Here’s a parental warning: If you’re a fan of British rock band IDLES and didn’t attend Thursday night’s show at The Factory in Deep Ellum, these photos may fill you with intense feelings of regret. If you are not strong enough to handle the evidence, please read no further. For everyone else, here are 10 reasons why you’ll regret not going to the IDLES show at the Factory at Deep Ellum.
1. This show really rocked. And you weren’t there. Let’s be honest, this is not the century of rock and roll. Between country and K-pop, rap and hip-hop, the pure and simple rock’n’roll of a group under 65 has become an anomaly. Thursday night reminded us of the power of gender. Rock and roll is a mythical beast, and as long as you believe in it, it will never die. So thank you for not introducing yourself. I guess you also hate unicorns.
2. An IDLES show is like make-up sex. His music is aggressive, chaotic, emotional and, at times, hopelessly confrontational. Lead singer Joe Talbot swings the mic as if looking for a Goliath to kill. Guitarist Lee Kiernan is in the crowd or twirls and spins madly, while drummer Jon Beavis tries to beat the Earth itself into submission. Then, as the band takes a breather between songs, Talbot becomes tender and generous, expressing his love for the crowd and thanking them for being there. Just like great makeup sex. If you couldn’t be bothered to show up, you probably have commitment issues, and you’ll never be able to be in a relationship deep enough to have that kind of physical and emotional intensity.
3. Someone threw a Buc-ee T-shirt on stage and Talbot immediately recognized it. He dedicated the following song to the girl who started it. It could have been you, if you’d bothered to introduce yourself – and bring a Buc-ee T-shirt.
4. There was room for you. It’s almost criminal that this show didn’t sell out. It was a good crowd, and they were up for 90 minutes of non-stop frenzy, but there was room at the factory for more. The group plays only a dozen dates in the United States and chose Dallas rather than Austin or Houston. Next time we may not be so lucky. If their next tour is through Austin or (heaven forbid) Houston, I blame you, Mr. I can’t go out on a Thursday.
5. Tina Maynard performed in place of guitarist Mark Bowen. She did it at Glastonbury too and is no stranger to the group. The guitar parts didn’t seem to miss a beat, and she was able to dilute testosterone on stage with powerful girl power.
6. Lee Kiernan surfed while playing guitar. You knew this would happen, and you still haven’t introduced yourself. I’m starting to think there’s something seriously wrong with you. You may want to examine your decision-making process.
7. This is a group that transcends politics. OK, there were a few brief mentions, and we were reminded that the band is against fascism, but most of the chatter between songs was friendly, funny, and encouraging. Talbot recognized his bandmates, the crowd and the small crew that keeps things running on tour. He may say the same thing at every stop, but he says it with such conviction that he feels like he’s speaking directly to you. Well, not you specifically, because you didn’t introduce yourself, did you?
8. The show started on time and ended on time. You could have been snug in your bed for the evening news, blanketed in the lingering warmth of a wonderful evening, but no, you couldn’t be bothered.
9. Joe Talbot loves you, but sometimes love is a mistress of opportunity. If you don’t show up, don’t get mad if the singer goes home with someone else.
10. Talbot sang an entire song with someone in a Pikachu costume on his shoulders. We’ve redacted Tiya’s last name to protect her identity but… oh boy… that pretty much describes the kind of night it was. When you’re Tiya working in a venue, there’s a lot to do and you can get a little jaded by the artists. Not this evening. When you’re one of rock’s top touring bands, you might be a bit of a sniper on the cartoon characters sharing your stage, but not this band. But, yes, you missed it.