IDLES (photo: William Wayland)
Words by Elaine Blakely
I’m front and center, pushing against the barrier protecting myself as waves of bodies collide behind me. Why am I doing this again? At any moment, I can ask the bouncer to pull me out, but I don’t want to. I want to keep being a part of all of this. I want to give every ounce of my strength because, after all, IDLES are clearly giving every ounce of theirs.
On Thursday, October 10, IDLES headlined the historic Fillmore. IDLES have been touring the world with minimal breaks since 2017, playing numerous festivals like Glastonbury and practically every continent from South America to Asia. From Bristol, England, IDLES began 10 years ago with lead singer, Joe Talbot, and bassist, Adam Devonshire. There are two guitarists, Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, who are practically “one guitar” according to Kiernan — more about that later — and the mighty drummer, Jon Beavis, who keeps it at full throttle for the hour-and-a-half set.
Opening with their hit, “Colossus,” and ending with “Rottweiler,” IDLES know how to hold, hit, and part the audience like the Red Sea. Talbot commands “Part!” and with a wave of his hand, the audience split in two, creating a center aisle for Bowen to parade around inside the crowd, which was a departure from the guitarist’s usual crowd-surfing, taking turns surfing song to song.
IDLES have a message, and that message has doubled their fan base in a year’s time. Talbot loves to talk between each song championing human rights, immigrants’ rights, self-love, and addiction recovery. Lee Kiernan, one of the guitarists spoke with KEXP this past May, sharing about his seven-year sobriety. Kiernan explains, “You don’t need to be messed up to be creative. Since I’ve become sober, I’ve learned so much more about music, about composition, about frequency usage, and where things belong in relation to each other. The fact that