I was all set to go see Birdman on Sunday afternoon when a friend texted me that she had a free second row ticket to see Billy Idol at the Lincoln Theatre. Hello, change of plans.
I was pumped that Broncho was opening. Apparently this was not a commonly held sentiment at the show and I got yelled at by an elderly lady when I stood up their set. At this point I realized that, 1) I was the youngest person at this show and 2) Billy Idol diehard fans are an intense, weird, mean bunch. For the record, I remained standing. Screw you, old lady. And Broncho, you are all sorts of awesome so please come back to DC soon to play a venue that I won’t get yelled at for doing normal concert things.
This same elderly lady, like all the other old people at this concert, lost her shit when Billy Idol hit the stage. We’re talking tweens at a boy band concert level of losing their minds. One 50ish looking woman jumped on stage and went toward Billy and was promptly thrown off stage by security. It was amazing. People throwing themselves at the stage. Shouting all sorts of things that normal people do not shout at other people. One 50ish dude lifted up his shirt to…show Billy his chest? This behavior would have been intense in the eighties. Add in the fact that Billy Idol is 59 and looks much older than that and it’s even more perplexing. He basically looks like Skeletor if Skeletor decided to dress like Billy Idol for Halloween.
But damn the man can still sing. “Dancing with Myself” was an early highlight. He rocked through all of his hits (plus plenty of songs that I’d never heard of but the old people were eating up) saving “Rebel Yell” for the end of his set. He returned for an encore of “White Wedding” and “Mony Mony.”
I cashed in some of my FWB points to get a free ticket to the first night of Dr. Dog’s two-night stand at the 9:30 Club last week. They were fab, even if they didn’t play my favorite song.
Local band US Royalty opened. I’m constantly underwhelmed by them. Somehow I seem to like them less each time I see them. I remember thinking they were okay the first time I saw them play (at a DC United tailgate music series). In retrospect, I’d probably just been drinking a lot at the tailgate. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I find so offensive. They are good musicians. There songs aren’t horrible. There is just a certain blah-ness to it. Like, if they were around in 1999 I could see them opening for Creed or Matchbox 20. They’d fit right in on a VH1 You Outta Know segment. And that kind of music makes me die on the inside. The one specific thing I can identify that drives me crazy is that the lead singer uses way too many microphone effects. But I wanted to get a good spot for Dr. Dog so I arrived early and suffered through the VH1 segment of the evening.
I’d never seen Dr. Dog before. I don’t even own any of their albums, though I’m clearly familiar with songs like “Lonesome” and “Shadow People.” But after years of friends telling me that I had to see their live show, I relented. And a free ticket made it that much easier to commit to. They did not disappoint.
There was a joyousness to the affair – from their music to their matching shoes to the crowd to the festive stage decorations (a flamingo casino backdrop, fake trees, paper lanterns in the rafters). They opened with “Be the Void” and rocked through a great 16-song set including a fab Architecture in Helsinki cover (“Heart It Races”). “That Old Black Hole” proved to be a high-energy set closer before they returned for a four-song encore ending in “Lonesome” (by far the high point of the evening). The only negative thing I can say about the set is that it didn’t include “Shadow People” (which they would save for their night two set). I’d totally see them again.