Billy Idol, Hollywood Palladium, 8/15/2010
My Palladium pre-show ritual is to down some drinks at my favorite watering hole across from the venue. The Well is a dark, loungy, swanky spot with cheap happy hour prices every night until 9pm, and it just happens to be located in the same building as my former employer. So needless to say, I’ve frequented the place for many years now. They have cute bartenders, strong drinks, and always greet me with a familiar smile. After drinking one rumba punch and noticing the line to get into the show was still winding down Argyle and around Sunset, I proceeded to have just a few more. It was a Saturday night, the day after my bithday, and I was on my way to a Billy Idol show. Cocktails were in order.
Once the line dimished, my date and I dashed across the street to make our way to Billy. Upon entering and after we were properly felt up and frisked, we quickly realized that Billy was already singing “Dancing with Myself”. We rushed to the open general standing hall and, well, began dancing with ourselves. Luckily it was his second song so we didn’t miss much. Except that later I would discover that his first song was “Cradle of Love”, one of the best Billy songs ever. I was fairly devestated when I realized this, but by then the rumba punches had kicked in and the two vodka tonics I would soon consume during the show helped to ease the pain.
What eased the pain further was the vision of Billy on stage. He was commanding, fiery, and every much the rebellious rock god that I remembered him to be from long ago. I had half expected to see an old man trying desperately to hold onto his relevance, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. He transported the packed Palladium back to the 80s, but not the cheesy florescent sweatband 80s, to a raucious punk era that made me feel like a bad ass to have been alive in that decade, even if I was only the ages of 3 to 13.
He puckered up and his lips contorted to that sexy, angry snarl that we as young girls yearned for as he lifted up his fist and belted out hits like “Rebel Yell”, “White Wedding”, and “Flesh for Fantasy”. “Eyes Without a Face” was a slow and sweet nostalgic moment amidst the hard fast fun. He picked up his guitar and played a soulful version of “Sweet Sixteen”. And I still lusted for him. This pissed off shirtless Brit had me all in a tizzy.
He encored with a rough and rowdy rendition of “Mony Mony”. The crowded house jumped and sang along in a collective state of satisfaction. Billy Idol had returned, shirtless, tan, and blonder than ever. And we welcomed him.
After the show ended and the masses dispersed, a cluster of fans were seen taking pictures with a stunning bottle red head in a lacey, bell shaped white wedding gown. They tripped over the cluster of red plastic cups that littered the floor to admire and compliment the festive fan. She knew what we all knew, that the only outfit to wear to a Billy Idol show is a white wedding dress. Only she had the balls to actually do it. I hope that Billy saw her, and I hope when he did, he gave her that signature snarl.