SHOW GALLERY + RECAP: IDLES Closes Out US Tour in Boston, MA
Updated: Apr 10
Scroll to the bottom to check out Emma's full gallery from the show!
IDLES were introduced to me abruptly this summer when Emily and I caught their set at Lollapalooza. While I had heard the name tossed around by other bands and friends-of-friends, I’m pretty lousy at actually following through on music recommendations and IDLES was just one of those bands that slipped through the cracks. It wasn’t until I was face to face with the group, sun-burnt and blistered from two days of hiking through Grant Park that I understood why everyone was poking me to give them a listen. Their performance was different from every other set I had seen that day; it was frenetic, loud, and in your face, and left the set immediately googling into when I could experience it next. Fast forward to this week: Boston. IDLES closed out their US Leg of the Back To Normal Tour with support from Injury Reserve, and you better believe I was there to see it.
Starting their set with the ominous and rhythmic chords of “Colossus,” the crowd transformed into a slippery collective of push pits and crowd surfers. There’s so much to love about an IDLES show. The energy alone is transformative, seemingly for the crowd and the band themselves. Guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan contorted themselves as they played. Solely focused on the music itself, they blurred the boundaries of their bodies as they tumbled and swept across the stage, hair thrashing and hands focused. To close “Colossus,” Kiernan leapt off the stage and into the crowd who eagerly embraced him as he played.
In contrast, frontman Joe Talbot’s presence is one of intent and focus amidst the chaos. Perched on an amp at the edge of the stage, Talbot looks out over the crowd as he sings. The lyrics themselves are raw and on-the-nose yet shaded in self-deprecation and irony. While some songs feature cutting critique of current systems of power and the status quo, others plead for emotional vulnerability and sensitivity. It’s like a kick in the teeth followed by a comforting embrace. A tricky wire to balance on for sure, but IDLES is able to pull it all together with their own experimental edge.
With this being the last date of a tour that stretched across the entire spring and summer festival season, IDLES left nothing on the stage. The group played a stacked set including hits like “Colossus,” “Grounds,” “Mother,” “Never Fight a Man With a Perm,” and “Danny Nedelko,” among tracks from their newest album, Crawler.
If they were tired, they certainly didn’t show it. The storm of rage, pride, and power kicked up by IDLES’ performance was a sight to behold, and I’m beyond excited for their next trip stateside (though I hope they can get a bit of rest first).
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