There’s an expectation of fullness that comes with the words “sold out show,” but in truth, how full a venue feels is largely left up to venue owners (and the Fire Marshall). Teragram Ballroom errs on the side of extra full, something that you don’t quite notice until you look around during the last song of the opener and realize “damn, this place is packed.” Luckily, punk shows beg to be packed—the whole point is interaction. Both Teragram Ballroom and Idles understand this on a deep level.
Punk doesn’t ever follow the rules—that should be pretty self-explanatory by this point—but the curiosity of this assertion really started to make itself known as punk rebelled against its own presentation. At first, it came in the relatively expected form: pop-punk groups like Green Day took to claiming uniforms as their own, effectively lambasting the very notion of the establishment. Idles on the other hand has decided that underwear is their preferred method of rebellion. Yes, indeed, their guitarist was in his underwear for the entirety of the set.
Underwear aside (but thankfully not off) Idles kicked off the set with the crowd pleasers. Starting off with a blistering run of “Colossus,” “Never Fight A Man With A Perm” and “Mother” set the tone for the evening with monstrous intensity. A particular highlight of this run (while a number of mosh pits during “Colossus” would have wholly qualified) was the bridge/thesis of “Mother” where the lead singer goes from yelling “mother fucker” into speaking truth “men are scared women will laugh in their face, whereas women are scared it’s their lives men will take.” One could practically feel the spines of every audience member shivering before the last breakdown.
Other highlights of the set included their songs “Televisions” and “Exeter,” the latter of which saw nearly 1/6th of the crowd join the band onstage for a dance party and numerous hugs. They then determined the best way to follow up this display of energy was to play a brief, deeply hilarious cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” before launching toward the end of their set. There was to be no encore, but in truth, there was no need for one. The show was incredible, the audience was beat, Idles were beat, and yet if they played for another hundred hours, surely everyone would have stayed.
Punk is important. In a world where people are constantly (somewhat rightfully) claiming that “rock is dead,” it helps to have a band like Idles. In the years since punk originated as a genre, we’ve seen the genre bastardized into a testosterone-fueled scene of aggression when in truth it was always about change. Idles has taken the traditional punk format of compelling social change, and then updated its targets and its sound to push the whole genre forward. Let’s hope the rest of the scene finds their coattails.
Never Fight A Man With A Perm
Faith in the City
Divide & Conquer
All I Want For Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey cover)
Cry to Me