|After seeing VH-1 specials over the course of the year, it has been brought to the public’s attention that the 1980s were probably not the best years. Whether it is music or fashion, many faux pas were made. But even after cutting through the Aqua Net pasted, bleach-blonde mall hair, stripping off the spandex and tossing the 412 bracelets away, a few good things came out of the rubbish. And one of those was Billy Idol. With his pop-star mentality and punk look, Idol was able to delve into the me generation of the 1980s where bigger was better and more and more was the norm, but still keep the edge that has been associated with punk since the Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious days.
With the signature lip curl and pumping of the fist, Idol was just that to the many who came to Promowest to mix their punk with indulgences. With Rebel Yell jean jackets, black leather biker coats and the ever-present tight Levis, the crowd was as transfixed as the music. And when Idol took the stage at 8:30 pm with no opener, the 20-year transformation was complete.
Sounding better then ever, Idol and guitarist Steve Stevens battled for supremacy with dead-on accuracy and complete control of the audience.
From the opening riff to “Rock the Cradle of Love,” to the last chord of “Mony, Mony,” the show proved to be one of the top five to hit Columbus, Ohio so far this year. Idol posed, sneered and even signed a few autographs while singing his top hits and his more obscure fan favorites. It was one radio hit after the next that spanned a decade, and proved to be some of the more time-tested music of the era.
We all remember the sexual video with “Rock the Cradle” with the sexy, professional woman all over the dorky neighbor. And before that, we had the dark video for the even darker song ‘White Wedding.” And with those two opposites came a common ground; Billy Idol. Idol was able to bridge gaps others couldn’t dare to cross because he was real and wholesome in what he was doing. Over the course of his 20-year career, Idol has been able to swing back and forth like a pendulum in a Edgar Allen Poe story because he is what he is. He is punk in some ways and he is 80s “Me” generation in others. But he is always Billy Idol. And for the many who came out to see the legend of the so-called worst decade of music, they were able to witness that yes, even flowers can grow from shit.