Even though I have always known who Iggy Pop is and a bit of his story, I have never seen him live and know nothing about The Stooges, so I tried to go into this show with a open mind, and for the most part I was satisfied.
The show was the first of two totally sold out nights, but I've seen the Warfield MUCH more packed than it was on Thursday (there was open room all along the back of the third floor level). The crowd was a mix of older (40s/50s) edgy rockers & tatooed, pierced younger rockers, but they were all fired up and ready to rock.
The band that hit the stage was Iggy on vocals; a guitar player & drummer who are brothers and original members of the Stooges; and Mike Watt on bass, covering the spot for the original player, who is dead. About halfway through the show a sax player joined them as well, which REALLY added to the sound.
As soon as the show started Iggy was flailing around the stage, shirtless and maniacal, grunting and barking out the lyrics to whatever song they were playing. My memories now of the music are that it was raw, hard, loud and pretty basic but VERY high-energy, reminding me a bit of the Ramones. I say that not really being very hip to the Ramones, but that's what I remember thinking.
There were no stage antics AT ALL from the other players in the band, visually it was all Iggy, and he gave the folks what they came for, which is the thing about the show that got in my head a bit.
Before the show I wondered how much I would feel like it was Iggy "doing" Iggy, or if it would feel like pure rock in the moment, and I must say that it was just a bit more the former than the later.
Everyone was there to see Iggy do his thing and by the end of the third song he had humped an amp, fallen to the stage numerous times, slammed his mike hard onto the stage, and of COURSE made a few stage dives. Each of these drew huge roars from the crowd, and it was all cool enough, because Iggy IS Iggy and he's really good at that type of stuff (he sort of invented a lot of it) but I couldn't help thinking that it was all just a bit "schticky".
This was really clear to me at one point about halfway through the hour and a half set when he called EVERYONE ONSTAGE, MAAAAN!!! And many people flooded the stage while the band and Iggy raged away, swarming the group and surrounding Iggy. It looked really cool and the people were loving it; the problem for me was that Iggy had a security guy ON TOP of him the whole time, aggresively flinging anyone away who got too close to the star. To me this "protection" just made the whole thing look phony & wrong. IMO if you're truly going to do the "break down the walls and come up with us" thing, especially if you are a raw, punky "fuck the rules" band (& Iggy of course sells exactly that) than you take your chances and see what happens. Otherwise why do it at all, unless it's all just "part of the show"?
Of course it WAS part of the show, and that's fine because it did look cool, and I don't have a problem with a security person lurking close by in case someone gets truly out-of-control, but this guy was shoving people around, making a scene of it. A friend of mine thought it was good how the bodyguard was working; he said to me "some people were over-stepping their bounds". I said that I thought the whole idea of having the crowd rocking out onstage was that there WERE no boundries! It's either real or make-believe, and both are fine, just which one is being sold?
Whatever, it was definitely what the crowd had come to see and they were loving every minute of it; and beyond my issues with the "staged" nature of the show I did think overall that it was very entertaining (one song I remember had the lyrics "MY IDEA OF FUN IS KILLING EVERYONE!!!) and was really not bad musically. The guitar player had the grinding crunch thing down and the drummer was very basic but right on the money, and when the sax player joined them the sound got bigger and groovier; but it was Mike Watt that TOTALLY stole the show for me, and is the main reason why in the end I walked away feeling that this was a really good show.
Mike Watt is an ANIMAL on the bass. He is a true, pure rocker; there is no schtick with this guy, he just BRINGS IT! This type of music calls for a hard driving bass but is not as "busy" as the way Watt usually plays, so this was a challenge for him, and he beat the shit out of that challenge! I read where Pop had told Watt during rehearsal to play one note for every five notes he had been playing, and you could tell he was focused hard to get the groove just right, and he didn't miss it once. Mike Watt is simply a GREAT bass player!
Watt alone made this show worth the money, but overall it was good, sweaty, hard driving rock with a true rock star/legend fronting the band and in the end I had a lot of fun.
But it WOULD have been very interesting to see just how the adoring crowd would have responded if Iggy hadn't done ANY of his antics, just to shock and FUCK with people..... which I believe is what his ORIGINAL intent was, back in the day.
Good review, wish I could have gone. I've seen Iggy a lot over the years, big fan, and I've even met/hung out with him once. Super nice dude. Over the years one thing I've noticed is that sometimes I think he just gets into being IGGY POP and doing all the requisite that comes with being IGGY POP instead of just singing. I saw him on the Brick by Brick tour (great fuckin' album) and he just fronted the band and kept the antics to a minimum. Since, however, I've seen him several times and he seems to just give people what they expect in the way of being a wildman
cool, iggy is still bouncin like a maniac
saw iggy open for the pretenders 20+ yrs ago, then chrissie hynde got down on her knees and "kissed the stage that iggy walked on" before launching into message of love
Saw the Stooges show in Philly - great show. Iggy is one of the great frontmen of all time for sure
>>>saw iggy open for the pretenders 20+ yrs ago, then chrissie hynde got down on her knees and "kissed the stage that iggy walked on" before launching into message of love
she did the same thing for the shows they opened for Neil Young back in 2000
My friend in highschool has a father who was big into the detroit rock scene in the late 60's early 70's.
Anyway, he use to tell this story about how Iggy was talking shit to one of his bandmembers girlfriend. Basically, coming onto her while he was onstage and backstage. Apparently, Iggy got a pretty bad ass whooping from those guys. I seem to recall the story went w/ them beating him down and throwing him in a shoping cart...which may or may not have been pushed into a cooler.
So Larry Sr. use to tell us Iggy had a song called "bad night in 69" that may have been about that episode. Not sure if it's true or not but it sure was a funny story.