Billy Idol rocks through the rain at Download Festival

Punk pop star treats soggy crowd to 'Rebel Yell', 'White Wedding' and Doors cover

British punk icon Billy Idol battled against the rain at Download this afternoon (June 13), with fans being pelted throughout his hour-long Main Stage set.

Regularly jumping down to greet the front rows of fans squashed against the barriers around the stage and surrounding the walkway into the middle of the crowd, Idol appeared in a black jacket and white T-shirt, which he later changed out of, donning a ripped black shirt.

“Jesus, this is one way of taking a bath,” said Idol after he and his band, including his long-standing guitarist Steve Stevens, played a cover of The Doors‘ classic ‘LA Woman’. During the song Idol changed the lyrics to both “UK woman” and then “Donington woman”.


The rain caused several microphones to malfunction throughout the show, most notably in the middle of the set finale ‘Rebel Yell’, during which Idol mocked his bandmate Billy Morrison for still having perfect hair despite the rain, unlike the wet Idol.

Idol was, however, grinning throughout the downpour and more than chatty. “We like rocking,” he said, after introducing his band. “We picked the right religion!”

The first half of ‘White Wedding’ was played acoustically by Stevens, with Idol standing close by his side to sing. Before starting the song, Idol somewhat strangely threw paper plates into the audience.

Idol also treated the Download crowd to a rare airing of 1978 Generation X single, ‘King Rocker’.

Billy Idol played:

‘Cradle Of Love’
‘Dancing With Myself’
‘Love Is Strange’
‘Flesh For Fantasy’
‘Eyes Without A Face’
‘Kings And Queens Of The Underground’
‘White Wedding’
‘LA Woman’
‘King Rocker’
‘Blue Highway’
‘Rebel Yell’


NME is coming live from the Download and Isle Of Wight festivals this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for the latest news, photos, videos, blogs and more straight from both sites.