Lollapalooza- Grant Park Chicago IL
Fri 8/2/19

One of the highlights from Lollapalooza 2019- over the entirety of the four day festival.
That was a barn burning set- riveting and galvanizing and full bore go for broke don’t forget you saw Idles FUN.
Just look at that setlist:
“Heel/ Heal”, into “Never Fight a Man With a Perm” into “Mother” into “Love Song”, and proceed with “1049 Gotho” into the one and only and fucking awesome “Divide and Conquer”.
There’s more, obviously.
Idles produced a full- on set with another five songs to go.
But “Divide and Conquer” – all the elements of angst and spit and might, with singer Joe Talbot front and center, looking exhausted, his voice hoarse and battered, and yet- the fight to enunciate the title refrain absolutely riveting to watch.
Clearly this is a band that’s unhinged, wheels falling off at any moment, angular and jutty and gnarly guitars brandishing unwieldy sounds but yet keeping the song intact- if that’s possible.
The intensity of Idles, even in the middle of the afternoon on a hot summer day says lots about the conviction that these guys have to their sound and vision.
Idles and their live execution is unforgettable- even while these guys are suited up in tropical shirts and otherwise nerdy looking outfits.
But don’t let that fool you- their mission is energy and the feel of a heavy off the rails punk show, even while performing on the main stage at Lollapalooza.
I’ve decided to single their performance out from the massive edit form Day Two of Lollapalooza, again because of the standout performance they gave, and also because they released their new album – “Ultra Mono” two weeks ago.
So the band, even during this shitty pandemic- are relevant, and Ultra Mono is worthy of Album of the Year accolades.
The album, which is rousing and riveting, is continuing in the IDLES blast furnace canon- heavy off the wall riffs, stormpedo drumming, and of course Joe Talbot commanding your attention, and making everything a call to arms.
Like their set at Lollapalooza, all their songs just build and build, to the point of Talbott just brow beating himself in the chest and head, as if this was going to be their last performance ever.
Yes- there was a mosh pit, with lots of punishing blows with a dust cloud front and center, the looks from their faithful fans of exhaustion with big grins.
What a ridiculously good time Idles set was, and what a ridiculously awesome album “Ultra Mono” is.
As for Joe Talbot, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Adam Devonshire and Jon Beavis of IDLES:
I can’t thank you guys enough for converting me, making me think you’re currently one of the best live bands in the world.
That’s the reason why I singled out this set from Lollapalooza 2019.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer

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