The October 31st concert in Sarasota’s Van Wezel hall was a fun mix of old and new, in more ways then one. The crowd ranged in age from about 10 to over 60, and there was a nice spattering of Halloween outfits. The most common, of course, being at least some part of a white wedding gown. Billy has been spending some time in the gym, a fact not lost on the women of the crowd, some of them one half or even one third his age.
He opened with the title track to his new release, Devil’s Playground, and went right into Dancing with Myself, which got the crowd up and dancing. Then came a sexed-up version of Flesh for Fantasy which was followed by the new Body Snatching. Next came another crowd pleaser, White Wedding. He continued with a highly energized mix of new songs and old standards that kept the show lively.
The tempo dipped slightly with extended guitar solos, but with Steve Stevens being so good, it was hardly noticed. I am sure that they were a little long to give Billy a rest, and as a fan that was in the Navy when Rebel Yell was released, I can understand the need for a breather.
I liked Sweet Sixteen and the version of Plastic Jesus. The cover of LA Woman was adequate. He ended the main show with flair and a Rebel Yell, which he followed in encore with Hot in the City, the Gen X tune Kiss Me Deadly, and finishing with a long Mony Mony.
All in all, a very fun show that pleased his older fans and excited his new ones. And it had the distinction of being a concert that parents took their kids to. It’s always good when music can cross a generation gap. Now I have two things to do. Go buy the new CD, and hit the gym for some ab workouts….