Concert Reports


Billy Idol

07/19/2019, Calif. Mid State Fair, Paso Robles

Evening of Rhythm & Brews featuring BILLY IDOL at California Mid State Fair! The night featured 8-person table seating, a Golden Circle of premium seats, and the normal grandstand seating (similar to the successful Evening of Music & Wine night). In addition, concert patrons were able to purchase special craft beers, normally not available during the Fair, from brewers such as Elysian, Golden Road, Firestone-Walker, Central Coast Brewing, Figueroa Mountain and Barrel House Brewing Company

All Photos: Ray Soto            


The annual Evening of Rhythm & Brews at The California Mid State Fair in Paso Robles kicked off with warm temperatures and cold brews to the delight of a near capacity crowd. Add in rock legend Billy Idol and you have quite a party as the singer had the age diverse audience on their feet from the opening notes of “Cradle of Love.”


With his sneer still intact and his body still toned, the rocker and his band ( Steve Stevens-Guitar, Billy Morrison-Guitar, Stephen McGrath-Bass, Erik Eldenius-Drums, Paul Trudea-Keyboards ) treated fans to a setlist that not only featured favorites such as “Dancing With Myself,” and “Flesh For Fantasy” but pulled songs from the stellar album “Kings and Queens of The Underground” released in 2014. “Can’t Break Me Down,” and “Ghosts In My Guitar” blended in nicely with Idol’s mega hits and avoided the dreaded “New Material Energy Drop” in a crowd when groups introduce their new material to a concert audience.


No Billy Idol show would be complete without the talents of Steve Stevens, Idol’s partner and collaborator for decades. Showcasing his signature riffs and unique sound that instantly identifies classics like “Eyes Without a Face,” and “White Wedding,” the guitarist displayed his talents in a solo that encompassed beautiful rock passages mixed with flamenco stylings and showed just how much a performer can become one with his instrument.


“Ready Steady Go,” and “Blue Highway,” segued into the rousing closer “Rebel Yell” from the monster album of the same name that broke Idol to world back in 1984. It was apparent the enthusiastic crowd wanted More, More, More as they demanded the band come out for one more song and were treated to the classic “White Wedding”



BILLY IDOL was an early architect of the sound, style, and fury of punk rock. His lip- curling sneer and fist-pumping persona vaulted him into the mainstream as one of MTV’s first megastars, making him one of the most recognizable faces in pop music, while selling out arenas everywhere he played. He has sold 40 million albums while scoring numerous platinum albums worldwide, nine top forty singles in the U.S. and 10 in the U.K. including “Dancing With Myself, “White Wedding,” “Rebel Yell,” “Mony Mony,” “Eyes Without A Face,” “Flesh For Fantasy,” and “Cradle Of Love.”Billy was responsible for some of punk rock’s most memorable, literate, and evocative moments and created a pioneering new sound by bringing the spirit of ’77 to the dance floor, going on to fashion an immediately identifiable musical blueprint that integrates club-land throb, rockabilly desperation, and rock’n’roll decadence.

Idol returned to the spotlight in the fall of 2014 with two high profile releases that marked the latest chapter in the long and remarkable story of a musician, an inventor, a survivor, a father, a son, a man who returned from the brink, and a rebel whose yells made the mainstream sit up and pay attention.

Idol’s New York Times bestselling autobiography Dancing With Myself is an electric, intelligent, brutally honest and entirely self-written account of Billy Idol’s journey to fame, from his early days as front man of the pioneering UK punk band Generation X to a long and often decadent life lived loving sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and motorcycles.

Kings & Queens of the Underground was Billy’s first album of new material in nearly a decade. The album’s palette, which includes incredible contributions from Idol’s longtime collaborator and lead guitarist Steve Stevens, will be instantly familiar to lovers of classic Billy Idol, while announcing a firm step into the future. Produced by Trevor Horn (with two tracks co-written and produced by 2017 Grammy Producer of The Year winner Greg Kurstin), it is full of thumping, cinematic songs about sin, redemption and the love of rock’n’roll.

Billy Idol, together with his band featuring Steve Stevens, have been touring heavily during the past five years, headlining theaters and arenas and performing at major festivals all over the world.



From punk pioneer to global superstar, Billy Idol has left an indelible mark in popular music and remained a household name for over three decades. His style, music, and attitude have transcended time and trend. Born in 1955 in Stanmore, North London, Idol spent several formative years living on Long Island, NY as a child before returning to the UK and emerging as a central figure of the British punk movement. As part of the infamous Bromley Contingent and a fan of the Sex Pistols, Idol was inspired to front the pioneering British punk band Generation X from 1976 until the band’s split in 1981. Determined to break through in America, Billy Idol hooked up with guitar genius Steve Stevens and a crucial musical partnership was forged. Billy Idol has created some of rock-n-roll’s most enduring anthems including “White Wedding,” “Dancing With Myself,” “Flesh For Fantasy,” “Hot In the City,” “Eyes Without A Face,” “Rebel Yell,” and “Cradle of Love,” among others. Billy Idol is the original punk rocker who found a way to take that sneering punk attitude into the pop and rock mainstream, carving out songs that have lasted a lifetime.



"America's Favorite Fair!"


The Fair opened in 1946 and was first known as the San Luis Obispo County Fair. The California Mid-State Fair is held annually and runs for 12 days at the end of July. The Fair has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry. Artists such as Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Journey, Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks, Justin Bieber, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney have all performed on our Main Grandstand Arena stage.


Facilities are located at 2198 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles.


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