Billy Idol & Steve Stevens

Count Basie Theater, Red Bank, NJ

Billy Idol & Steve Stevens
Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged 2019
Count Basie Theater - Red Bank NJ
April 4, 2019
Photographs By Estelle Massry
Article by Dennis Morgillo
 
Forget Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. Billy Idol is the 80's! Along with his Guitarist and partner in crime, Steve Stevens, Billy Idol ruled the 1980's, and was a huge part of the success of MTV. 
 
Idol was a founding member of the very underrated "Generation-X" during the 1970's and moved to NYC where he met Steve Stevens in 1981. The rest is history. 
 
Idol & Stevens are on the road doing an Acoustic tour called "Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged". The show is reminiscent of the MTV shows "Unplugged" and "Storytellers". 

Idol & Stevens hit the stage and of course they look cool AF! Dressed all in black, leather, boots and their signature spiky haircuts, these guys are the epitome of cool. They ooze sex, danger and Rock n Roll. Rock n Roll from the groin! Where it should be! They certainly don't make Rock Stars like Billy Idol & Steve Stevens anymore. 
It is an honor and a privilege to witness Idol in such an intimate setting. I have seen Billy many times over the years, but never in such a stripped down raw environment. It's as if we are having a house party in the basement and Billy Idol & Steve Stevens showed up. 
 
They open the show with "Dancing with Myself". It is such a fun song and a great way to let the crowd know this is not your average acoustic event. This is a high energy kick ass show. 
 
I loved hearing the new stripped down arrangements and Billy's storytelling. I especially enjoyed the tale of how Billy was hanging out with The Rolling Stones and they were drinking out of a bottle of Tennessee Whisky called "Rebel Yell". A classic song was born. 

It really was a night loaded with highlights. Every song was a gem. "Catch My Fall" is such a beautiful song and the memories are flowing. "Ghost in My Guitar" sounds so good acoustic. You can hear the beautiful dynamics and emotion, true, raw emotion of the song. 

My favorite Idol song is "Eyes Without a Face", and they deliver a beautiful performance, i get chills as they break into the bridge "I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip, Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip". Steve Stevens displays some guitar wizardry during an extended solo. Stevens was always the best, most creative guitarist of the 80's, and he shows off his chops during the 5 minute spanish flamenco inspired solo. 

They close the show with an incredible version of "Rebel Yell". The crowd of course sings along to "More, More, More", and they are loving it. The encore consists of "White Wedding" and a cover of "Shakin' All Over". 

Billy's voice is in fine form, and Stevens sounds incredible. The stripped down versions really showcase Idol's voice and the excellent songwriting. These songs are some of the greatest ever crafted. 

Thank God for Billy Idol. Billy is an International treasure and it is a treat to witness these acoustic shows. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Like I said, they aren't making Rock Stars like these guys anymore.
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