Rising from the ashes of the notorious Sex Pistols, in 1978 vocalist and songwriter John Lydon created one of the first post-punk bands in Public Image Limited (PIL). Over the next four decades, Lydon would explore a range of music, drawing on noise, dub reggae, world and dance music. In 1979, the band released Metal Box, a critically acclaimed and uncompromising mélange of sounds that would prove influential. By the end of the '80s, Public Image Limited had settled into an acid-tongued dance-rock before the band took a hiatus. Reuniting in 2009, PIL played across North America, making an appearance at California's celebrated Coachella Festival.
This is Not a Love Band
Led by Lydon, Public Image Limited began as an attempt for the frontman to distance himself from the "Johnny Rotten" persona fans associated with him. The band initially announced itself as a multimedia company, but its riotous, experimental live concerts cemented its reputation as a band perhaps even more confrontational than the Sex Pistols. As the original band members left, Lydon began employing a more commercial sound on albums such as 1983's, This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get, and 1986's, Album, the latter featuring a Who's Who of rock legends, such as guitarist Steve Vai and drummer Ginger Baker. Along the way, it notched several hit singles, including 1983's, "This is Not a Love Song." Its live performances grew more conventional but remained unpredictable given Lydon's sarcastic stage persona. By the time Public Image Limited reunited, it enjoyed a committed fan base in addition to critical respect as post-punk trailblazers.
Where can I buy Public Image Limited tickets?
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Is Public Image Limited touring in 2019?
The band is slated to play the Like Totally Festival, Huntington Beach, Calif. The '80s-themed festival will also feature headliners the Bangles, ABC, Oingo Boingo and others.
Where has Public Image Limited toured in the US?
In 2018, Public Image Limited toured extensively across North America and Europe. Ever popular, the band sold out many of the venues they played in America, including the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Ore., and The Chapel in San Francisco. In Los Angeles, its concert was moved to the Fonda Theatre after the original venue sold out in less than 24 hours.
Who are the current touring members of Public Image Limited?
Public Image Limited features Lydon on vocals, joined by guitarist Lu Edmunds, Scott Firth on keyboards, and bass and drummer Bruce Smith. Edmonds played with punkers The Damned early in its career and has also played with Shriekback and the Waterboys. Smith was the original drummer in the Pop Group, known for its frenetic take on punk and funk music. Firth has played with an array of artists from the Spice Girls to Elvis Costello.
What is a Public Image Limited setlist like?
Its sets include chart hits such as "This is Not a Love Song" and "Rise" as well as its debut single, "Public Image." It also tackles "Death Disco," a visionary single from its album, Metal Box, alongside more recent material like "Shoom" from the 2015 album, What the World Needs Now. Sets include selections from all of the band's catalog, as well as deep cuts like the searing "Religion" from the band's 1978 debut, First Issue.
Which other bands are similar to Public Image Limited?
Whether or not the band is performing itself, its sound makes a difference in other performers' style. Other artists that have been influenced by the band might include Massive Attack, Radiohead and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Both U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have admitted to being influenced by Public Image Limited.Back to Top