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Iggy And The Stooges Live Review: 4/23

Posted by - 03:05 PM on 05/01/07
A friend of mine recently attended an Iggy and the Stooges show in LA and wrote a show review for AP.
Show ReviewBy Lauren Cary
APRIL 23, 2007

“THIS IS MY SPACE… AND I WANT SOME FRIENDS!” I have leapt onto the stage at the Wiltern, flanked by a wide-eyed crowd surfer and the man of the hour, a brilliant garage machine David sculpted from sweat-drenched old leather, Iggy Pop. His cry, which both mocks and beckons to those present who are hardly one- third his age, unleashes a unified shout of praise from the venue. There’s a swarm of killer bee kids singing along to “Real Cool Time,” trying to get a piece of their man. He reaches into the crowd, snarling at security, clutching his comrades. He is Jim Osterberg, the naughtiest, noisiest guy at the concert. It is this relentless desire for unpretentious fun (coupled with extraordinary talent) that is the key to the Stooges’ staying power. In this moment, the band is a bevy of self-described freaks on a rampage to assure that everybody in the room is having the best time of their lives right now. Despite Iggy’s attempts to become part of the crowd, he cannot realign his natural position as the sun in the solar system of a dance party; as the song transitions into “No Fun” it is virtually impossible to take your eyes off of him. He is a man for the people, but this is his night.

As the show opens, all of the Stooges are draped in velvety magenta light. The opening chords of “TV Eye” are viciously slashed out of Ron Asheton’s guitar. Iggy is swinging his microphone cord like a snake between jungle-boy screams. The sound and the spectacle are almost overwhelming. Even Mike Watt nearly trips over his steady, snapping bass while gawking at Mr. Pop like a jealous younger brother.

The Stooges go on to play a few numbers from The Weirdness, including “My Idea of Fun,” “Trollin’,” “She Took My Money,” and the standout of the night, “I’m Fried.” Despite my skepticism of the apparently lower-caliber new album when entering the show, these songs blended as effortlessly and authentically as they could when performed between classics like “Not Right” and “1969”. The extreme disparity between the recorded and live renditions of The Weirdness has proven the Stooges an act to be viewed in the flesh. Steve MacKay on saxophone pours a bit of honey over the fervor, while Scott Asheton is a fuming wildcat on the drums. The Asheton brothers are clearly the most confident musicians sharing the stage with Iggy, exchanging bemused glances, sneers, and laughs throughout the evening. Ron Asheton is hardly a showman, but he is having a ball, ripping the chastity belt off of his prom queen tease with every shred to the guitar.

Iggy Pop’s favorite song, “1969,” swivels in heavy smoke rings from Asheton’s dirty surgeon hands. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” ricochets your impending doom. Every strum is historic. Iggy’s hollering with the lust and pained urgency that suggests some sort of frustration or nostalgia; he is obviously past his prime, but there is a new energy fueling his performance. When he groans, “Now last year I was twenty-one/I didn’t have a lot of fun” there is at once the irony in an aging man’s husk and the irreverent boredom of a dissatisfied, impatient kid. As Iggy straddles the oversized speaker and thrusts his size- 27 hips on black plastic and rubber, he is nearly the picture of his hot and wild self circa the days of The Iguanas. Every move is a greatest hit, each swagger and kick received with shrieks of absolute delight from the arm, leg, and hair-tossed hot tub of apostles beneath his body.

There are no onstage acts of fan fellatio or self-mutilation at this concert. There is a middle-aged woman crawling onstage, anxiously shimmying her gravity-stricken breasts at a courteous yet un-aroused Iggy. A few paunched, weathered men toss up devil horns to their God. It would be an act of blatant denial not to acknowledge a certain level of pathetic ness that accompanies the concept of a man, now in his sixties, shimmying and preaching rock n’ roll to the masses. The fact of the matter is Iggy is more fit and rowdy than many of his youngest fans. That he can pull off his moves and tunes with the same stupid grace as he does in archived Raw Power footage makes Iggy Pop a true rock hero. Everybody onstage huddles and rubs against him like a genie, a grandpa, a brother. And none of us are going to take a shower when we get home tonight.
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
03:23 PM on 05/01/07
fun fact: is left handed.
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iggy has some amazing energy for someone his age.
03:26 PM on 05/01/07
Smash Adams
make my wish come true
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I have never listened to anything Iggy has done, but the book Wonderland Avenue made me absolutely loathe him.

and you call yourself a true punk fan, for shame
04:22 PM on 05/01/07
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Iggy is crazy. I wish I could of seen him in his prime. Im sure he still gots it though, true badass.
05:29 PM on 05/01/07
A Friend Of A Friend...
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He kicked ass on Pete and Pete.
09:56 PM on 05/01/07
Jake Gravbrot Photography
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hxchairstylist's Avatar
I saw this show in Seattle on friday. iggy is truly a sight to behold. I'm glad I had a chance to see him once in my life.

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