San Francisco’s 1,200?seat capacity Fillmore.  Billy Idol (“BI,” vocals) played a 15?song, 115-minute set from 9:00 to 10:55.

             1. Ready Steady Go (Generation X cover: Generation X, 1978) is an up tempo song from Generation X (British punk rock band 1976?1981 for which BI handled vocals) that began with Steve Stevens (“SS,” lead guitar) and Billy Morrison’s (“BM,” rhythm guitar) chugging guitar riffs and Jeremy Colson’s (“JC,” drums) tom?toms that they continued to play when BI four times sang, “Ready, steady, go.”  BI wore black combat boots, black denim slacks with a zipper on each the outer side from ankle to cuff and chains extending from belt loop to his back right pocket, black leather belt, black suspenders dangling below his hips, black cotton tank top shirt, black denim jacket with a zipper on each outer side from forearm to cuff, and leather wristbands.  BI then sang the first verse during which SS and BM played fast?paced guitar chord progressions followed by the first chorus during which SS and BM played the chugging guitar riffs from the introduction.  BM played a black and white stripe Gibson Les Paul guitar.  

            BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus, the difference being that SS and BM only played single guitar chords after the first four sentences of the chorus before they resumed playing chugging guitar riffs.  SS then played a 15?second (approximations presumed throughout) guitar solo on his black Gibson Les Paul guitar.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the third verse and chorus.  The band then engaged in a jam during the last 40 seconds during which BI thrice shouted, “Ready steady go!  Go, go, go, go!” and SS played a second 15?second guitar solo during which he quickly flipped his guitar’s toggle switch.

 

            2. Dancing With Myself (Don’t Stop, 1981) began with JC’s up beat snare drum pattern augmented shortly thereafter by Stephen McGrath’s (“SM,” bass) tandem bass line and SS’s catchy series of high guitar notes that they continued to play while BI sang the first two verses in quick succession and at an up tempo pace.  BI then sang the first chorus during which SS and BM played power chords while SM and JC continued to play an up tempo bass line and drum beat.  BM and SM aided BI by four times chanting, “oh … oh … oh.”  BI then repeated the pattern from the first two verses and first chorus when he sang the third and fourth verses and second chorus.  The band then engaged in a jam that began with JC playing his snare drum at an up tempo pace for 10 seconds after which SM joined in with a punchy bass line and BI four times chanted, “oh … oh … oh” followed by, “oh … oh … oh … dancing with myself.”

            SS then played a 20?second guitar solo comprised of seven bars of an ascending note scale.  SS played part of his solo with his guitar propped on the back of his neck while he continued to play.  SS wore shiny silver boots, rust denim slacks with embossed skull and crossbones icons on each rear pant pocket cover, black leather belt with multiple hollow silver hoops of varying sizes, and long?sleeve button?down pink silk shirt with subtle vertical ruffled texture.  BI then repeated the third and fourth verses and second chorus.  SS and BM stood center stage facing each other and engaged in a mini jam during the chorus.  Dancing with Myself and four other songs to be performed received the strongest audience reaction.

 

            3. Love is Strange (unreleased) is an up tempo song that began with a quick burst of JC’s snare drum followed by two bars of SS and BM’s groovy riff augmented by SM and JC’s up tempo bass line and drum beat.  BI then sang the first verse followed by the even catchier first chorus, “Hey, hey hey.  Love is strange.  She feels me comin’ through the highway haze.  Hey, hey, hey.  Love is strange.  I saw you dancing in the dance hall days.”  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus during which audience members bobbed their heads to the catchy melody.  SS and BM then played a 30?second (combined) guitar solo a la Adrian Smith and Dave Murray (Iron Maiden guitarists).  BM played a cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul guitar.  BI then repeated the chorus.

            4. Flesh for Fantasy (Rebel Yell, 1983) is a sultry, mid tempo song that began with JC’s mid tempo bass drum and SM’s punchy bass line reminiscent of the discothèque era that they continued to play when BI sang the first verse introduced with SS and BM’s strumming of a melodic guitar chord.  DS’s keyboard notes and SS and BM’s guitar riffs and notes accentuated the song’s sultry vibe.  BI then sang the first chorus during which SS and BM continued to play the sultry guitar riffs and notes, “Face to face … and back to back.  You see and feel … my sex attack.  Sing it … flesh, flesh for fantasy.  We want … flesh, flesh for fantasy.”  BI emphasized the phrase, “flesh, flesh for fantasy,” which he sang in a lower than usual octave.  BI thoroughly enjoyed performing and interacting with the audience to the point that he autographed records for fans stage left and right.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus while standing atop a three by three feet platform extending into the crowd center stage.  [The female audience members who outnumbered the male three to one stroked BI’s well?chiseled thighs and taut abdomen as if admiring the statue of a Greed god.] 

            The tempo slightly escalated during the 25?second musical interlude between the second chorus and first pre?chorus during which BI played a tambourine, SM a punchy bass line, JC an up beat drum beat bordering on techno rock, and SS and SM a sinful guitar riff.  The tempo then resumed its initial mid tempo pace as BI sang the pre?chorus augmented by DS’s atmospheric keyboards, SM’s bass line, and JC’s drum beat.  BI then sang the third chorus after which the band engaged in a 55?second jam during which SS played the sultry guitar riffs and BM the melodic guitar notes.  BM then modified the record version of the song by singing a third verse that contained parts of select lines from the first and second verses.  BI then four times chanted, “Flesh” in quick succession and encouraged audience participation, an act he thrice repeated. 

[Photo Insert Scream]

            5. Scream (Devil’s Playground, 2005).  Before Scream BI said, “Cheers.  How are you doing today?  I want to introduce you to the band.  Steve Stevens on guitar.  From San Francisco, Jeremy Colson on drums.  From Santa Cruz, Derek Sherinian on keyboards.  I have a slow one. But I have a feeling you still want to rock.  Steve, what should we do?”  SS shouted, “Scream.”  Scream began with amplifier (“amp”) feedback from SS’s guitar followed by two and one?half bars of a wicked guitar riff he played while the stage was immersed in darkness.  SS, BM, and SM then played chugging riffs after which BI sang the first verse in a deep, relaxed tone mainly augmented by SM’s rollicking, prominent bass line and SS and BM’s recurring, subtle guitar riffs.  The first verse includes sexually oriented lyrics, “You are the lock.  I am the key.  Climb up my lemon tree.  You are the one.  You’re on your knees.  You are my little queen.  You know just what I mean.  Climb up my lemon tree.”  [I do not think BI was encouraging the youth contingent in the audience to set up lemonade stands.] 

             BI screamed the final line of the first verse (i.e., “climb up my lemon tree”) and then transitioned to the first chorus, which he continued to scream and during which the tempo escalated and SS and BM played a recurring series of high guitar runs.  The band stopped playing for one second at the end of the first chorus.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  BI then shouted, “suck it,” serving as the cue for SS to play a 25?second guitar solo on his black Gibson Les Paul.  SS and BM then played the wicked guitar riffs from the introduction, which BM played on his black and white stripe Gibson Les Paul guitar.  BI repeated the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when he sang the third verse and chorus.  BI then screamed, “One more time now” and repeated the chorus.

            6. Sweet Sixteen (Whiplash Smile, 1986).  Before Sweet Sixteen BI said, “This next song certainly has a story.”  BI told a story about visiting the Coral Castle (stone structure created by eccentric Latvian American Edward Leedskalnin north of the city of Homestead, Florida.  The castle includes numerous megalithic stones, mainly limestone formed from coral, each weighing several tons).  BI said, “I asked, ‘What the f**k did you build this place for?’  He looked me in the eye and said, ‘It is for my sweet sixteen.’”   Sweet Sixteen is a sentimental ballad with a country tinge reminiscent of Johnny Cash (American country singer, guitarist dubbed “The Man in Black”).  The song began with BI, SS, and BM playing melodic acoustic guitar notes, SM prominently playing a punchy bass line, and JC playing a basic beat on his snare drum and cymbal using drum brushes. 

            BI sang the first verse, pre?chorus, and chorus in a particularly emotional and raspy tone.  The melody remained consistent during the verse, pre?chorus, and chorus except that Derek Sherinian (“DS,” keyboards) played a cascading series of keyboard notes during the chorus.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse, pre?chorus, and chorus when he sang the second verse, pre?chorus, and chorus followed by the third verse, pre?chorus, and chorus with the accompaniment during the chorus being provided by acoustic guitars and snare drum until the final line (i.e., “rock her far from here”).  The song ended with a 40?second jam during which BI, SS, BM, and SM stood stage front center stage and included a 20?second SS guitar solo he played on a maple acoustic-electric guitar.  BI played a natural wood acoustic guitar while BM played a black acoustic guitar.   

            7. Scarred for Life (unreleased).  BM played the introductory guitar notes and handled lead vocals to this mid tempo song during the first verse, which he sang with both hands on the microphone stand.  The lyrics are poignant, “I gotta believe.  If I’m for real, this whole fu**ing life can’t be in vain.  I can’t be insane … am I?  The damage I’ve done, with a needle and spoon.  I was entombed in a lonely dark room.  I can’t be insane.”  BM wore bright red loafer shoes, blue denim slacks, long?sleeve button?down black cotton shirt with a red left and white right sleeve rolled up to his elbows.  BM and BI then co?sang the first chorus that featured a fluid, catchy guitar chord progression and melody a la Green Day (American punk rock band).  [It is the type of melody I hum off?key while wearing my Aquaman shower cap and playing with my rubber duckies in my bath tub.]  BI and BM then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when they sang the second verse and chorus.  SS then played a guitar solo on his black Gibson Les Paul followed by BI and BM repeating the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when they sang the third verse and chorus.

            8. Eyes Without A Face (Rebel Yell, 1983) began with DS’s atmospheric keyboard chords that he played for 35 seconds amidst blue stage lights at which point SS came on stage and played a 60?second melodic piece on his natural wood acoustic-electric guitar augmented by DS’s keyboard chords.  DS wore black denim slacks, long?sleeve black cotton shirt with a gray chest?level cross logo.  DS played three keyboards, including a Korg and Roland, positioned at the rear of stage right behind finely spaced vertical metal grills with mini lights of varying colors four feet high and 10 feet wide.  [DS’s set up gave the false impression he was quarantined to a limited, designated region as if suffering from a contagious ailment like the bubonic plague.  BI does deserve credit for the wherewithal to have DS play keyboards on stage.  When DS played keyboards with Kiss on the Revenge tour (1992) Gene Simmons (Kiss bassist, vocalist) and Paul Stanley (Kiss rhythm guitarist, vocalist) relegated DS to a location out of audience view as they have done with keyboardists on other tours (e.g., Gary Corbett).]  DS then played two bars of descending keyboard chords augmented by SM and JC’s mid tempo bass line and drum beat at which point SS sat on the stage monitor positioned at the front edge of stage right.  BI came on stage and sang the first verse and chorus at a slow tempo and in an emotional tone while SS and BM played melodic guitar notes and SM and JC played the mid tempo bass line and drum beat from the introduction.  BI wore a thigh?length black wool blazer with nothing underneath.

            BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus, the only difference being that SS and BM played more colorful and intricate melodic guitar notes.  BM played a maroon Gibson Les Paul guitar.  During the second chorus BI stood atop the platform center stage, once again prompting female audience members to caress and grope his thigh.  [The slew of hands reaching for BI looked like a scene from George Romero’s zombie film, “Night of the Living Dead” (1968).]  SS then got up from the monitor and went to the rear of the stage where he switched to his black Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.  SS’s quick guitar chord unexpectedly and momentarily escalated the song to an up tempo pace.  SS and BM played wicked guitar riffs supported by SM and JC’s solid rhythm section that they continued to play when BI sang the third verse.  SS then played a searing, sultry guitar solo reminiscent of Vinnie Vincent’s (Kiss’s lead guitarist 1982?84) on Kiss’s Creatures of the Night record (1982) and during which he incorporated Pete Townshend’s (The Who guitarist) signature windmill move (twice) followed by the thumbs up sign to the audience.  The tempo then abruptly shifted back to its initial slow tempo pace as BI repeated the pattern from the second verse and chorus when he sang the fourth verse and third chorus.  Eyes Without A Face, Dancing with Myself, and three other songs to be performed received the strongest audience reaction.

            9. Kings and Queens of the Underground (unreleased).  The first 20 seconds of this ballad featured DS’s atmospheric keyboards augmented by a pre?recorded tape track of an echoing male voice uttering something indecipherable.  [Somewhat like what I mutter after chugging a 40?ounce bottle of malt liquor.]  SS then played melodic guitar notes on his natural wood acoustic-electric guitar that he continued to play when BI sang the first verse.  BI’s sang in a soft tone augmented by SS’s melodic guitar notes, DS’s keyboard notes, and JC’s occasional cymbals, which they continued to play when BI transitioned without pause to the first chorus.  Four large, vertically?aligned green stage lights positioned in the rear of stage left and right (eight total) shined on the audience.  SS and DS continued to play melodic guitar and keyboard notes during the 10?second musical interlude between the first chorus and second verse.

            BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus, the difference being that SM and JC played a slow tempo bass line and drum beat during the second verse and chorus while SS and BM switched to playing guitar chord progressions during the second chorus.  BI then four times repeated the bridge, “oh, golden years” during which JC delivered a healthy dose of cymbal crashes.  SS then played a 20?second guitar solo.  BI then repeated the pattern from the second verse and chorus when he sang the third and fourth verse/chorus combinations.  The third verse contains particularly candid lyrics, “Sold all my vinyl.  It went up my arm.  And I thought rock and roll wouldn’t do me no harm.  Now I’m rolling a joint.  Yes I’m dressed in black.  If we lose the music baby we can never go back.”  Kings and Queens of the Underground is an autobiographical song because BI references various releases in his storied career, Kiss Me Deadly (1981 Generation X record), Hot in the City (1982 song on BI’s self?tiled debut solo record), Rebel Yell (1984 song and record), and Eyes Without A Face (1984 song on BI’s Rebel Yell record).

            10. L.A. Woman (The Doors cover: L.A. Woman, 1971).  Before performing L.A. Woman BI, who wore a long?sleeve button?down black satin shirt (unbuttoned) came on stage and tossed four white Frisbees followed by some JC drumsticks into the audience.  L.A. Woman began with two bars of DS’s shuffling, up tempo keyboard notes reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis (American rock and roll and country singer, pianist) followed by two bars of SS and BM’s fiery guitar runs.  SS played his black Gibson Les Paul guitar while BM played a maple sunburst Gibson Les Paul guitar.  BI then sang the first verse augmented by SS and BM’s chugging guitar riffs, DS’s up tempo keyboard notes, SM’s up tempo bass line, and JC’s solid drum beat.  BI then sang the first pre?chorus during which SS and BM played mid tempo guitar chord progressions followed by SS’s fiery guitar run during the 10?second musical interlude between the first pre?chorus and chorus.  BI then sang the first chorus during which SS and BM resumed playing chugging guitar riffs, DS up tempo keyboard notes, SM up tempo bass line, and JC solid drum beat.  SS and BM switched to playing mid tempo guitar chord progressions toward the chorus’s end when BI sang the line, “Into your blues.”  BI modified the chorus line from “L.A. Woman” to “S.F. Woman.” 

            The tempo then reduced to a slow tempo pace as BI sang the first four lines of the second verse augmented by SS and BM’s melodic guitar notes and SM and JC’s subtle bass line and drum beat.  The vertical metal grills with mini lights mounted on the wall behind and flanking the two sides of JC’s drum set (see set up discussion below during JC’s drum solo) featured neon blue and green lights.  DS played a 90?second keyboard solo during which BI played a cowbell and SM and JC a bass line and drum beat that provided a solid rhythm section.  SM stood in front of DS’s keyboards.  The tempo resumed a mid tempo pace when BI sang the fifth line of the second verse (i.e., “drivin’ down your freeways”) augmented by DS’s shuffling, up tempo keyboard notes while SS and BM switched to playing chugging guitar riffs.  SS played a series of vibrato?laced low guitar notes during the 10?second musical interlude between the second verse and chorus.  After singing the second chorus BI repeated the first verse and chorus.  The song concluded with BI, SS, BM, and SM standing stage front center stage where they engaged in a jam during which the tempo slightly escalated.  The song ended with JC bashing his tom?toms five times.

            -Steve Stevens Guitar Solo.  SS’s four?minute guitar solo commenced with DS’s dark, atmospheric keyboard chords while the eight vertically?aligned stage lights shined on the audience.  These lights were initially electric blue but eventually turned red and then white.  SS played flamenco style guitar notes traditionally played on an acoustic guitar on his black Gibson Les Paul while he smoked a cigarette.  SS progressively played faster until he reached a frenetic pace.  SS then reduced the tempo of his playing and incorporated some of Jimmy Page’s (Led Zeppelin guitarist) guitar notes from Led Zeppelin’s Over the Hills and Far Away (Houses of the Holy, 1973).  SS then played fiery notes during which he demonstrated his dexterity by playing part of his solo with left?hand vibrato.

            11. King Rocker (Generation X cover: Valley of the Dolls, 1979).  Before King Rocker BI said, “Steve Stevens thank you.  That was fu**in’ great.  We are going to do a song that we wrote almost 40 years ago.”  King Rocker is an up tempo rockabilly song that began with JC’s rollicking tom?toms.  BI then sang the first verse at a fast tempo augmented by SS and BM’s shuffling guitar riffs, SM’s punchy bass line, and JC’s up tempo tom?toms followed by the first chorus during which SS and BM played chugging guitar riffs and JC the rollicking tom?toms from the introduction.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus followed by the pre-chorus, which he sang in pseudo?rap fashion solely augmented by SM and JC’s rollicking bass line and tom?tom.  BM then played a guitar solo on his black and white stripe Gibson Les Paul guitar while standing center stage next to SS.  BI, who wore his black denim jacket atop a long?sleeve button?down white cotton shirt with black vertical pin stripes (unbuttoned), then repeated the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when he sang the third verse and chorus.  SS played a beautiful Gibson Les Paul guitar with a cracked pearl surface resembling a smashed mirror.  King Rocker is reminiscent of a mix of Elvis Presley (American rock and roll singer) and Stray Cats (American rockabilly band).

            12. Running with the Boss Sound (Generation X cover: Valley of the Dolls, 1979) was preceded by a 60?second SS guitar riff showcase reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen’s (Van Halen guitarist) guitar work on Eruption off Van Halen’s self?titled debut record (1978).  SS’s guitar riffs, which he played on his electric burgundy standard Fender Stratocaster body shape guitar while smoking a cigarette amidst flashing blue stage lights, led straight into the song’s 15?second introductory mid tempo guitar run augmented by SM’s bass line and JC’s drum beat.  SM’s punchy bass line and JC’s driving snare drum and cymbals escalated the song to an up tempo pace.  BI then sang the first verse during which SS and BM played up tempo, chugging guitar riffs while SM continued to play a punchy bass line.  BI transitioned without pause to the first chorus during which SS and BM played shuffling guitar riffs.  BI sang in a punk tone that did not entirely mesh with the rhythm section.  [The vocals and rhythm section were not diametrically opposed but rather operated on different wavelengths toward a common goal, somewhat like a virgin’s testosterone?laced, goal?oriented brain and overexcited jittery hands as he clumsily unbuttons a willing girl’s bra.]

            BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus after which the band engaged in a 20?second jam during which BM played a brief two?second guitar solo on his gold Gibson Les Paul guitar.  BI then repeated the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when he sang the third and fourth verse/chorus combinations.  SS then played an extended four?minute blues?based guitar solo during which the tempo momentarily reduced to a mid tempo pace and that was augmented by BI’s tambourine and JC’s simple hi?hat and bass drum.  During SS’s guitar solo the song’s tempo progressively increased and resumed an up tempo pace at which point BM and SM joined in with their bass line and drum beat.  SS concluded his solo by picking notes using his teeth a la Jimi Hendrix (iconic black American guitarist, vocalist).  BI, who was still wearing his long?sleeve button?down white cotton shirt with black vertical pin stripes (unbuttoned chest and sleeves) but without the denim jacket, then repeated the pattern from the first four verses and choruses when he sang the fifth verse and chorus.  During the first few lines of the fifth verse SS, BM, and SM stopped playing and JC’s bass drum was BI’s sole rhythm section prompting the audience to clap along.

            13. Rebel Yell (Rebel Yell, 1983).  Before Rebel Yell BI, who was bare?chested, once again introduced his band, “Steve Stevens, Jeremy Colson, Derek Sherinian.  Last night I forgot his [DS’s] name.  Next week I am going to put you [DS] up here [center stage].  Let’s do Rebel Yell!”  Rebel Yell is a timeless up tempo anthem that began with DS’s recognizable keyboard chords and SS and BM’s short, sputtering guitar riffs during which BI and SS crisscrossed one another as they ran from the front edge of stage right to stage left.  A powerful series of triple chords by SS and BM served as the cue for BI to sing the first verse augmented by DS’s keyboard chords, JC’s solid drum beat and SS and BM’s short, sputtering guitar riffs from the introduction.  BI sang in a tone reminiscent of Elvis Presley until he reached the last line when he screamed the final phrase (i.e., “pray help from above”).  BI’s scream served as the cue for SS and BM to play heavy, drawn?own guitar riffs while BI sang the first chorus with ample audience participation, “In the midnight hour she cried, ‘more, more, more.’  With a rebel yell she cried, ‘more, more, more.’  In the midnight hour babe, ‘more, more, more.’  With a rebel yell, ‘more, more, more.’  More, more, more!”  [SS and BM played powerful, grinding riffs of the type that compelled me to rip off my shirt and beat my chest like a silver back gorilla.]  SS played a short, fiery guitar run as BI sang the final phrase (i.e., “more, more, more”).  [SS’s guitar run was so smoldering it would singe my Andy Rooneyesque eyebrows if I stood too close to his deadly axe.]

            BI then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus followed by the third verse with the latter particularly reminiscent of Elvis’s singing style.  SS then played a 25?second guitar solo, part of which he used a toy laser gun in lieu of a pick to strum his guitar strings.  [SS’s solo was fitting for a heavy metal song.]  The tempo then momentarily reduced to a mid tempo pace.  During the 60?second musical interlude between the third and fourth verses JC played a heavy, recurring series of tribal beats on his tom?toms while BI chanted, “Do you feel alright?” prompting the audience to repeat the phrase.  BI then sang the fourth and fifth verses still at a mid tempo pace augmented by DS’s keyboard chords and JC’s snare drum.  BI sang in a tone reminiscent of Elvis Presley until he reached the final two lines of the fifth verse, which he screamed (i.e., “I’d give you all, and have none babe.  Just, just, justa, justa to have you here by me.  Because ….”)  The tempo then resumed an up tempo pace and SS and BM played heavy drawn?own guitar riffs that they continued to play when BI sang the third chorus atop the platform center stage while the eight vertically?aligned stage lights shined neon red.  BI then twice sang, “Oh yeah little angel … she want more … more, more, more, more” and ended the song with his right fist pointing forward standing atop a stage monitor.  Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, Dancing with Myself, and two other songs to be performed received the strongest audience reaction with Rebel Yell receiving the strongest reaction.  The band left the stage at 10:33 and returned in one minute to play two additional songs.

            14. White Wedding (Billy Idol, 1982).  Before White Wedding BI said, “You guys are great … very loud.  Thank you for making my life so fu**in’ great, and Steve [Stevens], thank you for making my life so great.”  White Wedding began in acoustic form with just BI and SS on stage with the sole spotlight shining on SS as he played a short ascending guitar riff and two bars of melodic guitar notes on his natural wood acoustic-electric guitar.  BI then sang the first verse and chorus in a soft tone while SS played a melodic guitar chord progression.  BI, who wore a black cotton jacket and black and white muscle shirt bearing the phrase, “No on Prop. 8” [California ballot proposition restricting the definition of marriage to opposite?sex couples],   then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the third verse and chorus with his foot on the stage monitor (skipped second verse and chorus).  BI screamed the last line of the third chorus (i.e., “it’s a nice day to start again”) extending the final word at least seven seconds and then motioned with each hand for the audience to “raise the roof” (i.e., make more noise).

            BM, SM, and JC then joined BI and SS stage front to perform an electric version of the song.  BI shouted, “Take me back home yeah!,” SM prominently played an up tempo, groovy bass chord progression, and SS and BM played six bars of the melodic guitar notes from the introduction accentuated after each bar by BM’s short guitar riff and JC’s bass drum.  BI then sang the fourth verse during which SM played a punchy bass line, JC an up tempo drum beat, and SS and BM sporadic, brief droning guitar chords on their black and maroon Gibson Les Pauls, respectively.  BI then sang the fourth chorus during which SS and BM played an ominous series of solid guitar chord progressions while SM and JC played the same rhythm section as the fourth verse.  SM’s bass line carried the song.  SM wore black denim slacks, black Harley Davidson muscle shirt with the “Harley Davidson” logo in red and white letters on his chest along with the phrase in white letters, “Put Your Ass in Some Class.”  SM switched during the show between playing a natural wood and a tobacco sunburst Fender Precision bass.  SS then did a duck walk across stage made famous by Chuck Berry (black American rock and blues guitarist, singer) after which the band engaged in a 30?second jam.  White Wedding, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, Dancing with Myself, and one other song to be performed received the strongest audience reaction.

            -Jeremy Colson Drum Solo.  JC played a solid three?minute drum solo during which he shouted, “San Francisco make some fu**in’ noise!”  As JC bashed away he thrice shouted, “Hay, hay, hay, hay!” prompting the audience to repeat the phrase.  JC wore black and white knee?length cotton shorts, no shirt, and played a matte black drum kit with single bass drum and a drum head featuring the black and red Billy Idol logo against a black background.  JC’s drum set was positioned atop an 18?inch high, black?colored wooden drum riser.  Mounted on the wall behind and flanking the two sides of JC’s drum set were finely spaced vertical metal grills with mini lights of varying colors.  The grill behind JC’s drum set measured six feet high by 30 feet wide while those on each side of his drum set were four feet high and 10 feet wide. 

            15. Mony Mony (Tommy James & The Shondells cover: 1968) is a catchy song that began with SM and JC’s up beat bass line and drum beat that they continued to play when BI sang the first verse.  DS played three short keyboard notes after each of the first three verse lines while SS and BM played lingering power chords beginning with the fourth verse line.  BI then sang the catchy first chorus during which SS and BM played groovy riffs, “’Cause you make me feel.  Mony mony.  So good.  Mony mony.  So good.  Mony mony.  So good.  Mony mony.  So fine.  Mony mony.  So fine.  Mony mony.  It’s all mine.  Mony mony. Well I feel all right.  Mony mony.  I said yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”  SM and BM sang the “mony mony” parts of the chorus while BI sang the remainder.”  BI then did some jumping jacks and then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  BI slapped hands with front row fans while he sang the second verse.  The tempo then slowed to a mid tempo pace during the pre?chorus and BI did more jumping jacks.  [BI looked like he was in boot camp commanded by an ornery drill sergeant.]  SS and BM played catchy mid tempo guitar chord progressions, SM and JC played a mid tempo bass line and drum beat, while BI and SM eight times repeated the phrase, “I love you Mony mo-mo-mony sure I do” and then five times repeated the phrase, “come on come on.”  BI did more jumping jacks and then repeated the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when he sang the third verse and chorus.

 

            A stage hand came on stage and poured some talcum powder on BI’s right palm that BI rubbed into his left palm.  [BI looked like an Olympic gymnast preparing for the men’s rings competition.]  The stage hand handed BI a light blue standard Fender Stratocaster body shape guitar.  The band then engaged in a 210?second blues?based jam during the first 90 seconds of which BI stood atop the platform center stage and played a simple guitar solo replete with snarls.  SS, BM, and JC joined BI stage front center stage for the remaining 120 seconds of the jam.  However, BI spent the last 60 seconds of the jam back on the platform center stage with his guitar slung on his back and headstock pointing at the stage floor where he used hand gestures (e.g., fists in the air) to encourage his band mates to continue jamming.  Mony Mony, White Wedding, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, and Dancing with Myself received the strongest audience reaction.  After the song ended the band waved and clapped in appreciation of the audience’s enthusiasm.  BI introduced his band for one final time, “From San Francisco … Jeremy Colson.  From England, Billy Morrison.  On keyboards, from Santa Cruz, Derek Sherinian.  And from New York City, on lead guitar, fu**in’ Steve Stevens!  And I am on guitar and my name is Billy fu**in’ Idol!”

            Venue: The Fillmore (“TF”) is a historic San Francisco theater that, in the mid?1960s, under the direction of legendary late Bay Area rock promoter Bill Graham, was the site of psychedelic and rock music and counterculture.  TF’s early days featured acts such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and The Doors.  TF is a 1,200?seat capacity venue with a standing room floor similar to an oversized dance hall.  Positioned above the floor are 10 chandeliers.  The second floor contains a bar and box seats, specifically, six box seats stage right and another two, along with the mixing room, across the stage.

            Opening Band (first to last): none

Arash Moussavian, Entertainment Law Attorney
arashmoussavian@cal.berkeley.edu
www.linkedin.com/in/arashmoussavian
All photos taken by Arash Moussavian.  This article and all photos are protected by copyright.  Please contact me prior to use, or I will make shish kabab of your loins.

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