Friday, April 16, 2010


Closing the show Friday night on the Outdoor Theater stage was an unexpected treat, Public Image Limited. By the time they took the stage at 11:20 PM I was right up front and had consumed all the tequila so I was really enjoying myself. John Lydon (aka "Johnny Rotten" formerly with the Sex Pistols) and his band took the stage and proceeded to blow me away with their hypnotic beat driven performance. A totally unexpected treat and a highlight of the whole music festival!

Wikipedia describes PiL as follows:

Public Image Ltd. (PiL) is an English musical group formed by vocalist John Lydon, guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble, with frequent subsequent personnel changes. Lydon is the sole constant member of the band.

Rising from the ashes of the pivotal post punk group the Sex Pistols with First Issue (1978), PiL branched out to a more experimental sound, an idiosyncratic "droning, slow-tempo, bass-heavy noise rock, overlaid by Lydon's distinctive, vituperative rant." Their early work is often regarded as some of the most challenging and innovative music of the post-punk era. Their 1979 album Metal Box was ranked number 469 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The NME described PiL as "arguably the first post-punk group".

Coachella: PiL’s jagged little edge
by kevin on April 17, 2010

Who: Public Image Ltd. at the Outdoor Theatre.
In 3 or Fewer Words: Nothing rotten here.
I’ll Remember This Until the Next Reunion Because: PiL is still relevant. “Hellloooo, Coachella… Nice to see you. And if Jay-Z’s starting to give you a headache, it’s time you take your PiL!” And that’s how it started, as legendary singer and provocateur (and I think we can admit he’s a legend for the latter, not so much the former) John Lydon introduced his second-most-famous band to a small-ish late-night crowd under a starry sky and waves of beats spilling over from Jay-Z’s headlining set one stage away. The artist formally known as Johnny Rotten then led his newly reformed band of post-punk experimentalists through a collection of dance-y, trance-y four-on-the-floor groovers and jagged bashers. Sure, the longform post-post-something iceflows of songs like “Albatross” and “The Flowers of Romance” seemed to be pushing the patience limits of the rapturous yet clearly exhausted audience, and Lydon had to keep his lyrics on a stand next to his mic (hey, even the Boss uses a teleprompter these days); that said, the spike-headed frontman’s irascible good spirits, pudgy mania and animalistic howls (not to mention crowd faves like the anthemic “Rise”) kept the fans’ feet planted firmly to the ground long after Lydon rebelled and pushed his band well past the one-hour scheduled set time. Older and larger though he may be, it’s nice to see (and hear) that some things never change.
What I’d Tell My Friend Who Was at Deadmau5: Hope you got your dance on.

Upon my return to Denver on the following Tuesday, I learned that PiL would be performing at The Ogden Theater on the following Saturday. Bought a ticket and was very excited about seeing them perform again so soon after their appearance at Coachella.

A storm moved in on Friday, dropping rain in the lower elevations, snow higher up including where we live. I thought nothing of it. I prepared for PiL on Saturday, went to the theater and learned that the show was cancelled because of snow and ixe on the closed roads running through southern Wyoming. Such disappointment. I then learned that Yeasayer and Sleigh Bells, both bands performing at Coachella too, were playing that night at the Bluebird Theater. I got tickets from someone in line and my evening was salvaged. Look for that post later on with recorded music.

Denver Show Cancelled Due to Adverse Weather
Unfortunately Public Image Ltd have had to cancel tonight's (Saturday) appearance in Denver due to adverse weather conditions and the resulting closure of the Interstate 80.

John Lydon and PiL would like to apologise to everybody who had planned to attend the concert.

Due to severe ice on the road the band and crew were stuck in traffic for over 10 hours on the I-80 outside Rawlins, Wyoming and are now unable to make it to the venue on time. Sorry, they did everything they could, but it is now impossible.

Download it here:

Sorry for the occasional sound of wind on the recording. It certainly was welcome relief that night after a day of sweltering heat. Next time I use the foam caps for the microphones. Live and learn.

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