Review: Dallas' Idles Concert Was a Gut-Spilling Ending to Their Tour | Dallas Observer

British Post-Punks IDLES Spilled Their Guts in Dallas

British post-punk outfit IDLES finished their 2024 U.S. tour leg in Dallas, but not without a bottle of Pepto Bismol in tow.
Joe Talbot did more than just stomach IDLES Dallas performance last night.
Joe Talbot did more than just stomach IDLES Dallas performance last night. Mike Brooks
Share this:
Nearly selling out South Side Ballroom, post-punk’s madcap boys from Bristol, IDLES, played Dallas last night for the final date of the U.S. leg of their “LOVE IS THE FING TOUR.” Supporting TANGK, the band’s fifth studio album, the ferociously vulnerable five-piece outfit is now halfway through a year-long, worldwide outing.

The band will play three shows (in Florida and New Orleans) in mid-June on their way to Bonnaroo, and will be back in the States for four more in September (Asheville, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston) — and that’s it. IDLES will spend the following six months bringing their powerhouse live set to the U.K., Canada and Mexico.
click to enlarge
Dallas was the last stop on IDLES 2024 American tour.
Mike Brooks
If you missed it, you might get lucky with another U.S. outing in 2025 because it’s pretty common for bands to tour an album cycle for about 18–24 months. But as of this time, nothing’s been announced. And unlike many European bands, IDLES doesn’t disproportionately focus on the U.S. market while they’re on the road. So when they do come to town, it is certainly a hot ticket.

Starting off their set Thursday night, frontman Joe Talbot illustrated the kind of toll on the body that comes with such long stretches on the road.

“This is the last show of the tour, and it nearly killed me,” Talbot told the packed Dallas crowd. “Tonight I’ve taken what you call Pepto Bismol.

“Very nice! Very nice!” he quipped in his cockney British accent. “So if I run offstage you know what I’m up to!”
click to enlarge
IDLES' Joe Talbot managed to conquer his tummy torment at South Side Ballroom.
Mike Brooks
There were moments of suffering that saw Talbot doubled over on the side of the stage clutching his stomach a couple of times between songs. It couldn’t have been easy to get through this show, but Talbot managed nonetheless to execute a dynamic and highly animated performance with whatever gas was left in the TANGK, so to speak, after 16 North American shows in the last three weeks.

Starting off the set stoic and focused with lots of penetrating eye contact with audience members, Talbot’s presence onstage gradually intensified. After the first few songs, (including TANGK’s rowdy and raucous fan-favorite single, “GIFT HORSE”) he began fervently pacing, punching the air and beating his chest as his bellowing vocals dominated the room. Talbot poured out his soul on stage, in all its scowling glory.

For a punk band (that hates being called a punk band), IDLES draws an older crowd. With the exception of a couple sets of parents who brought their kids, the audience largely appeared 21 and up, which is interesting for an all-ages show. These aren’t thrashing, unruly teenagers. IDLES makes adult-contemporary post-punk. Their sound is elevated and mature: love songs, politically charged statements and themes of intimate rage give them a more intellectual edge than their peers. This is punk-rock for grownups and their unique pain.
click to enlarge
IDLES left it all on the stage at South Side Ballroom.
Mike Brooks
Throughout the night, there were several direct gestures from Talbot and the band of pro-Palestine solidarity, starting with a loud and furious cry of “Viva Palestina!” and later on with Talbot donning a black-and-white keffiyeh thrown onstage by a fan in the front.

From their second LP, Joy as an Act of Resistance, the single “Danny Nedelko” (named for the Ukrainian lead vocalist of noise rock band Heavy Lungs) is a declaration of the worth and personhood of immigrants. The lyrics reference Queen’s Freddie Mercury (born in India), Malala (culturally mononymous Pakistani education activist), Polish butchers, Nigerian moms and the stunning contributions that foreigners make within the countries they settle in.

Before starting into “Danny Nedelko” for the Dallas crowd, Talbot introduced it as “a celebration of bravery and the hard work of immigrants,” dedicating the song to the people of Palestine.

But directly afterward, Talbot spontaneously broke into some a capella bars of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Because grownups still want to be cheeky and have fun, after all. And at South Side Ballroom, the grownups had a blast.
click to enlarge
IDLES guitarist Lee Kiernan could not stay out of the crowd in Dallas.
Mike Brooks
Guitarist Lee Kiernan was active with the audience, running from the stage into the crowd multiple times over the course of the night. A stage tech had to come out for almost an entire song to reel Kiernan’s microphone back up from the crowd by its 100-foot cord. He did not look entertained.

But the audience was electrified, jumping and shoving along to IDLES' equally vicious and jaunty tunes. There was quite a bit of crowd surfing, which is surprising for an older set of fans. Luckily, venue security didn’t overreact to what was clearly just a bit of unruly fun.
click to enlarge
There was a ton of crowd surfing at IDLES' Dallas show.
Mike Brooks
Talbot almost made it through the whole set before his torment reared its head again. “I’m sick as a fucking dog," he shouted. "What the fuck is in those Pepto pills?”

Before long, he was folded over his vocal monitor in clear agony. For the final number, opening act Ganser joined IDLES onstage for “Rottweiler” and the crowd went wild. But nature had unfortunately taken its course and the Pepto must have worn off because Talbot fled the stage.

Joe Talbot was possibly the only person at South Side Ballroom who didn’t leave with a blissful grin. And that’s a shame, because after such a stunning, gut-spilling performance and triumphant U.S. outing, he deserved to celebrate more than anyone.
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Dallas Observer has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.