PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. – Antwerp (Trix Venue), Belgium – October 18, 2015
Up there, in the middle of the stage behind his rostrum like stand to install his lyrics bible on, John Lydon looks and acts like an out-of-control and adrenalin drugged preacher on a rowdy mission. During ‘Religion‘, after a most scary imitation of that haywire German mass murder dictator the Rotten priest demands ‘Turn Up The Bass’, again and again
Of course, he gets what he wants and our ears came under heavy attack. This is PiL since the 2009 reunion. A post-punk religion of irresistible bass grooves you can dance too with Lydon as chieftain propagandist and his excellent band as high qualified musical apostles (metallic guitar wizard Lu Edmonds introduced by Lydon as ‘Jesus‘, bass warrior Scott Firth introduced as ‘Satan’ and explosive drummer Bruce Smith as… ‘Bruce’). A funky machine that rolls over you without mercy. A brutal force that never wavers. A giant metal box. Via his ravaged larynx the anarchist at heart produces all noises except the singing one. He howls, barks, screams, growls and at times twitters as Donald Duck on speed. Spectacular!
Combined with the intoxicating beats, loud dub waves, the nasty big bang bass and the indispensable big tunes (from the smoking new ‘What The World Needs Now…‘ album tracks ‘Double Trouble‘, ‘Know Now‘ and ‘The One‘ to hits such as ‘This Is Not A Love Song’, ‘Public Image’ and ‘Rise’) Public Image Ltd. still earns its place today (if they were all still 20 and just starting off, the press would embrace them as the next big experimental thing) and most of all, these manic street preachers are a great night out. We know all of Lydon‘s tricks, body language, cinema qualities, and his beloved enemies for some time but I
guess all present PiL fans need an injection of his bass religion now and then to canalize their angry energy together with the expert himself. And the imperishable punk pontiff loved it (he was obviously touched at the end of the concert by the overwhelming cheers of the crowd) as much as we did. Amen.
SETLIST reproduced on Spotify…