BILLY IDOL – State Line: Live At The Hoover Dam

February 3, 2024, 4 months ago

(Vertigo Live)

Aaron Small

Rating: 9.0

review billy idol hard rock

BILLY IDOL – State Line: Live At The Hoover Dam

You’ve never seen anything like this! In April 2023, Billy Idol made history by playing the first ever concert in front of the world-famous Hoover Dam. The once in a lifetime performance – now available as a Blu-Ray and DVD – illuminated the surrounding Black Canyon of the Colorado River and the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Performing in front of only 250 fans on a helipad within Hoover Dam’s secure zone, Billy Idol and his band deliver a spectacular 16-song set.

After a brief, and very interesting documentary explaining the history and significance of this massive tourist attraction that straddles the Nevada / Arizona state line, Idol kicks things off in style with “Cradle Of Love”. Not wasting any time, Billy brings out a pair of special guests for “Dancing With Myself”, namely guitarist Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols, and bassist Tony Kanal from No Doubt. Following “Flesh For Fantasy”, Idol rolls out a pair of newer tracks: “Cage”, the title track to his 2022 EP, as well as “Bitter Taste” from the 2021 EP, The Roadside. As testament to the talent of Idol and his longtime collaborator, co-writer, and guitarist Steve Stevens, these fresh songs are just as strong and well-received as his classics from the ‘80s.

As Stevens delivers a lovely flamenco-styled guitar solo dubbed “Dementia”, the sun has set, and the party really starts with “Mony Mony”. Another special guest, Alison Mosshart of The Kills, joins Billy onstage for “John Wayne” – one of two new originals that appeared on 2008’s The Very Best Of Billy Idol. Kanal returns as Idol pays homage to his Generation X days with “One Hundred Punks”. Song after song, Idol, Stevens, and the band rounded out by bassist Stephen McGrath, guitarist Billy Morrison, drummer Erik Eldenius, keyboardist Paul Trudeau, and backing vocalists Kitten Kuroi and Maiya Sykes, are in fine form. The trademark sneer has been replaced by smiles as the 67-year-old singer, originally from Stanmore, England, is obviously loving every minute of this incredibly unique gig, including crowd pleasers “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding”. However, adding a song or two from the often overlooked and under-rated Devil’s Playground record would have been the cherry on top.

Bonus footage includes Idol and Stevens performing three songs acoustically – without an audience – at the foot of the Dam itself, on the roof of the power station, as the mid-day sun shines brightly upon them. There’s also an audio-only Q&A session with Steve Stevens.


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