PHOTOS: IDLES and Gustaf sold The Riv in Chicago

IDLES and Gustave
The Riv // Chicago, IL // October 8, 2021

IDLES are the idyllic British rock band: angry for all the right reasons and ready to fight for it.

There are very few bands that can produce funny lyrics alongside serious lyrics, but SLOW MOTION can. “Seize the day / let’s all hold hands, chase the bites / You can do it!” Out of context, these words may sound silly; add the throaty vocals of Joe Talbot, the explosive drums of Jon Beavis and some sick guitars and basses, and it gets incredibly powerful. The UK-based group has amassed fans across the globe for very good reason: their anthems about the working class, anti-elitism and anxiety are relevant.

Photo by Kate Scott

IDLES are arguably one of the best live bands around, so it’s hard to imagine that an opening band would even come close to their energy. However, the punk children of New York art Gustave put together an awesome set and really held up. Their first full album, Audio Drag for Ego Slobs, was released just a week before their concert in Chicago. The band looks like a combination of Bikini Kill and Talking Heads. Lead singer Lydia Gammill performed their songs with a theatrical scowl on her face. Halfway through the third song, she ripped off her black clothes to reveal a colorful ’70s-style outfit that pairs perfectly with the rest of the group. As the group gains notoriety on this tour as well as with the release of their new album, it’s not hard to imagine that they will soon be selling their own shows.

Photo by Kate Scott

By the time IDLES took the stage, the crowd was already sweaty and ready to laugh. 15 minutes later, and not only were the audience members laughing, several members of the group had already surfed the crowd. Bassist Adam Devonshire celebrated his birthday with the crowd as Talbot led everyone in a merry “Happy Birthday” series. IDLES performed some of the biggest hits, such as “Grounds” and “Never Fight a Man With a Perm”, and they also performed “Kill Them With Kindness” for the first time on the tour. They ended the evening with “Rottweiler”, and Gustaf joined them on stage. The show was fast, aggressive, and powerful, but it was mostly fun. Ultimately IDLES is a fucking fun group.

Photo by Kate Scott

The latest IDLES album, Crawling, will be released on November 12. If this sounds like their previous three studio albums, fans won’t be disappointed. We can only hope that we are on the verge of having more songs to sing, shout and dance to.

The IDLES tour with Gustaf concludes on the West Coast next week, and then they will return home to the UK. For tour dates and tickets, click HERE.


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