Idles, the UK’s wildest punk export, are currently trekking across the United States once again. These British lads played the famed Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles the other night, with the acclaimed NYC ramble rousers in Surfbort supporting. What happens when you put two, crazy fun and oh so intense punk bands on the same bill? You get a jam-packed, damn near sold out sweatbox of a show that’s what!
Surfbort whipped the hyped West Coast audience into a frenzy as we settled inside the venue. Again, The Wiltern is a historic, multi-level Los Angeles theater, but the joint felt like an unhinged club show as we walked in.
By the time Idles hit the stage at 9pm, the manic crowd went officially apesh*t. The band opened with their gargantuan single “Colossus” off their latest record, 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance, and proceeded to smash The Wiltern to pieces for the next hour and a half.
Bodies were bouncing like an ocean wave during “Never Fight a Man With a Perm” while multiple circle pits erupted on the floor during “Faith In The City.” The Wiltern is a staggered venue, with multiple general admission viewing levels stacked upon each other, and a seated balcony up above; so technically, there’s only one true general admission “floor” level. Well, layout obstacles be damned because people were crowd surfing down from the upper GA viewing levels down to the open, legit floor section all throughout the night.
It takes a certain type of band to get multiple levels of the Wiltern on their feet rocking like this…and Idles is definitely one of them. Each guitarist spent time inte racting with the audience, and by interacting we mean crowd surfing into the pit and then having to fish their instrument back onstage like a reeling in a marlin.
This show just so happened to land on their bass player’s birthday, so naturally the 2,000 or so fans inside the building sang “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Adam Devonshire [he even blew out a cake w/ candles!].
Idles blasted through their fiery punk anthems, but also managed to stretch certain numbers out into extended jam sessions. No matter the band did, the feverish crowd inside The Wiltern loved every second of it. That’s what happens when you’re that goddamn good live. That’s just how Idles rolls.