Billy Idol + Slash: 10 September 2010 - Chicago

Daniel Boczarski

A pairing for the ages, Billy Idol and Slash stopped through Chicago earlier this month, dosing the big city with loads of rock and excitement.

Without a new album to support, Billy Idol hasn’t made an appearance on the tour circuit as much as he has in the past. When the iconic English punk-spirited singer does cross over to our territory however, he certainly manages to leave an impression. Billy recently headed out on a world tour bringing along Slash as support, and made a stop playing a sold out show at Riviera Theatre.

While Slash’s recent debut album featured the full line-up of Guns ‘n’ Roses, aside the notable omission of Axl, the touring lineup is altogether different, and features Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy on vocals. Myles is certainly a good fit for the band, having no issues altering his singing styles to take on the variety of covers the band performed. The setlist consisted of material from Velvet Revolver (“Sucker Train Blues”, “Do It For the Kids”, “Slither”), Slash’s Snakepit (“Mean Bone”), original material, and of course Guns N’ Roses (“Nightrain”, “Rocket Queen”, “Sweet Child O’Mine”, “Paradise City”).

Billy Idol always proves to be an entertaining set, and this show was no exception. With longtime guitarist Steve Stevens at his side, Idol launched into a mix of old songs as well as some new tracks he has been working on with the new members, Jeremy Colson on drums, and Billy Morrison on guitar. Idol opened up the set with “Ready Steady Go”, before jumping into “Dancing With Myself” and other notable songs like “Eyes Without a Face” and “Kings & Queens”.

During “LA Woman”, Slash came back out on stage to join the rest of the band on the song, of which Billy had altered the lyrics to “Chicago Woman”. While being relatively static on stage for the first part of the set, at this point Billy seemed to have warmed up a bit, being much more mobile around the stage, halfway through the song even managing to sign something for a fan, microphone in one hand, marker in the other.

Towards the latter part of the set, the band toned down a bit, performing some songs acoustically, including “Sweet Sixteen”, “King’s Queens”, and the beginning segment of “White Wedding” before jumping into the full-out version. Afterwards Billy ended the night with “Mony Mony”, which managed to get the biggest reaction from the crowd thus far.

All in all this mix of rock superstars proved to be a good pairing, mostly giving longtime fans an opportunity to witness classic tracks performed live, which meant for a good time albeit the relative lack of new songs.

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