Chicago, Riviera Theatre, USA,
May 1st, 1980

1980 US "Tour"
John Lydon
Keith Levene: Guitar
Jah Wobble: Bass
Martin Atkins: Drums

Set List:
Careering / Annalisa / Attack / Low Life / Chant / Poptones / Death Disco / Memories / Public Image

This gig tends to be overlooked in gig listings for the time. Apparently it was pretty "intense". Well in keeping with the rest of the US dates. Steve Litin who passed on the the gig ticket described it as "a gloriously dangerous night in a lot of ways" and went on to say: "The show was 50 min total and with the energy that was on the stage and in the crowd I don't think it could have been longer without some one getting killed…"

Audio bootleg recorded


Gig Review & Photographs

review by Tony Phillput, March 2005
Text © 2005 / Tony Phillput
Pix © 1980 Tony Phillput

PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony PhillputI was at this show and let me tell you it WAS very intense.

This was a really great night.

We were REALLY into Metal Box (and nitrous oxide) at the time. In fact when PiL were on the Tom Snyder show you may remember that Tom read a telegram that he got from some fans in Indiana.

That was us.

Our questions was "What is the chant"?

We thought that it was either "love, war, fear, hate" OR "we're here to make trouble" while the volume pots were being jerked up and down.

They didn't bother answering.

The band that opened for them that night was one of those bands where the members were all in their mid thirties. You just knew that they had been slogging it in bars for years and now this "New wave" stuff was making them look obsolete. So they brought in a farfisa player and all started wearing suits or shirts with zebra stripes and started playing campy songs with girls names in the titles. We referred to these groups with a great amount of snobbery as "skinny tie bands" and we HATED skinny tie bands!!! Every town had one and they all covered Rock Lobster .I don't remember the name of the one that opened that night but I do not recall ever seeing a band met with more venom and outright loathing.

Funny thing is that they completely ignored the audience. The singer kept saying"Thank Yeeww" after every song and telling the audience how great they were even tho the boo's were at times completely drowning out the band!!!About 20 minutes into the set I remember seeing a cup of soda in mid flight over the stage. It seemed to hang there forever before it splashed all over the guitarist's leg which was perched on a monitor mid solo. It must have been full as it soaked everyone's equipment! The guitarist did not even flinch, he finished his solo , said "Thank yeeww, You've been a great crowd" and hastily disappeared behind the curtain. We were holding our sides laughing.

PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony PhillputWhen Jah Wobble's bass lines for 'Careering' started up it was so loud that it rumbled the fillings in your teeth. I don't know if it was on purpose or a technical glitch but the noise coming out of Keith Levene's amp was the scariest thing I had heard up to that point. It was literally cutting it's way thru the super loud bass notes that were filling up the hall like a swarm of thick nasty insects.

They played for about 40 minutes, threw a handful of PiL buttons into the crowd and vanished.

It was WONDERFUL!!!!

Tony Phillput

PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput

PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput

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Gig Ticket

Ticket thanks to Steve Litin


Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)
PiL live at Chicago, 1980 © Tony Phillput
Gig ticket
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