Idles Tour Debuts Brutalism Deep Cut in Portland

I wonder about Idles a lot. Is this a band we're all supposed to keep secret?

I wonder because they sell out their gigs way more than typical bands, yet I rarely hear buzz about them and even on this, their first stab at North America in 2024 before they pop back to Europe and then return to the States in the fall, I don't see much chatter about them on social media or in the press or anywhere.

Am I breaking some sort of unwritten rule by saying the obvious: they're great?

On paper they do everything wrong. Look at that photo. It's intentionally grainy and cruddy.

Their latest album, the sparkling TANGK, try asking Siri to play it for you. She won't understand you and even if she did she might just play dumb and refuse.

Same with Google. Put TANGK into Google, smartest search engine in human history. It'll think you meant tango and give you a bunch of results that aren't difficult to easily define British post-punk fronted by a hairy man who sometimes wears pretty dresses.

The sweetest song off TANGK is "Grace" and for a second you start to believe this is a collection of love songs. But love with whom? The darkest, most bipolar lover in a dark, industrial club?

Even the video for "Grace" is a nightmarish acid trip. Is that the dude from Coldplay? Wait, is that the video from "Yellow"? Is that a deepfake of Gwyneth Paltrow's ex singing "Grace" on an eerily abandoned beach?

Is this the genius we're probably not supposed to talk? Because, wow, that's good.

IDLES sold out two nights in a row at the famed Roseland Theater in Portland last weekend.

One of the many highlights for longtime fans was when they included "Heel/Heal" from their breakthrough Brutalism album to the set.

While it's true we are only in May, but you know who else sold out two nights in a row at the Roseland this year?

No one.

Not Gary Numan, not Juanes, not Gov't Mule, not even the guitar-shredding legends DragonForce. Only IDLES.

If it's supposed to be a secret, it's out. TANGK, which is supposed to be the sound of guitar noise, was helmed by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, who is no stranger to pushing boundaries. And it has a guest appearance by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy.

It's Godrich's touch that have helped matured the group from the super angry punk sensibilities of the band's earlier work to the more moody moments of the album before the mayhem.

If it was an ice cream it'd be the Rockiest Road. Sweet, but deadly.

One thing that isn't a secret is how much their audience loves them. During "Mother" on Saturday night, singer Joe Talbot was having issues with his microphone so he walked off stage after inviting the crowd to take over. Magic happened, according to Samantha Steerman.

"In one of the most amazing 'turn lemons into lemonade' moments I'd ever witnessed at a show, Joe started the song 'Mother' - then said something about microphone/monitor issues and told the audience to sing if they wanted," she explained. "Oh yes, WE WANTED. He was quite pleased with the response."

So there's good news and bad, Yes IDLES will be singing their bipolar love songs through the States these next two months, but many of the shows are sold out. Even the pair of gigs they have at the Hollywood Palladium, which is triple the size of the Roseland, are sold.

Therefore get thee to the Idles website and grab tickets while you can before it's too late.

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Last updated: 20 Jul 2024, 06:57 Etc/UTC