This past week, one of the most iconic and legendary frontmen in music history hit the stage in Lauderdale with his band PiL. Johnny Lydon who once went by Johnny Rotten, the obnoxious, young angst driven lead singer of the Sex Pistols. Having founded PiL in 1978 after the break-up of the Sex Pistols, John went on to find steady success in the post punk world with PiL.
In 2003, Rolling Stone voted their 1979 release Metal Box, as one of the top 500 albums of all time. Having had radio success with songs “this is not a love song”, “happy”, “Seattle” and others, PiL has had a steady and loyal following for over 3 and a half decades.
The last time I had the chance to watch them perform was back in 2012 at the now defunct Grand Central (RIP), the show was just as high energy then, with dramatic lighting and song, as it was at the Culture room. This time however, the lights and club like atmosphere were replaced with a large backdrop with the bands logo, and simple white lighting. This show was just about connecting with the fans through the music. John has been one of the most dramatic and emotional singers to grace a stage. His emotion comes through his eyes and facial expressions as the band rips through every song. It was an eclectic crowd, from young to middle aged, and beyond.
You could tell who the “old school” punks were, as they bobbed their heads to the rhythms of the band. John and PiL did not disappoint. It was a good, honest, musical performance by a singer who has mellowed with age, and a band of talented musicians who just like playing music. Touring in support of their latest release “What the World Needs Now”, expect a great show with the band covering new music as well as various songs from their archives. Buy the new album and go see them if they come to your town. PiL does NOT disappoint. Always support live music.