Billy Idol plays Downtown Boston
There’s nothing quite like an across-the-pond superstar belting nostalgic rocker tunes (with a few new melodies mixed in) to help start your new year off right. As it turns out, Boston can provide! Punk-pop Rocker Billy Idol is coming to town for a concert, and bean town excitement about the event is absolutely palpable.
In case you’ve been living in a closet for the last 35 years, here’s the scoop: Billy Idol was one of the beacons of mainstream punk. Lead Vocalist/guitarist of the late 70s band Generation X, Idol (born “William Michael Albert Broad”) purportedly came about his stage name from a primary school teacher’s comment that he was an “idle” student. He certainly hasn’t been idle since; his music, unlike other punk music of his generation, was revolutionary because it drew inspiration from mid-sixties British pop. This made his take on punk much more musical than the militant voices already on the scene. When Generation X disbanded in 1980, Idol moved to New York and continued his career solo. An early adopter of the music video format, Idol became an MTV sensation with hits such as “Dancing with Myself” and “White Wedding”. 1983 saw the release of his double platinum, worldwide top-10 charting album “Rebel Yell”.
Idol’s career has been long and strong, and the most recent testament to this is his October 2014 album “Kings and Queens of the Underground”. Billed as “intense”, the album has been getting as much positive media attention as his famous cameo in The Wedding Singer. The largest complaint anyone has with the CD is that while the great songs are really great, the one weak song (the title track “Kings and Queens of the Underground”) is rather weak. But every album has its kinks, and if the music fans can only moan about one track off an entire album, then it’s tough to deny deny that Idol has a new success in the twilight of his career.
The album has been released in conjunction with Idol’s autobiography “Dancing With Myself” (October 7, 2014) which fans have been positively devouring to rave reviews. After all, what better way to prepare for a concert than to read the artist’s story in his own words?
If you want to catch Billy Idol while he’s in town, you’ve got one chance and one chance only: Saturday January 31st at 7:30 PM at Boston’s own Orpheum Theatre. The show, in support of the “Kings and Queens…” album tour, is sure to sell out fast.
The Orpheum Theatre (1 Hamilton Place, Boston) is a venue with its own rich performance history. The space was first opened in 1852 as a music hall under the name “Boston Music Hall”; a heritage expressed to this day by the Orpheum’s historic frontage and marquee. In 1900, it was converted into a Vaudeville theatre and went by many various names until it was rechristened “The Orpheum” in 1906 (a monitor under which it functions until this day). It was here that several theatrical and musical training institutions first found home including the New England Conservatory, the Opera Company of Boston, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (before those organizations moved to more permanent, modern houses). Today, it has been renovated into a performance hall of medium size with formal ticketing and all modern conveniences.