Veteran rock star Billy Idol gives flamboyant performance In Bucharest
Otilia Haraga

British bad-boy rocker Billy Idol shook the Arenele Romane on Monday evening in a two-hour concert comprising material from his new album, "Devil's Playground," old hits and covers from celebrated rock bands.
The concert of the British rock star was opened by the local band ZOB. After a 15 minute intro, Billy Idol and his band entered the stage accompanied by the guitar riffs of Steve Stevens, who has been the rocker's constant companion ever since the '80s, when Idol's career took off. Smash hits like "White Wedding," "Scream" and "Dancing With Myself" showed Idol at his best. While in his fifties, the artist showed no sign of fatigue and his voice remained crystal clear throughout the show. The audience at the packed arena also witnessed a Billy Idol characteristic striptease number.  
Perhaps the only disappointment for the fans present at the show was that the artist's setlist did not include his famous "Speed" and "Cradle of Love." "Hasn't he forgotten to sing something?" the fans asked at the end of the show. Instead, songs from classic acts such as The Doors and Van Halen were interpreted. The absence of the two songs from the artist's repertoire however was compensated by a Billy Idol interpretation of the doors classic tune "L.A. Woman," which the artist said he sang for the "very beautiful Romanian women" whom he saw "in a short walk in Bucharest at dawn."
Another highlight of the show was a Steve Stevens solo. Cigarette in mouth, the guitarist played the 1976 hit "Ready, Steady, Go!" the same as he did thirty years ago. After a spirited performance of the artists 1983 hit "Rebel Yell," the show was not without its delicate moments, as Idol donned a white shirt for guitar-accompanied ballads such as "Sweet Sixteen" and "Eyes Without A Face." About 90 minutes after the concert began, the five musicians went backstage, but the rocker soon returned with Steve Stevens on guitar for the encore "Hot in the City," after being called back by the thousands of clapping fans. Billy Idol and the five members remained on stage for several more minutes and then closed the show with the promise "See you next year!"
Idol achieved massive success in the early 1980s. His success was due mostly to a combination of his bad-boy good looks, easily marketed on MTV, and punk and dance beats that assured him a quick ascent. But his meteoric rise nearly fell just as dramatically as a battle with drug addiction and a close encounter with death following a severe motorcycle accident threatened to end his career.
"Devil's Playground" released on March 22 last year is the first newly recorded material of the artist in twelve years and his sixth full-length studio album, which also reunited Idol in the studio with guitarist Steve Stevens and producer Keith Forsey. Idol and the band supported the album with a world tour of rock festival appearances in 2005 and 2006, Romania being part of that tour.