IDLES w/ Fontaines D.C.
Neumos, Seattle, WA
Idles are the man with a perm. My neck hurts this morning from the whiplashing I took of high-decibel empathy and honesty getting banged out by the current epochal voice of reason in the music industry.
Heavy, heartfelt, connected, and kinetic, Joe Talbot took multiple moments to remind everyone we’re not alone, then Jon Beavis would stomp a booming kick and Talbot would shift into a silverback, throw his fists straight down and lay into the mic like a bear trap. I enjoyed the beat down like a Fight Club member getting that euphoric adrenaline rush to blanket the pain. I wrapped up in it, was held in it, was tossed on top of the crowd alongside Bowen and Kiernan while they shotgun cocked the necks and frets of their guitars, blasting off riffs. I floated up there forever.
Neumos continues to be the perfect sized venue, large enough to book generation-defining talent, small enough to still feel like you’re witnessing budding history. I won’t get that moment again with Idles, the next venue will be bigger, it will have to be, there’s just too much momentum behind this band. That energy is still pumping my blood, I feel like a walking Devonshire bass line and my head is full of Talbot’s world view.
Humility doesn’t often occupy the same space as aggression, Idles accomplishes that, like a monk setting themselves on fire. Maybe that’s why I feel so reinvigorated and youthful after their show, every day of high school I rocked my black backpack with one patch on it, Rage Against The Machine, because I was angry about the lack of equity in the world, and that image of self-immolation from their debut album changed me. Idles reminded me that teen angst and screaming anti-establishment wasn’t a phase, popular bands just stopped caring, and so did I.
Review by Matthew Riley
Photos by Sunita Martini