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July 18, 2018

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Photos: Billy Idol puts the sin in Sin City at the Cosmopolitan

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Erik Kabik / ErikKabik.com

Billy Idol performs at The Chelsea on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Billy Idol at Chelsea

Billy Idol performs at The Chelsea on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »
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Steve Stevens and Billy Idol perform at The Chelsea on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Eighties rock icon Billy Idol brought his A-game to the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan on Saturday night. The packed house — even those with reserved seats — remained on their feet for most of the evening as Idol entertained fans with a performance of solid vocals, lip curling, hip gyrating and fist pumping.

He opened the 90-minute set with “Postcards From the Past” from his new album “Kings & Queens of the Underground,” followed by the classic “Cradle of Love,” then spoke to the audience, “I’d just like to introduce you to Steve Stevens.”

The legendary guitarist Stevens followed up by saying, “I have nothing to say to the accumulated masses tonight, but realize that Billy Idol put the sin in Sin City.”

The crowd grew loud as they played through two more hits, “Break Me Down” and “Dancing With Myself,” then in true Las Vegas fashion Idol went to the center of the stage, turned his back and gave the audience a mini striptease by removing his jacket and shirt.

He donned a bare chest for much of the night, showcasing a ripped chest and abs that were enhanced by drops of sweat as the platinum-haired rocker screeched throughout the night.

Idol continued with “Flesh for Fantasy,” followed by a couple of songs from his 1970s original group Generation X, and a few more from “Kings & Queens of the Underground” that was released last October.

It was Idol’s first new album in nearly a decade and has been well received by die-hard fans. In the mix was a heartfelt cover of The Doors’ “L.A. Woman.”

Idol’s five-piece band elevated the overall performance, particularly Stevens who thrashed on guitar using hands, arms and even teeth at times, matching Idol in showmanship.

He added drama to the act by dragging on a cigarette while playing solos in between songs. Smoke from the burning stick swirled around Stevens before drifting above his head and blending in with the special effects of the smoke machines.

Wrapping up the set, the 59-year-old rocker picked up the tempo, belting out “Whiskey and Pills,” followed by “Blue Highway.”

Before the last hit, he turned to the audience and said, “I’m going to introduce this next song, and it only needs two words.” Then he screamed, “Rebel Yell,” roaring to the very end of the powerful playlist.

The lights went out, but fans wanted more, cheering for a few minutes before the rocker emerged again for an encore that showcased “White Wedding” featuring Idol on an acoustic guitar, then a solid finish with “Mony Mony.”

Standing front-row audience members were showered with concert swag, guitar pics, drumsticks and stage towels before the band exited the stage for a second time.

Evidence of Idol’s iconic status were the fans in attendance that spanned many generations — from teenagers to the elderly — and if the rocker continues to deliver electric performances like Saturday night, you can be assured that Billy Idol won’t be found dancing with himself.

Saturday night’s setlist: “Postcards From the Past,” “Cradle of Love,” “Can’t Break Me Down,” “Dancing With Myself,” “Flesh for Fantasy,” “Save Me Now,” “Ready Steady Go,” “Sweet Sixteen,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “L.A. Woman,” “King Rocker,” “Whiskey and Pills,” “Blue Highway” and “Rebel Yell.” Encore: “White Wedding” and “Mony Mony.”

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