Few names in classic rock resonate more than Billy Idol. He’s been around for what seems like forever, parodied by various actors (and even played himself in the Adam Sandler flick The Wedding Singer), and yet through all of the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, he’s managed to keep strong and still pack a stadium. Not only that but the music still sounds great, especially Idol’s voice which seems to have only gotten stronger over the years. Mind boggling, sure…but also very awesome.
“In Super Overdrive Live” was filmed at the Congress Theater, Chicago for the US TV series Soundstage and originally broadcast in America in July 2009. The show sees Billy Idol, with trademark sneer and peroxide hair very much to the fore, reunited with guitarist Steve Stevens, who played on (& sometimes co-wrote) all his eighties songs. The track list runs from early Generation X hits, through his classic solo singles and up to tracks from his most recent album “The Devil’s Playground”. Idol is a fantastic live performer who oozes onstage charisma and the audience rocks along to every minute of this mesmerizing concert. Lineup: Billy Idol (vocals); Steve Stevens (guitars); Brian Tichy (drums); Stephen McGrath (bass); Derek Sherinian (keyboards).
I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about Idol’s music, but that doesn’t really mean much after watching this concert. The whole atmosphere and just general excitement is palpable, as even watching a recording you can just about feel the crowd’s excitement. I had a bit of a concern that all of the years of touring and everything else that comes with it would take its toll on Idol and result in this being an embarrassing concert to watch, but honestly I was really just surprised by how good it all sounded. Granted there’s the magic of post processing, but it’s really just a great concert to behold.
Truth be told I wasn’t even a fan of Idol and while I’m still not rushing out to buy his albums, this concert is undeniably a lot of fun to watch. Granted the concert was a scant seventy minutes long and I’m not entirely sure if anything was trimmed out of it or not, but overall it was a really entertaining way to kill an hour. The energy is definitely felt and Idol still obviously has what it takes to impress a crowd…and newcomers like me.
The tracklist for this concert includes:
01) Super Overdrive
02) Dancing With Myself
03) Flesh For Fantasy
04) Touch My Love
05) White Wedding
07) Eyes Without A Face
09) Blue Highway
10) Ready Steady Go
11) Rebel Yell
12) Kiss Me Deadly
Overall In Superoverdrive is a great concert and one that comes Recommended. Obviously fans will be more critical of Idol than I am, but from what I’ve read about this concert, everyone seemed genuinely pleased during its original July 2009 airing in the U.S. (though I’m not sure where it actually aired originally).
Eagle Rock Entertainment brings In Superoverdrive Live to Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case. A booklet inside contains information and photos from the concert as well as information about Idol and the band, while the menu system for the disc lays out everything in a nice and tidy fashion. Sadly there are no extras, which makes this barely-over-an-hour concert even more questionable to own.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded 1080i transfer. Being a modern production it looks as good as I’d expect, with solid amounts of detail and some fantastic visuals to gaze upon. Of course close ups do look a bit soft, they always do for some reason, but overall it’s a solid transfer from start to finish. Once again the audio comes in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, a DD5.1 mix and a LPCM mix. While the DD5.1 track is nice and the LPCM is superbly clear and loud, when it comes to pumping this concert up through a sound system the DTS-HD mix will reign supreme. Plenty of solid surround work, solid and deep bass and just and overall great sounding mix. Fans will definitely enjoy this, if nothing else, most about this disc.
And…that’s it. Disappointing and the lack of extras (booklet aside) really make this a fans-only type release. For them it’s Recommended. For everyone else you can just Rent It.
Billy Idol – In Superoverdrive Live is now available on Blu-ray.