Idles // Live @ Orange Peel - Asheville, NC // 10.20.21
REVIEW: Brandon Askew PHOTOS: Heater Burditt
We knew it was gonna be a banger from the moment we rolled up to the Orange Peel. With doors opening at 7, the line to get in wrapped the block. New York based dance-punk band Gustaf kicked the show off in grand vintage polyester draped-fashion. Pounding rhythms held the line as singer Lydia Gammil peered at the assembling crowd through her tinted round glasses, half singing and shouting her spoken word lyrics. On-stage hype partner Tara Thiessen gleefully banged an assortment of percussive materials along with the textured guitar stylings of Vram Kherlopian, beckoning if not demanding the crowd to dance with them. Gustaf gave the crowd everything they had, to which the crowd responded in kind, a well-suited warm up to the following act. IDLES hit the stage not long after.
If Gustaf was the fuse, IDLES were sheer explosive force, igniting the crowd in an instant, bludgeoning them with ferocious and unapologetic rhythm and swirling guitars, all as the backdrop to singer Joe Talbot and his intense vocal style and hooks. IDLES were relentless, barely pausing in their set that went well past the hour and a half mark. Fans and newcomers alike couldn't seem to get enough. Joe's ability to move the crowd during songs was also matched by his kind words to the locals mixed with social reflections in the few moments the music stopped, even sharing the stage with a random fan whom they invited on stage to sing a song with them (Jerrod killed it, too!) IDLES ended the night with a chaotic explosion of song and dance by inviting Gustaf back on stage for a 15 minute sweaty dance party, all but guaranteeing there would be no encore this night. Like a crushing wave, the performers withdrew almost as quickly as they came in, leaving breathless bodies in their wake, and creating instant fans for any newcomers to the IDLES experience.