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Billy Idol @ Hammerstein Ballroom (9/15/2010)

Logo - Billy Idol

Artist: Billy Idol
Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 9/15/2010
Label: Virgin Music

I had a such a blast the last time that Billy Idol came through town and when he announced that he would be coming back to the Hammerstein Ballroom again I knew I wanted to be there but alas could not based on the band Kamelot and their long awaited return to NYC and US regional touring. Sadly, the reports started coming in with only weeks before the tour that their lead singer Khan was ill and would not make the tour. Initially a replacement would be in the band but it would not be long before the entire tour was cancelled. With the free night now at hand I quickly arranged the means to be a part of the show being held by the legendary New Wave Punker.

At the last show Billy was supporting the release of a very solid Greatest Hits package that also featured a DVD of his classic videos. There was no new album to speak of but he did do a concert DVD entitled “Live Super Overdrive” and I had reviewed it on the site when it came out. It was a good one, but chopped up in terms of content proving that it was not the best representation of such a man in concert. If you must have this piece then buy it but be sure to get yourself tickets to a show while he is still doing it because he rocks. As soon as he hit the stage after what seemed to be no opening band, Billy was on the move and delivering his seminal hit from Generation X with “Ready, Steady, Go” which was a total surprise this early in the evening. The surprises kept coming as “Dancing With Myself” followed this one and I am sure left a lot of the fully packed house in shock since this is generally the second to last tune for the musician. Hey there is nothing wrong with getting the party started early and keeping the audience moving from the very beginning. No one was dancing with themselves in this venue at all and that was only a sign of better things to come.
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Billy Idol @ Hammerstein Ballroom (8/26/2008)

Logo - Billy Idol

Artist: Billy Idol
Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: None
Date: 8/26/2008
Label: Capitol Records

No matter what Rock musical genre you find as your favorite nowadays there is little doubt in my mind that somewhere over the course of your life that you loved no less than three or four Billy Idol tracks. Don’t deny it, because the material was that catchy and good and has managed to stay fresh even amidst the ever shifting sands of the music scene. It is without a doubt that Billy Idol is one of those cool musical legends and someone who is always known to deliver the goods when he is in concert so with this being the case I had to get to his only NYC appearance for the year as he came to the Big Apple to support his latest release, a Greatest Hits package entitled “Idolize Yourself: The Very Best Of Billy Idol”. He would do this show at the Manhattan Center’s venue known as The Hammerstein Ballroom, and if you have ever witnessed a show here you know that it’s a great room and very spacious. I was interested also because this would be my very first time seeing Idol in concert and this surprised me for while I leaned to the Metal side, there was just something hard edged about Idol that made it ok for my circle to attend. The place was pretty full by the time I got in the doors and I was surprised to find that no opening act would be on the bill this evening. I admit that this was a little disappointing because sometimes the opening act is superb and worth looking into more in the future. Despite this minor reservation of mine it was clear that everyone was ready to rock and the room went berserk when Idol’s voice came across the PA system asking them if they were ready…….it was safe to say from the response this got that we totally were.
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“The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself” by Billy Idol

Artist: Billy Idol
Title: “The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself”
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/24/2008
Genre: New Wave/Punk Rock
Rating: 5/5

Yes I like Billy Idol, and now that I have said that I definitely feel no less the rocker for the admission and this is mainly because the singer was always able to appeal to a wide scope of listeners no matter what their favorite genre of choice might have been. Idol’s climb up the musical ladder of success began when he was the singer for a UK Punk band called Generation X and it was with songs like “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Ready Steady Go” that they made a bit of a name for themselves in a growing scene. As a matter of fact when Idol decided it was time that he move on from the band he brought one of their singles with him. While it was a popular song for the band it failed to make them a household name and was thus deemed a failure. Idol would alter it slightly and give it a tad more of a commercially acceptable feel and after the re-working the song would become his signature track and since that time “Dancing With Myself” has become one of the most revered tunes in his catalog. “White Wedding” was another track that killed when you first heard it and it came up during the growing stages of MTV; one could actually find the video clip for the tune locked into an almost hourly rotation on the network back in the day. It was promotional tools like this that found Idol’s rise to solo superstardom easier than many others who would try but it was not only in the appeal of his clips and how often they played but in the strength of his material. Musically there was a solid beat but often heavy rock guitar work and sex soaked lyrical content for the most part that made him seem the ultimate bad boy rocker. Billy Idol was known for being brash and rude but the women all loved him and the guys wanted to pal around with him and his entourage. “The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself” is a fantastic collection of the singers body of work and covers the span of all of his releases (from the “Don’t Stop” EP (1981) through “Devil’s Playground” (2005). Many of these hits also feature the talented Steve Stephens who was Idol’s guitarist for most of his albums.
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