Support from: Protomartyr

The Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

Review and Pictures: Marie Randall

When I first saw IDLES at Pappy and Harriet’s in 2021, it was a kick in the head. Literally. I got kicked in the head. Admittedly, it was my own fault. I hadn’t done my homework and was ill prepared for the physicality of an IDLES gig. It’s a swirling crush of flailing arms, legs, heads, and bodies, and that’s just the band on stage.

This time around, I stayed a bit further back, but the show lost none of the intensity.

IDLES, touring in support of their 5th album, “TANGK“, were in Hollywood for two sold out shows at the Hollywood Palladium – a storied venue infamous for the “punk riots” that ensued in the ‘80s, most notably after a Ramones and Black Flag gig back in 1984.

At 9:15, the front of the stage was lined with beefy security in anticipation of the bodies coming over the rails. But it was a night of controlled chaos and fun. IDLES came onstage amid atmospheric fog and moody lighting and proceeded to plow through their blend of metal–meets-punk-meets-hip-hop for two explosive hours and 25 songs!

The band started things off with “IDEA 01”, then “Colossus”. Guitarist Mark Bowen was a whirling dervish in a billowy fuchsia frock. During a break in the song, lead singer, Joe Talbot asked the crowd to split in two to facilitate the crowd surfing and then asked, “Are you ready to collide? Are you ready for love? Viva Palestina!” And with that, guitarist Lee Kiernan, guitar in hand, was in the pit and crowd surfing amid chants of “Viva Palestina.”

With one foot propped on his monitor, Talbot didn’t so much sing to his audience but confront them. He leaned into them, beating his chest while swinging his microphone dangerously far and wide.

Although bassist Adam Devonshire and drummer Jon Beavis didn’t partake in any moshing, they were locked in and their aggressive rhythm section held things down.

IDLES are a politically charged band and their songs explore topics of racism and immigration. Throughout the evening, Talbot voiced his and his band’s support for the people of Palestine (a Free Palestine hat hung on a microphone throughout the night).

When introducing the song “I’m Scum”, Talbot told the audience it was written during a bad time in his life, but that he asked for help from the people he loved. A few minutes into the song, he asked the crowd to “get low” and onto the floor (I think this is a British thing?). He then laughed and thanked audience for at least trying. He then led them in a chant of “fuck the Queen! Fuck the King!

IDLES delve into issues of drug abuse, gender issues, and mental health. More than once Talbot spoke of the need to open up and ask for help.

When going into the song “Benzocaine”, Talbot spoke about “losing the love of my life…I lost her because of drugs and my piece- of -shittery.” He dedicated it to all those suffering from addiction and to anyone who’s lost someone “because of their idiocy…you are not alone.” During this song both Bowen and Kiernan jumped into pit and were buoyed by the mass.

While the guitarists made their way back to the stage, Talbot took advantage of the moment to dedicate the following song, “Gratitude” to someone he described  as “important as John Lennon, someone who changed the culture and gave a platform to outsiders to express themselves.” He then pointed out legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk in the balcony.

Talbot took time to acknowledge their opening act, Protomartyr, describing them as the best active band in the world now, saying “we are very much the band we are because of them” and then dedicated the song “Samaritans” to them.

Talbot asked the crowd, “Shall we dance?” and the band launched into “DANCE”, a track off of their new album TANGK.

The song “Danny Nedelko” was dedicated to the “bravery and hard work of the immigrants of your land and our land.” Mark Bowen then set down his guitar and again joined the throng, standing on their hands and shoulders.

In a moment of levity, the band did an acapella version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.

The last song, “Rottweiler” was introduced as an anti-fascist song. Before ending things, guitarist Bowen implored the audience to call for a ceasefire (in GAZA) and the song ended in a blaze of lights and feedback.

IDLES aren’t afraid to wear their beliefs on their sleeves and their message of resistance and love cuts through the static of our times.

Idles Set List:

  1. IDEA 01
  2. Colossus
  3. Gift Horse
  4. Mr. Motivator
  5. Mother
  6. Car Crash
  7. I’m Scum
  8. 1049 Gotho
  9. Roy
  10. The Wheel
  11. Jungle
  12. When the Lights Come On
  13. Grounds
  14. Wizz
  15. Benzocaine
  16. Gratitude
  17. Samaritans
  19. Crawl!
  20. The Beachland Ballroom
  21. Never Fight a Man With a Perm
  22. Dancer
  23. Danny Nedelko
  24. All I Want for Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey cover)
  25. Rottweiler



Detroit-based openers Protomartyr performed a four song set of heavy, introspective songs. The stage was dimly lit and lead singer Joe Casey held the audience’s attention -all the while holding a can of Modelo beer. I’m definitely hoping to catch them sometime in the future at a gig of their own.

Protomartyr Set List:

  1. For Tomorrow
  2. Maidenhead
  3. Polacrilex Kid
  4. The Devil in His Youth


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