Idles

Royal Arena, Copenhagen - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Bristol band Idles had the tough job of supporting Pearl Jam on their 2022 European tour.
Doubly hard, because I don’t think they’re especially well-known in this neck of the woods as of yet. Still, after their debut in 2017, they’ve kept good and busy, releasing four albums as of yet, and just coming from a highly praised show at the Roskilde festival.
So, what would they make of this place?

“It’s an honour to be welcomed by people with such grace and understanding, thank you!”
- Joseph ‘Joe’ Talbot (vocals)


To be honest straight off the bat, I had never heard of Idles before noticing them listed as support for this show, and I never managed to give them a listen before going out to Royal Arena, so I was going in as blank as one possibly can.
Hence, I was a bit surprised by them at first; their look had a slightly britpoprock/hipster style to it, that I couldn’t exactly place, and then they opened with Colossus, which had an odd, nearly dreamlike chant vibe going on, with the drum and bass combo, supporting Talbot’s low frequency chanting. The song sounded even deeper live than it does on record, I have since found out.

Musically, I’m afraid Idles didn’t really do it for me, but I must commend them for the effort they put into their job as support act. Their performance was lively and full of power, with the possible exception of bassist Adam Devonshire, who was glued to his spot, and only swayed back and forth with the music. Talbot and the two guitarists however, were exploding on the stage. Lee Kiernan even left the stage in the second song, Car Crash, and went to play down in the security pit.
In the final song, Talbot joined Jon Beavis on drums, giving Rottweiler an even heavier sound.

“Thanks to Pearl Jam and of course to your beautiful fucking city!”
- Talbot (vocals)


Idles did their best to get the crowd going as well, but for the most part, the crowd wasn’t having it. Some people in the front rows shouted, and there were a few spread appalus once in a while, but other than that, there wasn’t much for the band to work with.
Bless them for trying though. Hell, Talbot even tried to get a wall of death going at one point, but apparently he hadn’t read the room right, because no one was willing to move from their designated spot - this wasn’t a metal show after all.

Idles gave a good performance, but due to my lack of interest in the music, and the general lack of interest in the band from the crowd, it never did amount to much, I’m afraid.
No doubt there is a crowd for Idles out there, and for now, they’re likely better off playing for them than an arena full of people only waiting for the main act to go on.

Setlist:

Colossus
Ca Crash
Mr. Motivator
Mother
Samaritans
Never Fight A Man With A Perm
Crawl!
Danny Nedelko
Rottweiler

Idles

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