Even at 57 years old, Billy Idol still appears much as he did in his Rebel Yell prime of 1983. There is the blond, spiked hair; the still-ripped abs and the spiked, leather attire. But, most importantly, Idol still possesses a voice that ranges from guttural snarl to smooth croon, a voice still packed with attitude and swagger that delighted a predominately older crowd inside the nearly filled Pearl.
The show, the second on Idol’s U.S. tour, started strong with “Ready Steady Go” and “Dancing With Myself,” two songs stemming from Idol’s early days with Generation X. But while deeper tracks from Rebel Yell such as “(Do Not) Stand In the Shadows” thrilled longtime fans, lesser-known songs like 1990’s “Pumping On Steel” and newer tracks “Love and Glory” and the bland, mid-tempo “Ghosts” failed to keep the crowd engaged. Idol was at his best on classics such as “Flesh for Fantasy,” standing atop his onstage monitors as he thrust a fist into the air, and the Doors’ “L.A. Woman,” which he sung as “Vegas Woman” as he flashed his trademark sneer. Longtime Idol guitarist Steve Stevens provided musical muscle, stealing the spotlight from Idol at times as he provided flashy, hard-rock riffs to “Eyes Without a Face” and “Blue Highway.”
The night ended accordingly with the triumvirate of “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding” and a cover of “Mony Mony,” punctuating a nearly two-hour show that presented Idol as rock’s Peter Pan, steadfastly refusing to ever grow up. ★★★☆☆