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FFFF Live Review: Public Image Ltd.

Auditorium Shores, Nov. 3

Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Nov. 2, 2012

FFFF Live Review: Public Image Ltd.
Photo by Gary Miller

Public Image Ltd.

Auditorium Shores, Nov. 3

Any singer can spew edgy sentiments, but it takes a master to make them stick. In the case of John Lydon's work with PiL, he doesn't employ wit or inflammation. His town crier vocals become fully integrated with the music, and simple, repetitive phrases turn into bellicose calls to arms. Lydon's voice was in spectacular form Saturday, as was PiL on the whole. The sound was fantastic, and the band was loud, wiry, and taut in a manner that rekindled the initial late-Seventies/early-Eighties promise of post-punk. After opening strong with 1983's "This Is Not a Love Song," PiL transitioned into "Deeper Water" from 2012's This is PiL. Guitarist Lu Edmonds opened up on the latter, summoning explosive Cold War angst as Lydon's modern-day chant confirmed that it's always six minutes to midnight somewhere. After a raging take on the ever-paradoxical "Death Disco," Lydon switched to his sinister "No Fun" growl to start "Bags." Then PiL segued the 1986 Album track into "Chant" from 1979's classic Metal Box for an unhinged climax. By the time the quartet got to "Rise," PiL's best-known song from the MTV era, it was stadium sing-along time. Like the man says, anger is an energy.

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