Billy Idol Unleashed His Rebel Yell To A Sold Out Treasure Island


I never thought I’d be able to say this but… I saw Billy Idol last night! Excuse me while I do my little freakout dance and think about just how spoiled I am and how many amazing experiences I have gotten since starting this blog. I mean, come on, it’s Billy freaking Idol. I didn’t even have him on my bucketlist just due to the fact I thought there was no way in hell I would ever catch him in concert.

The lights went down right at 8PM inside of the event center at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota (just under an hour away from the cities). The older crowd seemed a bit reluctant to get out of the seats as the spotlights his Billy’s band members but as soon as the iconic rocker took the stage everyone shot out of their seats with a sense of fury. Very few butts ever returned to their seats during the nearly two hour performance and for good reason. Although the show seemed to fly by, it was full of hit after hit and an undeniable sense of energy that, for a 63 year old, was nothing short of impressive.

You all know the name and some of his iconic songs but let me just lay out the facts for you quick. 63 year old Billy Idol was born William Michael Albert Broad in November of 1955 in England. He got his first big break with the London punk band Generation X before breaking out on his own. With guitarist Steve Stevens by his side (who was part of his talented band last night), Billy Idol quickly took over the radiowaves with his accessible punk music. Okay, it was probably a bit more hardcore back in the day but I just don’t feel comfortable classifying him as a punk vocalist compared to today’s bands. That being said, there has always been something edgy about his look and his sound which is why I’ve always been a fan of him. Fast forward to today and this hard-working rocker has now put out eight full length albums, been nominated for three Grammy’s, and continues to be a constant fixture in the music world.

Kicking off his thirteen song set (including his one song encore), Billy and his band wasted no time when it came to playing the hits and started with “Cradle of Love” and then jumping into Generation X’s “Dancing With Myself” (which happens to be a personal favorite of mine). I’m not naive, I instantly noticed that I was one of the youngest people in the sold out audience other than the kids that were there with their parents. I definitely felt out of place at times throughout the set and felt a little bad for taking up a prime seat when I couldn’t sing along to every word like majority of the older audience but there was something magical happening in my section and that’s something I’m so glad to have experienced. It was easy to see that everyone around me was reliving their youth and the smiles on their faces were priceless. I may not have been able to sing every word to every song but I was able to take in every cheesy smile around me and that was just as good.

If I may be so bold, Billy Idol was a sex symbol back in the day. You can fight me on this but, come on, he always had his shirt off and always had this dangerous yet enticing snarl on his face. Sure, majority of the pictures of him are from back in the 80’s and 90’s but honestly not much has changed. He took off layer after layer of shirts after just a song or two while facing away from the crowd. When he turned around he had just an unzipped jacket on. Although it didn’t do much for me, the women around me were swooning like middle schoolers. It was almost too much to handle and there were definitely moments where I couldn’t help but chuckle at the 63 year old as he took off a signed t-shirt at the end of his set to throw it into the audience. Sure, not for me but, let’s be honest, when the members of Good Charlotte are that old I’ll be swooning just like the women around me last night. 

There were no smoke and mirrors when it came to Billy Idol’s show last night. It was just pure talent and nostalgia but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I feel like too many of these older musicians rely on tricks when it comes to staying relevant and modern but Billy and his band members did nothing more than play their songs with a sense of perfection and a sense of fun. Although understated, when Billy left the stage after performing “Rebel Yell” and before coming out for the encore (“White Wedding” of course), I was left wanting so much more. There was just something to real about his performance and something so genuine about the show that I couldn’t get enough of.

I saw the Idol last night. I saw Billy freaking Idol. That was definitely a dream come true.


Photos by David Rubene