A thunder of rock ‘n roll came rolling in as the legendary Billy Idol took Vegas’ Cosmopolitan stage by storm on October 22nd, electrifying the packed theater with a fierce passion to rock out. Thriving in his native space of performing, Idol exuded a natural confidence that comes from over 40 years of commanding the stage. He delighted fans of all ages with a superb selection of his classic tunes, playing back-to-back hits that had the crowd roaring with excitement, as nostalgia flooded out of their hearts.
Idol certainly wasn’t feeling alone, as fans sang every word of his famous song “Dancing with Myself” and came together with a shared mission to just have fun, dance and let loose. Spirits were high, as the night raged on and Idol gave the crowd everything he had, blazing across the stage with a swift tenacity and putting his heart into every word he sang. Idol embodied the essence of a rockstar by owning the stage with his lively demeanor during “Mony Mony”; you could feel his innate trust to put on an incredible performance, delivering intense vocals with ease.
As one of the foundational creators of the punk movement, Idol delivered explosive renditions of hardcore songs, “Flesh For Fantasy” and “Scream”.
A deep vigor emerged in his voice that punched the words out with ferocity. He proved that the rockstar he became in the 80s will always be a part of him and his music, even with his contemporary songs from his new EP, The Roadside. Idol still brings a grungy fervor. He enthralled the crowd with a moody rendition of “Bitter Taste”: a song that seems melancholy with the lyrics, “Hello, goodbye / There’s a million ways to die / Should’ve left me way back, by the roadside”, but takes on a passionate fury as Idol sang with venom in his voice. His other recent releases, “Rita Hayworth” and “U Don’t Have to Kiss Me Like That” have a much more spunky/pop feel to them that were fun to dance to; even if we didn’t know all the lyrics, the crowd reflected Idol’s animated presence with every song.
Emotion was potent, as Idol serenaded his tender ballad “Eyes Without A Face”, with some in the crowd slow-dancing, while others let tears fall in remembrance of lost loves. It was a sentimental moment as Idol’s lead guitarist, Steve Stevens, gracefully plucked his acoustic guitar to make the song feel raw with emotion. Stevens impressed all night with his dynamic playing, yet shined in his true element when he wailed out an epic guitar solo that featured legendary chords from classic rock’s history.
Idol brought the night to a close with a spectacular finale of his acclaimed songs, but before performing his encore, he warmed the hearts of the crowd by bringing up his granddaughter, Poppy, into his arms onstage. Idol was a delighted grandpa as he danced and bobbed Poppy in his arms to Steven’s guitar playing — truly a moment of pure joy to share his love for music with his lineage. With all that sweetness, Idol knew he had to shift the mood back to raging punk and he did just that during “Rebel Yell”. His commanding voice and intense presence inspired the audience to meet him with a ferocious energy when he put the microphone out for them to sing, “more, more, more!” Idol proved his mastery of a wide vocal range in “White Wedding” by going low and somber to tell the story of the song then hitting the high “start again!” and singing the iconic chorus with a strong tone. All in all, this was a Vegas show not to miss!
Photography by Sophia Ricco