Public Image Ltd. at the Midland
It may be better to burn out than it is to rust, but John Lydon showed no signs of doing either one Monday night at the Midland with his band, Public Image Ltd. And though the general-admission crowd was sparse — with maybe 600 people in attendance — PiL plied its voluminous, ear-ringing sound with aplomb.
If the Sex Pistols were the archetypal punk band, PiL is its antithesis, rising from the ashes of the Sex Pistols’ breakup. Where the Sex Pistols’ songs were short and stripped-down, PiL’s post-punk songs are lengthier and longer on experimentation. Vocalist Lydon, previous PiL members Lu Edmonds on guitar and Bruce Smith on drums and newcomer Scott Firth on bass did not shy away from the experiments, though those experiments have long been repeatable.