Public Image Ltd., Bad Luck Jonathan | Concord Music Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Public Image Ltd., Bad Luck Jonathan 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Wed., Nov. 18, 9 p.m. 2015

When Public Image Ltd was spawned from the dissolution of the Sex Pistols conglomerate, old boy John Lydon still had some big ideas to get out. On Public Image: First Issue (1978) and Metal Box (1979) in particular Lydon proselytizes like a man possessed, squawking and squealing—and performing spoken word—as sharp, jagged guitar lines and taut, driving rhythms carve out paths for the eventual postpunk come-up. The decadent ambitions of those first two albums greatly outweigh their ramshackle qualities; Lydon seems adamant on forging an even more alien sound, as well as a more berserk persona, that wholly fuck with the public’s expectations. Six albums, a breakup, and a reunion later—the last resulted in the 2012 album This Is PiL—Lydon and company return with What the World Needs Now . . . (PiL Official), and from the opener, “Double Trouble,” the one-of-a-kind front man sounds biting and crotchety as ever, using his thick accent to snarl out vitriol. Some of the more poetic professions aside (“C’est La Vie” being one), the straightforward punk tracks and funkier forays (“Whole Life Time”) show a vigor and youthfulness akin to PiL in its late-70s infancy.

Kevin Warwick

Price: $43, $38 in advance

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