Like a force of nature, Idles flooded the Bay Stage at Lollapalooza Stockholm on the last day of the three-day festival. They delivered their show with unpredictable epic wildness and in the process infected with their energy the rock hearts of the crowds who gathered to witness their show.
First thing Joe Talbot does as he and the rest of the band storm on stage is hand signal the public to open up in the middle, like Moses did with the waves of the Red Sea. So a wide path is cleared open in the middle… But what for? Well, for the slamming and dancing that was due to happen there. And it didn’t take long for the people to start circling in the mosh pit like a massive swirl, bouncing and jumping to Idles’ vigorous tunes.
If you haven’t seen Idles live you haven’t lived enough! The band deliver themselves to the limit with every song. The passion and power they project just grows and grows more through the show.
It was already at the end of Colossus, the first song of the show, that singer Joe Talbot kicked one of the monitors off the stage. The monitor rolled down onto the tongue of the stage and it almost rolled all the way down to where I and all the other photographers were shooting. Yes, it was pretty close to actually landing on our cameras and heads and that only made me feel filled with adrenaline and energy. To which Talbot replied “How am I supposed to get the f*ck down there”, alluding to the fact that the monitor was indeed blocking the access to the tongue of the stage. Right there I knew this was going to be Lollapalooza’s wildest and most epic show!
And they proved me right, already by Mr. Motivator, their third song, Lee Kierman took himself and his guitar off the stage and jumped right into the sea of people, disappearing into the masses for a second, only to resurface again still ripping his guitar all smiles. And this was not the only time we would see him taking the human plunge, oh no, we saw him crowdsurfing the masses again and even joining the swirl of the mosh pit with the public again further into the show.
Mother was another special moment in the concert, a song which the band dedicated to all of our mothers and the mothers in the crowd. Idles has a heart and it beats warm.
Then came Love Song, and just when we thought the song was over, it kept on rippling and Mark Bowen ran off the stage with a microphone, climbed the fence and walked over people like he has supernatural powers. He then prolonged the love, singing covers of songs. First came, Knowing You Knowing Me by ABBA, followed by My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. At this point he jumped back on stage and together with Joe Talbot they sang All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey. Making it the most random musical potpourri we have ever heard, but who cares, that’s Idles!
The entire show was an utter hijack of all the senses, you couldn’t tear away your attention from everything that was going on. It was also such a pleasure to see all ages and all sorts of people from the middle-aged crowd to the kids spinning in the human swirls. And the rockers and the pop fans submerged in the same energy of joy for life, which was kind of the spirit of Lollapalooza.
And just like a tropical storm suddenly dries out, the concert came to an end and the band abandoned the stage leaving behind nothing unsaid nor undone, but an audience shook and electrified. This is Idles.
All photos by Karen Lundquist – @1_way_ticket_photo_video