After witnessing a live performance by the British Punk Rock band, IDLES, last Monday night in Washington, D.C., one thing is very clear to me. Their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, is not simply the name of their album, it’s their mantra. And truthfully, their music and their message couldn’t have come at a better time.
The concept of unity, positivity, and love overcoming all of life’s obstacles is a message we all crave to hear, especially in today’s political climate but also as a personal affirmation. At one point during the performance, Joe Talbot, the lead singer of the band, began waving his arms back and forth singing a few lines of Christina Aguilera’s song, “You are beautiful, no matter what they say,” letting the audience finish with “words can’t bring you down.”
Forgive me father, I have sinned I’ve drained my body full of pins I’ve danced ’til dawn with splintered shins Full of pins, full of pins
– ”Colossus” from Joy as an Act of Resistance
Thanks to the IDLES, the energy in the club was brimming with joy and with crowd surfing, moshing, and some stage diving. Even the band was partaking in the action, climbing on top of the audience with guitars in hand. One young fan declared that his name was also Joe, which garnered him a spot on the stage with a mic in his hand. “I have the BEST Mom in the world,” exclaimed young Joe. “If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here tonight, she drove me here… on a SCHOOL NIGHT!” The audience exploded in fist pumps, clapping and cheers. “I wasn’t expecting that,” said Joe Talbot, with a smirk and a smile, “and what’s your Mum’s name?” “Mary Katherine,” said the fan. “Well, then let’s give it up for Mary Katherine,” shouted Joe.
It was basically a love fest and the sold-out crowd couldn’t get enough of it. IDLES took the stage, commanded positivity, even parted the audience at one point, like the parting of the Red Sea, only to declare that everyone mosh and love one another like never before. It was a very loud, raucous, and beautiful thing. No doubt a much needed cathartic release on a school night for everyone.
Check out the pics from the show and the KEXP video below for a glimpse into the IDLES world, and definitely keep an eye out for more live performances. They are starting an international tour beginning in Spain on Friday, November 8th. I know I won’t miss the next one.