IDLES @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
I have to admit, I got on the IDLES train fairly late, but I'm glad I got on otherwise I would have missed out on one of the more brilliant rock bands in recent memory. Coupled with their intense, in-your-face live performances, IDLES have gained momentum in popularity over the last few years, which is high praise, since the world's been in pandemic recluse since March of 2020. The five-piece from Bristol have not performed in Dallas since 2019 when they made at stop at the now-defunct Deep Ellum venue, Curtain Club. Since that performance, IDLES have put out one album, Ultra Mono (2020), with their fourth album, Crawler, set to release in the coming month. With a growing catalog and a penchant for being one of the better live bands in the game, it's no surprise that the show at the Granada Theater sold out almost immediately. Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to cover the show, one that would prove to be one of the best I witnessed in all of 2021.

When I think of some of the great rock performers out there, I tend to think of bands like Muse, who have an over-the-top production with an extensive catalog of anthems that fill arenas and stadiums. But the awesome aspect of a band like IDLES is that they can blow the roof off a venue with having only an oversized banner with 'IDLES' emblazoned on it and the curation of three, currently-released albums. With an album so close to release, history would suggest that IDLES would focus on the soon-to-be released material from Crawler, but instead, the band opened the set with "Colossus", the opening song from the 2018 release, Joy as an Act of Resistance. The band would focus on this release, performing eight out of the twelve tracks, providing the backbone of what would be an absolute master-class in pure, rock calamity but with the focused voice of political and personal expression.

Clocking in around 19 songs and 90 minutes, the quintet from Bristol blazed through songs like "Mother" and "Never Fight a Man With a Perm", which produced the awesome chorus of "concrete to leather" that filled the Theater. The show also had multiple covers of love songs during "Love Song" as guitarist Lee Kiernan roamed the Granada floor, while guitarist Mark Bowen sang with Biz Markie bravado. The mighty singalong of Danny Nedelko" was an absolute highlight and one I had been waiting to see  since seeing their performance at Glastonbury via YouTube. The show ended with a bombastic performance of "Rottweiler", that included the members of the opening band, Gustaf. The final song provided the exclamation point that everyone in attendance was hoping for, but as with all amazing performances, left them wanting more. I can say with no hesitation, that this was one, if not the very best performance I saw in all of 2021. You could not hope for a better live show than IDLES performed, and I cannot wait for them to come back through the US, DFW in particular.

Photos of the show are below:

IDLES @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX IDLES @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on October 29, 2021 Rating: 5
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