Evergreen Idol still on rampage

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Billy Idol in Perth. Picture: Court McAllister
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Billy Idol, Cheap Trick
Kings Park
Saturday, March 14

After a solid, albeit brief welcome to the show set from Aussie rock stalwarts the Angels, American power-pop legends Cheap Trick arrived beneath a mercifully clear Perth sky to ignite proceedings.

While it took a few tracks to find their feet, the Trick made it known that they weren't out to service a legacy, romanticise a golden age or phone things in.

Guitarist Rick Nielsen, who it could be argued symbolises the band even more so than talented vocalist Robin Zander, was the constant throughout an enthusiastic showing comprised of smash hits such as Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me and set highlights Surrender and If You Want My Love.

The Flame was a noticeable absence, but given the night's rock'n'roll line-up, the evergreen ballad's omission was perhaps an understandable one .

While the sprawling crowd's reception for Cheap Trick was nothing short of fervent, things got noticeably livelier upon the arrival of UK rock icon, Billy Idol (inset).

Pushing 60 years of age, Idol looked, moved and delivered like a man decades shy of his vintage, and it's an example his well-oiled band obviously holds themselves to.

Cradle Of Love was the first anthem to drop, the players pulsing seamlessly around Idol's smooth baritone phrases. Dancing With Myself and a pumping rendition of Flesh For Fantasy found another gear, led by the cigarette chain-smoking virtuosity of guitar guru Steve Stevens.

Whiskey And Pills had the set red-lining before Rebel Yell put the evening in the win column. While introducing the song, Idol dispatched his shirt revealing a body that no sexagenarian has a right to own.

An acoustic arrangement of White Wedding's opening passages had more than a few worried, but all concern was put to bed as the band dropped in for the second verse to smash the remainder of the track along with set closer Mony Mony.

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