Beat Em Up: Fall Tour USA 2001                   CD reviews       home
(** new 11/10 - 15/01)

Spring US Tour 2001

Godfather of punk Iggy Pop starts a two-month tour today (10/18), staying mainly below the Mason-Dixon line for the month of October and heading north in November. The 54-year-old alumnus of the Stooges, born James Newell Osterberg, is touring in support of his recent album, "Beat 'Em Up" (Virgin), released in July. Pop co-wrote the album's 15 songs with guitarist Whitey Kirst; some songs have input from other members of Pop's band. The album is dedicated to its bassist, Lloyd "Mooseman" Roberts, a onetime member of Ice-T's band Body Count, who was killed in a drive-by shooting after the album was recorded. The official "Beat 'Em Up" website features an audio stream of the album's first track, "Mask."

October 18th, 2001
Marc Weidenbaum
Editorial Director, Music,
10/18/01: 40 Watt Club, Athens, Georgia. 9pm. Sold out.

Preview article:
FLAGPOLE 10/17/2001

Iggy Pop Still Lusts For (Real) Life

Humanity is at its lowest point, with greed and hatred and selfishness the rule. Make a lot of money, they tell kids, and you'll be happy. Make more money, they tell adults, and you'll be happy. Piss on anyone who gets in your way, and for God's sake, don't be honest: not with yourself and certainly not with anyone else. Put on your mask and act like you don't give a shit just as long as you have your DVD or your SUV. What are we producing or creating? Nothing. We're just cogs in the wheel, being good little consumers for The Powers That Be, deaf, dumb, blind and willfully stupid. Where's the heart? Dammit, where's the soul?

Are you pissed off? So is Iggy Pop. The 54-year-old "Godfather of Punk" has always had a bug up his butt, but on his latest album Beat Em Up (Virgin), the once and future Stooge sounds crankier than he's ever been, and it's about time.

Born James Newell Osterberg in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Iggy Pop is a classic rock and roll myth of adventures on the brink of the abyss. As a teen, he wanted to create a band whose music would be furious, sexually-charged, and aggressive. He formed The Psychedelic Stooges in 1967. The quartet shortened the name to The Stooges and a self-titled debut was released a year later, then came a follow-up in 1970 titled Funhouse. Both have become rock classics, and can be pointed to as the official beginning of what would become known as punk rock. The band's live shows were adrenalinized, sloppy, loud, obnoxious and inspiring. Despite serious drug-taking and being at one another's throats, The Stooges managed to release another explosive collection, Raw Power, in 1973. The album was a glorious, hellbound, rock and roll train wreck. By '74, Pop and the Stooges were strung out and called it quits for a second (and final) time.

After a brief spell of homelessness and heroin addiction, Pop made an attempt to clean himself up and began writing and recording some new tunes around '77. The Idiot and Lust For Life, both issued in '77, were produced and co-written by David Bowie. There were elements of sleaze and menace, but overall they were upbeat and musically sophisticated. (Lust For Life became an essential item; the title track was used prominently in the soundtrack of the hit film Trainspotting in 1996.)

Pop's career was inconsistent and musically confused through most of the 1980s, but by 1990's Brick By Brick, he had regained his musical strength and focus, resulting in his first U.S. gold-certified album and top-20 hit single, "Candy." Pop tried to get edgy on his '96 album Naughty Little Doggie, but it was patchy at best with only a few tunes approaching the scathing rock spirit of The Stooges. In 1999, he released the uncharacteristically laid-back Avenue B. But his more "refined" musical approach was strictly a detour, as the killer new Beat Em Up is a balls-out rock and roll winner - musically, philosophically and lyrically.

When Iggy's pissed, he hits the nail on the head, whether it's the gridiron metaphor of us all being simple pawns to the power elite's whims in "Football" or frightening and appropriately titled numbers like "Howl" or "Death Is Certain." We're all chumps colliding off each other for no good reason heading towards a final end, and the people pulling the strings could give less of a damn as long as you keep making money for them. Beat Em Up is a dark, nasty, mean, brutal record, and in that brutality there's beauty. Sort of like American Caesar or Brick By Brick, Iggy's brutal truths ring home, and the music behind him is just as churning and, actually, very Stooges-esque (although guitarist Whitey Krist doesn't quite match guitarist Ron Asheton's beautiful ugliness). Beat Em Up is also a bit disjointed, but like the wino on the corner who screams at you for not giving him a nickel, it's in-your-face real.

Pop sets the stage with the opener "Mask," a searing condemnation of... well, everything. A string of rants laced together like Dennis Miller on crank, he yells at jerks, grabbers and "junkie fratboys." The breakdown in the middle is as brilliant as anything Iggy has done since The Idiot or Lust For Life: "Irony in place of balls /Balls in place of brains /Brains in place of soul /Where's the soul?" Goddamn fuckin' a right, where's the soul. Iggy doesn't have the answers, just ranting and raving, but when it's so on-the-mark like on "Ugliness," "Savior" and especially "It's All Shit," who gives a damn. Maybe there are no answers.

Still and all, Iggy still has a humor about him, and perhaps the most telling song on the record is the last. A stream of consciousness rap about being a star, "V.I.P." sheds a little light on the completely ridiculous trappings of fame and being a celebrity, pointing out that these larger-than-life people are regular assholes like you and me. Perhaps that's Iggy Pop's job, pissing on the cover to reveal the plain, ugly, ordinary package inside. In any event, Beat Em Up is Iggy Pop's strongest record in years, and his meanest. And with that little bit of knowledge, it's nice to know there's people out there who refuse to give in and lie down. The question is, though... how many of us are willing to rant, rave and possibly fight against those who hold us down? Sadly, I doubt most of us would bother. We're too busy watching "Survivor."

WHO: Iggy Pop, Donkey Punch
WHERE: 40 Watt Club
WHEN: Thursday, October 18
HOW MUCH: Sold Out!

Chris' review:

The show was great! This was my first time seeing Iggy live, considering I had never heard anything by him until just over a year ago. When I heard he would be playing the 40 Watt here in Athens, I jumped at the chance and actually found a way to get my ticket the day before they went on sale. And I waited 2 months!

Anyway, the doors opened around 9:20 and everyone kind of stood around til about 10:45 when the opening act, Donkey Punch, came out. Finally, after they finished up with Let There be Rock, the stage was torn down and set up for Iggy. Iggy came out around 11:45 and started doing his thing with Mask. It kicked! He was completely in top form, wailing and jumping around and showing off that plastic body of his. The whole night was just full of energy and everyone was obviously enjoying themselves. Iggy kept pushing Whitey to "PLAY!" like he does on Beat 'em Up's secret track Sterility. They even played this song live -- i was surprised, but i loved it... it was definitely a high point of the night. "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog" was also great -- in the middle of it the song got soft and Iggy repeated 2 or 3 times "I don't need money. I just want some fuckin love."

Iggy had more than one person trying to rush the stage, especially during the Stooges stuff, but luckily the "security" guy came out and saved the day, looking more like a ball boy at a tennis match running back and forth across the stage. The encore was great-- Iggy churned out three Stooges classics in a row, Raw Power, TV Eye, and finally, No Fun. This last one had everyone singing along. I mean, after all, it would be no fun for Iggy to be alone, singing by himself (okay this was a very weak, unfunny attempt at corniness...sorry). Iggy was the last to leave the stage, and he continued "dancing" for the crowd even when there was no music playing. Freakin awesome. After it was over all you could hear were fans saying "fuckin awesome, Iggy ROCKED!" as we walked out to the CD version of "Football" playing on the speakers. "Iggy rocked!" was about the only thing Icould think to say myself, as no other words could quite describe what we had just seen. It was IGGY! And it was AWEsome! What else can I say? (THANKS Chris!)


Beat 'em Up
Drink New Blood
Search and Destroy
Death is Certain
Now I Wanna be your dog
The Passenger
I Got a Right
Real Wild Child
Death Trip
Cold Metal
Raw Power
TV Eye
No Fun

10/19/01: Cat's Cradle, Carboro, North Carolina. 9:30pm. Sold Out. Poster.

10/20/01: The Music Farm, Charleston, South Carolina. 10pm.

Catch some Pop at the Farm

Thursday, October 18, 2001
The Charleson Post and Courier

Planning on going to the Iggy Pop show on Saturday at the Music Farm? Then you'll want to be like Iggy before the concert to truly get into the groove.

For instance, how to eat like Iggy? He tells "Stuff" magazine in its August issue that he likes all the things that are really bad for him. Dessert is big on his list, and lots of cholesterol-laden food. People who give health advice generally have to eat 117 times a day because they're never satisfied, Iggy says.

"I eat like an animal - I don't like to use knives and forks. I like to use my hands," he says.

Warm up for the show by listening to the five albums Iggy says you should own: "Superfly" by Curtis Mayfield, "20 Golden Greats" by Buddy Holly, "The Contino Sessions" by Death in Vegas, "King Yellowman" by Yellowman and anything by Chopin.

Of course, he probably wouldn't mind if you listened to his new Virgin Records album, "Beat 'Em Up." We hoped to chat with Iggy about his new record but Virgin said he's laying low for now. We wanted to ask him about those 20 studio releases to his name. We wanted to talk about the fall of the Stooges in 1972. The Psychedelic Stooges formed in 1967 in Detroit with lead singer Iggy Pop, born James Newell Osterberg. The music was simplistic and angry one-to-three chord grunge rock. Two well-received albums for Elektra followed, but the drug lifestyle of the band caused its breakup. Working with David Bowie, Iggy cut two good solo albums in the mid-'70s, when bands like the Sex Pistols defined him as "The Godfather of Punk." These days, The Stooges have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Iggy was on "The Late Show With David Letterman" during the summer. He's been playing the festival circuit in Europe.

He's a 54-year-old in a loud rock band. As he told Billboard, "I'm not like Peter Pan. I'm not even trying to be, but I do music in a certain style because that's the way I like it. It's my job. It's what I do."

The bassist for "Beat 'Em Up," Lloyd "Mooseman" Roberts, was murdered shortly after work was finished on the album. Pop told Billboard that it was with Roberts that he was able to breathe new life into his band, which also includes brothers Whitey and Alex Kirst on guitar and drums, respectively.

"I wanted to shake them out of all complacency. I didn't want anybody comfortable. So, I said, 'We need a new bass player. And we need something hot.' "

Roberts, Pop says, was the victim of a drive-by shooting last February. Roberts was in the driveway of a friend's South Central Los Angeles house, helping the friend install a car stereo, when he was shot in the back. He was 38 years old.

The weekend that Roberts was killed, Pop, who now lives in Miami, was in Los Angeles taking part in an Apple Computers commercial that also featured Liz Phair, Smash Mouth and fellow Michigan native George Clinton. Working with Roberts was magic, Pop said.

"We were coming from such a cultural divide. He had never played with white people before. And he lived in the 'hood, in South Central," Pop told Billboard.

Tickets for Iggy Pop are $20 in advance and $22 the day of the show. They are available at and the Farm box office (cash only).

Gig Review:

A perfect storm, hurricane lggy rolls through Charleston

Thursday, October 25, 2001
The Charleson Post and Courier

Charleston almost made it through this fall without a hurricane, but then came the evening of Oct. 20. Last Saturday night, Hurricane Osterberg blew into town, concentrating its fury on a single warehouse building on Ann Street in downtown Charleston. OK, so maybe it wasn't a hurricane, but when James Newell Osterberg, aka Iggy Pop, hit the stage at the Music Farm, everyone at the show would likely agree that Pop packed a full-force gale.

After a spirited set by openers Eurogression and an all-too-long set of trip-hop music over the house P.A., the sound of jungle drums filled the venue. As the tribal chants reached a crescendo, the band took to the stage and Iggy burst forth to the delirious applause of the crowd. Pop, who was performing punk rock when Green Day and Blink 182 were still in diapers, ran through several songs before even acknowledging his audience. That first salvo included selections from Pop's latest release, "Beat Em Up," including the primal "Howl."
Clad only in a pair of boots and blue jeans, Pop then took a moment to bring up the house lights and view the folks that had come to see him. He waved, he smiled, and then, with barely a warning, it was back to the business of the evening.

To see Pop live in concert is to see the definition of "id" in action. In between barking out lyrics to punk rock classics such as "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Cold Metal," Pop jumped around the stage doing anything that struck him as necessary. One moment he'd sing a verse while lying on the stage and the next he'd be spinning around like a top, knocking over speaker stacks and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. At one point, Pop bravely (or is it stupidly?) jumped into the crowd, who caught the singer and surfed him back to the stage on their hands. As a roadie helped Pop up onto the stage a few fans kept their hold on their idol and a tug of war ensued. Finally Pop was plucked from the crowd only to immediately launch himself into the throng again.

Highlights of the show included a performance of "Search and Destroy," as well as a cover of Johnny O'Keefe's "Real Wild Child." After a mere 60 minutes the band left the stage only to return moments later for an encore that included an incendiary version of "Raw Power."

Even at the age of 54, Pop has the power to take a stage and turn it into a wrestling ring, with the main event being Iggy vs. the Audience. His slight, sinewy body belies the power that lies within. On the night of the show Pop seemed to take great pleasure in imitating a one-man natural disaster, throwing microphones, wielding a mic stand like a sledgehammer and bouncing around the stage like a poster child for Ritalin.

Fear not, Charleston. Now that Iggy has left town, the storm warning has been lifted. However, the tour continues and chances are that someone somewhere in America doesn't realize a hurricane is brewing. For several hundred Charleston fans of punk rock music though, last Saturday saw music's perfect storm.

Devin Grant can be heard as Mr. Entertainment weekday mornings from 5-9 on NewsRadio 730 WSC (730 AM). E-mail him at

Charleston CD review: Beat Em Up

Good Pop punk is still evident on 'Beat 'em up'

The Charleson Post and Courier
Thursday, October 11, 2001

IGGY POP -- "BEAT 'EM UP" -- (VIRGIN AMERICA) After more than three decades of making music his way, Iggy Pop is still howling at the moon -- literally. For documented proof of this, you need not look any further than his latest CD, "Beat Em Up." Track three, an inconspicuous little tune called "Howl," features the punk rock forefather whooping it up like the proverbial Werewolf of London. Although he may be getting up there in age, ol' Iggy can still belt out a decent rock song. While "Beat Em Up" doesn't quite stand up to Pop's days with the Stooges, there is material on the disc worth exploring. Even the album's cover, which requires a strategically placed sticker to allow for decent public display, is typical Pop punk. Iggy's latest backing band, the Trolls, features guitarist Whitey Kirst, whose style of wailing and distorted guitar playing is perfectly suited for Pop's vocals. The album's title track is a sort of half-punk, half-gangster rap number, featuring Iggy bellowing "Beat 'em up!" in typical punk rock fashion. Other tracks that are sure to catch the ear of an Iggy fan includes "L.O.S.T.," "Death Is Certain" and especially the hilarious "Weasels." While "Beat Em Up" doesn't quite measure up to the decade-old "Brick by Brick," Pop's last great album, it certainly is proof that Pop is in no danger of slowing down. For further proof, check Iggy Pop out live on stage Oct. 20 at the Music Farm. I'll be in the audience yelling for him to play "Weasel." (B)

10/23/01: New Daisy Theater, Memphis, Tennesse. 7pm.

Memphis preview and CD review:

Iggy Pop still flaunts that ferocity Brace for 'Beat Em Up' attitude Tuesday

By Bill Ellis
October 18, 2001

He's been a stooge, the idiot, chairman of the bored and a naughty little doggie.
He's also one of the most unflagging individuals in rock, a musician who's able to fall down and get back up time and time again with a raving fortitude that mirrors his one-time preference for crawling on broken glass.

Iggy Pop still lets the blood - and vitriol - flow freely. At 54, Detroit-born Pop (real name, James Osterberg) is more than resilient; he's obstinate and a downright thorn in your side.

There's no reason to miss the Pop of old, the Stooges frontman who led the charge into a punk-presaging future with three classics of aural damage: 1969's "The Stooges" (1969); "Fun House" (1970) and the 1973 masterpiece "Raw Power."

Turns out the stringy-haired, sneering contortionist of a singer has made the most ferocious album of his solo career with the new "Beat Em Up."

That's not to say it's Pop's best record. He's had quite a few of those, actually, including "The Idiot," "Lust for Life" and "New Values" - all from the late '70s - as well as early '90s statements of perseverance, "Brick by Brick" and the richly drawn if underappreciated "American Caesar."

Yet after an introspective, brooding song cycle about midlife crisis in 1999, "Avenue B," (which featured Medeski, Martin & Wood - not exactly power trio players there), one wondered if Pop finally had wearied of the search-and-destroy mission he helped define in rock.

"Beat Em Up" answers, in no uncertain terms, that he's still as indignant as he is articulate. And if the songs are an uneven lot, the best have an edge of danger that he hasn't attempted since he and guitarist Ron Asheton spiraled the Stooges into the history books.

From the guitar-and-vocal lashing of the opening track, Mask, Pop reclaims his white noise muse here. "You're wearing a mask, you look better that way," Pop sings, almost spitting the sarcasm into the mike.

Other songs that continue the brass knuckle pounding: L.O.S.T., Howl, Go For the Throat, Weasels, the great title track and Ugliness (with honking car horns for a hook!) - a castigating refrain of hard rock that reminds you who the real Motor City Madman is.

This is the kind of record Henry Rollins has been trying to make ever since he ditched his brilliant jazz-metal version of Rollins Band for a generic stoner rock crew. But Rollins respects his physical temple too much to desecrate it the way only Pop has and can.

I, for one, don't want to be in the same room when Iggy hits 60.

Iggy Pop plays the New Daisy Theatre, 330 Beale, Tuesday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 525-8981 or Ticketmaster, 525-1515.

Memphis preview:

The Memphis Flyer
Sound Advice - 10/16/2001
Chris Davis

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

A confession: I'm old and lame. The only time I listen to "Raw Power" or "Search and Destroy" is when I'm cleaning house, washing dishes, or engaging in some other chore where self-preservation dictates you turn off the head and engage in bubble-headed rock-star fantasies. "Raw Power" gets me through taking out the garbage. "Search and Destroy" aids with the removal of kitty litter.

For feeling pretty, sexy, wild, and absolutely stooped while managing the day-to-day shit, there is nothing like the throbbing squall of Iggy and the Stooges. It's like a double bump of the booger sugar without the accompanying regret. In short, in my star-struck eyes the lizardlike love child of Ziggy Stardust and the MC5 is an idol of nearly religious proportions. But after the stunningly yucky 1999 release of Avenue B, all the magic wore off like a three-beer buzz. Had the Ann Arbor wild child whose live shows left him naked, bleeding, and screaming in the spotlight turned in his golden years to smirking but fashionable black-turtleneck cynicism?

Quite frankly, I'd been worried about Iggy Pop since he rode the soaring harmonies of the B-52's' (then) diva Kate Pierson to his first Top 40 single in 1990. "Candy" was a catchy bite of bubblegum, to be sure, but the Don Was-produced Brick by Brick was an earsore of an album. "Butt Town" might have been angry, but it couldn't stand up to the inspired frenzy of vintage Stooges. In 1996 Iggy released Naughty Little Doggy, a disappointing and unabashedly sophomoric outing custom-tooled for the Beavis and Butthead nation. Then came Avenue B, a midlife crisis of a record featuring spoken-word ramblings about love and loss. It looked like Iggy had gone the way of Lou Reed. At least it was an arty and dignified irrelevance he was slouching toward: the kind that rocks -- a person to sleep, that is. But that's all in the past. Just to prove he really is the godfather of punk, he bounced back in 2001 with Beat 'Em Up, a metal as hell LP. He'll no doubt rage through the new disc's soon-to-be meathead classics like "Mask" and "It's All Shit" when he plays the New Daisy on Tuesday, October 23rd.

Cyd's review:

Hey all you fans out there. I made it to the Memphis and St. Louis shows. Iggy was ferocious. Same set list. Don't you love Mask and Beat Em Up? He said, "This is for all you music lovers out there" and sang TV Eye and Death Trip and L.O.S.T. I sang the old ones with him but I gotta learn the new ones. He went out to end of the stage to talk to us, but they all kept screaming and I couldn't hear what he said. I like to hear him talk about stuff. He said "Who out there watches TV!" He hates TV. Then ripped into Corruption. He spit a big stringy loogey in the audience. It was terrible. I love when he dances acrost the stage real fast. Whitey jumped into the audience WITH GUITAR. Whitey smiled at me. He DID! Isn't the bass player good too. Nobody ever notices the bass player. Superfans Genevieve from Belgium and Matthew from Brazil were there. And we met alot of nice fans who also drove 4 hours to get there. Scott Wayland from the Stone Temple Piolots was right behind me in the mosh pit. Matthew talked me into going to the stage door after the show and Iggy PULLED UP A CHAIR outside the door and TALKED to all the fans. I stood right next to him! Until the kids got too excited and Iggy had to go back inside. Girlfriend Nina was in the doorway. Can you say babe-o-rama? Schwing! Next we went to the BB King Blues Club on Beale Street to listen to Little Jimmy King sing the blues. He was extremely cool. Gold suit, diamond rings on every finger. Played a flying V guitar backwards with his GOLD TEETH! These black boys backflipped acrost the front of the stage and people threw them money on the floor. I got mistaken for a prostitute on Beale Street several times. Then me and the Whistler went and had steak dinner.

10/24/01: The Pageant, St. Louis, Missouri. 8pm. Sold out.

Iggy Pop

By Brian Q. Newcomb
Special to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Before Johnny Rotton, even before the Ramones, there was James Osterberg, better known as Iggy Pop. Wednesday night, before a crowd that filled The Pageant's lower half, the fifty-four-year-old Iggy Pop conjured up the primal energy and "Raw Power" that infused his performances with the Stooges over thirty years ago.

Starting off with "Mask," the lead track off his latest disc," Pop kicked off his hour long set with a the quick one-two punch bridging new material with older favorites. "Espanol" led to "Beat 'Em Up," the title track of his new one, before going all the way back to the beginning for "Raw Power" and "Search & Destroy."

Pop's thin, wiry frame seems distorted, almost cartoonish as he soars around the stage shirtless in his hip-hugging jeans. Less violent and self-destructive, he still gets down on all fours to "Howl" and rants and raves about "Corruption." The air of danger may be gone, but the Igster is still one "Real Wild Child," who longs for the validation that comes from degradation in "I Wanna Be Your Dog." That last one earned a huge response from the crowd the minute guitarist Whitey Kirst played the opening chords, and Iggy rewarded the crowd for their memory by repeatedly diving into their hands for some crowd surfing.

Whether pantomiming drinking tea or hanging from a cross, saluting one minute and doing the Hitler high-step march the next, Iggy's manic machinations were balanced by his knack for parody and irony. While he does appear to take the music for all that it can be, he clearly no longer takes himself all that seriously.

Often Pop's assertion that "Death Is Certain" is weighed against his "Lust for Life," but the latter song failed to materialize on Wednesday night. "Down On the Street" presaged "Home," which opened the door to the traveling song, "The Passenger." "I Gotta Right," a First Amendment anthem, laid the ground work for the set-ending song about American made cars and other hardware, "Cold Metal."

Returning for a four song encore, Pop asserted that the "show is over, this is for the music lovers." "Death Trip," "T.V. Eye" and a new one, "L.O.S.T." were more of the loud, frantic rhythms that you come to expect with Iggy's music. But the final encore of "No Fun" brought the house down. In this ever-changing and evolving world, it's lovely that some things remain the same. Who would have guessed it? Iggy Pop is unpredictably reliable.

The evening's opener was St. Louis' own Sexicolor, which gave a solid showing. The band's guitar-driven power pop and crunchy rock worked better than the "we know we're trying too hard, but we can't help it" between song banter. They managed to succeed in delivering a smart opening set nonetheless, with just the right touch of faux fur. (THANKS Barney!)

Cyd's review:

Next it was on to St. Louis Northbound double nickle (Hwy 55). We met up with a Tornado and it took me a little while to trowel on my makeup but we made the show in plenty of time. The venue was FABULOUS. The local act "Dump Him" was MOST excellent. It was sorta polished punk. They played REAL fast guitars and screamed out about 6 songs in rapid fire. The best band I EVER saw open for him. 4 boys and a girl. She played the hell outta that guitar. She said "You all look so pretty out there tonight" then snarrled and screamed "Wet My Bed" real fast into the mic. The crowd was funny. Both real old people who saw him in St. Louis in 1969 at the Kiel AND kids with pink hair and nose rings. haha. Some boy had his hand on my ASS in the mosh pit! I had to kick him. I looked all over for you Dum Dum girl, but I couldn't find you! It was so neat to talk to Mud and Spider from Chicago. And it was very very loud in there. Iggy salutes the crowd, throws the mic on the floor and walks off. He was so good. Brought the house down both nights. Everybody loves him.

Ok I'm tired. I hafta go watch TV on the sofa and rest. Next I'm off to Baltimore and DC, anthrax or NO anthrax. Clean up that house CB I'm staying with you! And thanks for all the info on tickets, venues and maps on your site Cathy--sincerely.

Faithfully Submitted,

Jon Huffman's review:

The momment I received information about Iggy coming to st louis at this very web site. I immediately went and bought my ticket the first day they went on sale, actually the very minute they went on sale. I drove around 2 and a half hours from my very respectable Jefferson City, Mo to drive to St. Louis with my good buddy Rob "The Ripper" who was named by GG Allin's brother Merrill. And two other good buddies named Billiam and Steve. (Iggy and good friends...what more could you ask for?) The place is very clean and modern. I mean look at the specs of the club at the Pagent link on this site. I waited through a set by a band I'm not sure of the name of....but the band were a technically good band....they looked like Lenny Kravitz playing the new york dolls. But I didn't care much for the's hard to like a band that goes on before your very own rock idol. When the opening band ended everyone waited for the longest 35 minutes they have ever had to endure to wait for Ig. You could actually see Iggy popping (no pun intended) in and out of the back stage area. Then finally Iggy's band rolls out while iggy stays a second back jumping up and down on the side of the stage to get ready. He then jumps out and the band starts playing mask. Iggy jumps and moves exactly how in my head I had pictured him since I was 13 and read about him and only heard him on the Crow 2 soundtrack. The crowd kept pushing to get to the notorious ig as he would bend down and sing to the front part of the crowd. Igg then speaks to the crowd after mask is over then kicks into "wild one" Which I thought was funny! I don't care much for that song but a good one to sing along to. Iggy then kicked into Seek and Destroy so therefore every fucking little bastard punk rock kid and old farts with mc5 shirts went fuckin nuts. Iggy then proceded to make jesus christ poses. Iggy a little after a few new songs fairly early in the set started playing "I wanna be your dog" which shocked the hell out of me. I assumed he would save it for last. Oh well, Iggy then decided to rile up the crowd more so he jumps right on top of me and my good buddies and sends the people around us attacking us. (my buddy billiam now has a bruise from iggy's boot hitting him.) The security guards then try to pull iggy back up on stage but are having trouble. As soon as they get Ig on the stage iggy looks around with a mischiovous grin that you could see on Calvin form Calvin and Hobbes and then jumps right back on us. (50 what?)

Later on in the evening The Passenger starts playing and midway through the song, Iggy tells everyone to"get on this fuckin stage and fuckin get it out!" ROb the ripper and I then get on the stage and run around like the worst of them....because iggy was being occupied by a bunch of people me and rob the ripper decide to use the new bass players microphone to sing along on the chorus part. As soon as the passenger is over Iggy kicks into one of my all time favorite stooges songs "I GOTTA RIGHT" All the punk kids then go nuts and Rob and I jump off the stage. Iggy then kicks the band into Tv eye. In the breakdown of the song Iggy asks Whitey " you watch a lotta shit tv?" "Yeah!??' "you gotta tv....I gotta Tv.....Big Fuckin deal!.....When I turn on my tv......I say..........DAMANIT!" You all know the drill!

Iggy then ends the whole night with No fun. My first iggy show......One of the greatest shows of my
life....I know this isn't a detailed reveiw....but theirs soo many things that happened. Like meeting the man after the show and getting Funhouse signed and also getting a picture with him. Also the girls ass that he signed which the pic will be sent along with other pics...All in all.....just fuckin go to see for yourself why the guy is still alive and what the fucker is all about.....

keep one fist in the goal and one foot in the gutter
Jon Huffman

10/25/01: Uptown Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri. 7:30pm.

Kansas City Review:

Iggy Pop looks fine but sounds awful

The Kansas City Star
Published: Friday, Oct 26, 2001

Back in his heyday, he raked and gouged his torso with broken glass, coated himself with peanut butter and wiped himself with raw steaks -- metaphors that suited his degenerate, profane persona.

But that era was long ago and far away, as Meatloaf would say. These days, Iggy Pop, born James Osterberg nearly 55 years ago in a trailer park in Ann Arbor, Mich., is content to scream and wail as he flaunts and contorts his sinewy body for an hour or so through a blinding hailstorm of his musical catalog, which goes all the way back to the late 1960s.

Thursday night, he and his cursory power trio -- much younger guys on guitar, drum and bass -- did the authentic punk thing for barely more than an hour to a small but very devout crowd at the Uptown Theater. The sound, to be kind, was absolutely awful, unless, as an acquaintance put it, you "knew all the words anyway, so who needs to hear the vocals?!"

Perhaps Iggy was abiding by the punk/slop-it-together-yourself aesthetic -- except bands in that scene don't usually charge $28 a ticket at a venue that charges $5 a beer; and the headliner usually plays a lot longer than 75 minutes. Oh, right, I forgot: We were watching a legend.

He did oblige the older segment of the crowd with some of his vintage material, like "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Search and Destroy" and "I Got A Right" -- '70s tunes that became favorite cover material for several '90s bands and artists, such as Alejandro Escovedo and Uncle Tupelo. To his credit, he also performed the closest thing he's ever had to a "hit" -- "Real Wild Child" -- though he did it at hyper-speed, cutting its duration in half.

Despite the hog-slop sound and the brevity of the show, Iggy deserves ample credit for a few things: His body is trim and hard, though it looks as if it was sculpted on weights in a Texas penitentiary instead of Gold's Gym. Still, who wouldn't want be nearly 55 and look like he does?

And unlike, say, Mick Jagger, who's probably talking about an island castle or a mountain resort when he sings "Gimme Shelter" these days, Iggy is still steeped in his punk/trailer-park ethos, even when he sings "I Wanna Be Your Dog" or new tunes like "L.O.S.T."

Growing old, the immature like to say, is inevitable, while growing up is an option -- one Iggy would rather die than surrender to. Funny how he makes everyone around him feel a little younger and more immature at the same time.

To reach Timothy Finn, pop music writer, call (816) 234-4781 or send e-mail to

10/27/01: Five Points Music Hall, Birmingham, Alabama.

News staff writer, the Birmingham News

Timeless punk: Iggy Pop makes contradiction work

The ragged power of punk is still coiled tightly within the bony frame of Iggy Pop.

Pop, 54, might have gone down in flames long ago, a victim of drugs, booze, devil-may-care excess, an extreme rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

He's still with us, though, wildly twisting and thrashing on stage, pounding out aggressive music with little regard for trend or fashion.

That's what Pop did for more than an hour on Saturday night at Birmingham's Five Points South Music Hall. He did it darn well, too, with the natural ease of a spectacular showman.

Pop's set at the nightclub, which started around 10:15 p.m., was loud enough to make window panes shake and eardrums vibrate.

The show was hard, fast and surprisingly varied, with raw punkish snarls balanced by more melodic throwbacks to New Wave and rowdy rock. Pop isn't a great singer in conventional terms, but in this genre, he doesn't have to be.

Pop's set list (with a three-member backup band) included "Mask," "Howl" and "Beat Em Up" from his new CD, also titled Beat Em Up. He also threw in a few deliberately tarnished oldies, such as "Real Wild Child" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

Like many punk pioneers, Pop's albums have been erratic and spotty in quality, but he's earned a reputation as an incendiary live performer. Even when the music isn't to your taste, Pop always gives you something interesting no, exciting to look at.

On Saturday, his skinny frame was knotted with muscle (Pop came out shirtless, of course) and clad in a pair of jeans that hung dangerously low. His stringy mane flailed, and his boots thudded. Thank goodness he doesn't attempt to play guitar on stage, because that would hinder his famously manic gyrations.

In flight:

Pop stage-dived twice into the eagerly waiting audience, and later invited the entire crowd to leap the barricades so everyone could join him on stage. About a quarter of those present (maybe 50 or 60 people) took him up on the offer before security intervened.

Other musicians might seem silly or dated doing the same angry act when they're old enough to be grandfathers, but Pop would probably look ridiculous doing anything else. Punk hasn't ever died in his world; it's just mutated.

Also, like him or not, Pop is as far from a poser as you can get. He's managed to retain his authenticity and appears startling in his maturity. As far as punk goes, he's the real deal.

10/28/01: Earthlink Live Center, Atlanta, Georgia. 7pm.

New Music Express

Iggy Pop/Impotent Sea Snakes : Atlanta Earthlink live

Halloween comes three days early, dirty pun intended, Sunday night, as Atlanta 's own Impotent Sea Snakes bring faux fur and simulated sadomasochism to EarthLink Live opening for Iggy Pop.

Performing to a semi-circular arena of many leather and latex wearing longhairs, the glam metal Sea Snakes - with men in thongs and fishnets and women in, well, very little besides strategically placed electrical tape - preach and screech pseudo-prog metal songs of pleasure, pain and protection.

Ending their set with Jim Carroll 's 'People Who Died', they pack the stage with audience members before packing it in.

Simulated sex acts can't hold a candle to the visceral thrill of the main act, however. No amount of dripping hot wax, vibrators or PVC panties get the crowd going as much as seeing the outline of 'Godfather of Punk' Iggy Pop bouncing like an uncoordinated prize fighter as his band takes the stage just seconds before he tackles the mic stand for opening number 'Mask' off his new full-length, 'Beat 'Em Up'.

Then for the next hour-and-a-half the feral 54-year-old, with his hair long and shaggy, shirtless, veins straining, skin-tight jeans glued to his slender frame as they have been - on and off - for more than 30 years, tears in to tracks from almost every album when he isn't flinging mic stands, flailing madly or belly flopping on the crowd. Animated and aggressive, Iggy Pop and his band don't pause once. He ranges from spoken word to primal scream over searing, primitive grooves and a pounding rhythm. In Pop 's slower, lower register you can easily still hear what - David Bowie stole. The set - mostly from the more metallic 'Beat 'Em Up' with many post-'90s numbers but also including classic anthems like 'Search and Destroy' , 'Cold Metal', 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', 'I Got A Right' and 'Real Wild Child' flows perfectly, sometimes a little uniformly, but ultimately highly satisfying.

Not satisfied with being caged by the stage, however, Pop calls for and gets an audience mobbing during 'The Passenger' so he can 'fucking feel the energy.' In return the audience get to feel songs like 'Death Trip', 'T.V. Eye' and finally 'No Fun'. As Iggy Pop runs the pit, shakes hands then exiting, his guitarist plays 'The Star Spangled Banner', lights firecrackers and leaves his amp humming loudly. Finally all that's left is the smell of gunpowder and sweat - perfect for such an incendiary performer.

Tony Ware

10/29/01: Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte, North Carolina. 8pm.

Charlotte preview:

Iggy's back, rage intact

Tony Hicks, Knight Ridder
The Charlotte Observer
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Few major label veterans get away with sounding like they wrote and recorded most of their new album in a day, yet somehow make it powerful, sincere and good. And few singers call a song "Howl" just so they can perform the act most of the way through.

Of course, when it's Iggy Pop, it's par for the course. And that's the best news the world has heard from Iggy in a while.

Iggy's last studio release, "Avenue B," was an occasionally spoken-word contemplative look at what turning 50 meant at the time. Though it was sort of interesting, it was also alarming to think that maybe Iggy was getting over himself.

Not even close. Iggy is back to being Iggy, and the world is a better place for it. His most recent release, "Beat 'Em Up," is an appropriate title, since he's back to thrashing about, yelling and screaming.

"This one's real loud, real rock 'n' roll, real tough and raw. It's still got a personal tone, but it's easier to relate to for `real rock' fans," he said.

Fans can expect to hear old and new songs when he performs at Tremont Music Hall on Monday."There will be songs from the record I've just made - they'll probably, unfortunately, leave you scratching your head, saying, `I wonder what that song is?' - plus songs that you'll know. It'll rock, as hard as I can make it now," Iggy said.

This is a typically good if not great Iggy record, swinging back and forth between punk rockets and riff-charged metal that sounds like David Bowie dueting with Glenn Danzig. Either way, the overriding theme is to hammer eardrums.

No matter the mood, the guy's always up-front about his feelings. Much of the album is basic metal garage-band riffage, which could really suffer if not for the personality behind lyrics for songs like "Drink New Blood," "Beat 'Em Up" and "It's All (stuff)."

The best evidence that Iggy still has his edge is a savage little charmer called "Go for the Throat," which builds from conversational lyrics set to a driving bass line, erupting into an Iggy yellfest.

Actually, the whole album could be considered an Iggy yellfest. That's good.

10/31/01: The Norva, Norfolk, Virginia. 8pm.

Norfolk preveiw:

Iggy Pop
A candidate for the "Why is he still alive?" files, this glam-punk legend drags his potently bedraggled, writhing body back onstage.

Where: NorVa
317 Monticello Ave
Norfolk, VA
When: 8:00 pm Wednesday, Oct. 31

The Skinny
Along with MC5, Iggy Pop and his Stooges invented punk rock. Period. You can say all you want about your Ramones and your Sex Pistols, but it was the Stooges' raucous blend of full-bore musical indifference and fiery (literally) stage shows that crystallized rock into the blunt instrument it would become. Exposing himself, rolling on glass and leaping into the crowd, Iggy Pop squeezed every ounce of life from the battered shell of rock and roll and then lit it on fire. His later solo forays into Bowie-esque glam (The Thin White Duke was also supposedly his lover) were less powerful, but equally interesting and influential. His latest recordings have met with mixed reviews, but live performance was always where Iggy flowered anyway; a few notes of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" should get him shaking.

The Crowd
Survivors, proto-punkers, ex-junkies and aspiring self-destructors

11/01/01: The Recher Theatre, Towson, Maryland. 7pm.
11/02/01:  The 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. 11pm.
Gettin' Iggy Wit It: At 54, Pop Still Packs a Punch

By David Segal
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 5, 2001

The mystery of Iggy Pop's career has now exceeded the limits of artistic explanation and become a puzzle that only medical science can solve. How is this guy alive? For years he was rolling around in glass, smearing his body with hamburger and cramming any vein he could jab with every drug he could find. Either he's struck a deal with Satan or shooting heroin and smashing chairs over your head -- once two of the Popster's favorite pastimes -- aren't as punishing as you'd think.

Either way, on Friday night at the 9:30 club, Iggy was the punk that time forgot, a sinewy wisp every bit as buff and body-hairless at 54 as when he began making soiled, anarchic rock in the late '60s. He can still whirl around a stage at speeds that seem accelerated through trick photography. He still has one of music's most versatile spines, which he keeps crooked at angles that should have given him a nasty case of scoliosis two decades ago. His voice is still a distinctive howling bludgeon.

And that's why a Pop concert these days is a cause for joy, even if you don't give a toot about rock at its mostaggressive. Touring to support his latest album, "Beat Em Up," the man is demonstrating the spectacular resilience of the human body. Worried about anthrax? Ha! Iggy Pop will see your anthrax and raise you a plague. He could sprinkle dioxin on his Wheaties and jog to Spain.

He's done everything, and that includes enough to lay plausible claim to the title "inventor of punk rock." It was Iggy -- originally a mild-mannered lad named James Newell Osterburg of Ypsilanti, Mich. -- along with his backup band, the Stooges, who way back in 1967 strapped together a few over-amplified guitar chords and proved the power of rock at its rawest and least disciplined.

A sentiment like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" might have seemed artless compared with anything that came out of the Brill Building, but its bluntness proved irresistible to fans and future disciples. And it was Iggy who came up with idea that you don't entertain an audience, you confront it, taunt it and give off the distinct impression that it's about to witness something very dangerous.

The slight possibility of head trauma still hangs over a Pop show, but on Friday night, the chaos felt a little scripted. When Iggy first leapt into the audience, there were a few stagehands nearby to fish him out of the crowd's clutches; it felt like a well-rehearsed moment of pandemonium. Shirtless to begin with, Pop emerged from the mob with his jeans pulled about halfway down his rear end, which briefly made a bad case of plumber's butt seem cool.

Nearly half of the show highlighted tracks from "Beat Em Up," a fiery little headlock of an album that Pop has described as music for a biker bar. Guitarist Whitey Kirst, who co-wrote most of "Beat Em Up," was the musical center of this show. His sound, live and on the album, owes plenty to guys like Ted Nugent as well as to bands like Slipknot, the thrash-metal goons who play in numbered costumes and who are one of the few new acts that Iggy will admit to enjoying. It's a guitar tone with a manufactured brassiness to it, one that manages to sound both violent and tacky at the same time.

There was plenty of Stooges-era music, including "Raw Power" and "No Fun," but the night's highlight came from Iggy's solo years: a searing version of "The Passenger," from 1977's "Lust for Life." During the song's opening riff, Pop double-dared the crowd to take over the stage, and within moments a couple of dozen fans were chipping into the "la la la la" of the song's chorus.

To Iggy's credit as no-frills vocalist, it was hard to tell when the kids had commandeered the microphone and when it was back in professional hands.

Inexplicably, Pop performed without ever having a spotlight on him, a bizarre choice -- either his or the 9:30 club's -- that seems out of character for an exhibitionist.

That made it harder to see Iggy's patent-pending catalogue of stage moves: standing like a freshly crucified corpse, kneeling and pounding his head with the microphone, spinning like Baryshnikov on acid. It probably made it harder to find his black boots when they were stripped off his feet during his final lunge into the audience during the encore, "L.O.S.T.," one of "Beat Em Up's" finest numbers.

"I'm going to miss those black boots," he said, just before they were found.

**MY Review:

Iggy Pop: Washington, DC.
9:30 Club
November 2, 2001.

A powerhouse hour-and-a-half performance that had the fierce and fit 54-year-old Godfather of Punk dazzling a crowd of nearly 1200. As usual, sounding both lethal and somehow sensual, Pop's current ensemble gets that sex beat just right. And the Igster was indeed in fine form: blonde, goateed, and shirtless, flaunting his famous physique, at times, after hurling himself into the a passionately noisy, nearly sold out audience at the 9:30, inches away from an arrest for indecent exposure. He did lose his boots monentarily. The crowd was incendiary, grabbing for him, surfing themselves over the rail again and again. I'm bruised and battered again. The encore was no less of a challenge, at four songs it was worth the price of admission by itself, and the closing number No Fun included a solo by Whitey that began hard rock and turned into Amazing Grace and the Star Spangled Banner. I admit I cried. Nice touch, you guys, thanks

DC Setlist:

Yo Yo Habla
Beat Em Up
Drink New Blood
Wild One
Dog (stage dive)
Go For The Throat
Passenger (Whitey grabs a girl and kisses her -- is this part of every show?)
Raw Power (stage dive)
Cold Metal

(encore) ("Turn up the house lights and keep em fucking on")
Death Trip
TV Eye
No Fun/Amazing Grace/Star Spangled Banner (Whitey stage dive, floating over the crowd and still playing)

DC was theirs, and boy did we need them!
The crowd wouldn't leave, sat and stood around for blocks outside, talking and laughing, like it was an outdoor festival and it was 2:30. As I drove away I saw Whitey chatting with some girls there in the balmy night. The band memebers are nice and accessible, go talk to them, they deserve attention too! And Nina...oh Nina, she is truly one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, the pix don't do her justice.

Iggy, our homegrown Dionysus; there's a new T shirt: an American flag with the stripes and Iggy written in a damaged blue font in place of the stars.


11/04/01:       M (Metropol), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 7pm.

Weekend Hotlist
Friday, November 02, 2001
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
By Scott Mervis, Weekend Editor

Pop the top

That Halloween candy that's lying around screaming, "Eat me!" will be useful this weekend for the bursts of energy required to take on the amazing outbreak of arts and entertainment. The weekend begins with the Queen of Teen Pop and ends with one -, and there's a multitude of stuff in between.

But let's dwell on that a minute. Britney to Iggy. If the subject of your master's thesis happens to be Sensuality and Its Depiction in Popular Music, you'd do well to be at the Mellon Arena tonight and M on Sunday. What better contrast could there be than the candy-coated lip gloss of a Britney show with the raw animal power of an Iggy concert? Here, Britney teasing, begging to be a "Slave 4 U." There, frightful Iggy demanding he be your dog. She's a gorgeous young woman, he's a scarred, grizzled veteran, and together they share a distaste for the hindrance of clothing. Which one do you want to see? Iggy plays at 7 with Charm School Confidential.

11/06/01:       Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 8pm.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
November 2, 2001
Dan DeLuca


Iggy Pop

The former James Osterberg is rocking and ranting again like a wild-eyed street prophet, and thank goodness for that. On the punishing Beat 'Em Up (Virgin), Iggy Pop doesn't always make a whole lot of sense. But when he does, look out. Because while decrying a soulless culture and declaring he's out to throttle "critics frantically fronting in New York City" and "junkie frat boys in their shorts," the leather-skinned 54-year-old from Michigan is once again straddling the thin line between truly frightening and frighteningly stupid. Rock on, Iggy. - Dan DeLuca

Iggy Pop at the Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets: $27, $25 in advance. Phone: 215-922-1011


Thursday, November 8, 2001
By Jonathan Valania

**Still a raw and wild rocker after 35 years

Iggy Pop singlehandedly invented the notion of the lead singer as human cannonball, rolling shirtless in broken glass, hurtling himself into hostile crowds, and leaving behind the unsettling impression that there was nothing he would not snort, shoot up or attempt to fornicate with. He has also unleashed some of the most primal, brick-in-the-face rock and roll ever committed to tape.

Tuesday night at the Theatre of Living Arts, the 54-year-old Pop made it abundantly clear to the adoring, sold-out house that he remains a streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm. He still has no use for a shirt, and he still swings his sinewy torso around like a bullwhip.

With swagger, Pop delivered classics from his days in the Stooges - "Raw Power," "No Fun," "TV Eye" - and later solo gems such as "The Passenger" and "Wild One." Unfortunately, his new band traffics in thuggish metal, bringing a chainsaw to music that was always more of a knife fight.

But Pop's bullhorn baritone and flair for anarchic theater rose above the band's overamped sludge. During "The Passenger," he demanded that the audience storm the stage, and it obliged.

"Break something!" he shouted, reiterating the message he has delivered in one form or another for 35 years. Nobody did.

11/08/01:       Toad's Place, New Haven, Connecticut. 7:30pm.


**Catching up to Iggy Pop at Toad's

Fran Fried November 06, 2001
Iggy Pop returns to New Haven Thursday. Olaf Heine/Virgin Records
The New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN — Maybe the world has caught up to Iggy Pop at last.

The mainstream — people who would have crossed the street to avoid him as a younger man — became acquainted with him in recent years through that most subversive of media: the TV commercial.

You can hear his anthem "Lust for Life," vintage 1977, selling everything from cars to ship cruises these days. And Nike recently made use of one of his best songs from his days with The Stooges, "Search and Destroy." That's from 1973.
But at 54, the man himself is still kicking like a kid 30 years younger (minus the self-destructive tendencies, of course). After a pause for melancholy self-reflection (his 1999 album "Avenue B"), Iggy returned loud, hard and crunchy in July with "Beat Em Up."
While some of it sounds too much like bad "modern rock," some of it is flat-out sharply pointed. Best tunes are the opener, "Mask," an angry, ambling tune where he asks, "You're wearing a mask — which mask are you?" "Weasels," a point of the finger at the music industry ("Weasels cut your rock 'n' roll!") and "Drink New Blood," a screaming rage against commercial culture as a whole.

Iggy returns to Toad's Place, 300 York St., for an 8:30 p.m. show Thursday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door; call (203) 562-5694 or log onto


**HappenStance: Won; Singular Sensation

By Christopher Arnott
New Haven Advocate
(exerpt) Published 11/15/01

One of the prototypes of Miss Mess-Up's more musical side, and of rock exhibitionists everywhere, is Iggy Pop. His Nov. 8 show at Toad's Place was attended by a huge percentage of that cultural voting bloc and leadership gaggle known as the local music scene.

Another survivor of the '60s Detroit punk scene, Alice Cooper, has never left the song "Elected" out of his live sets--it's become a regular moment for current events commentary and ghoulish live political cartoonery. But Iggy caused gasps of glee when he did one of his own most overtly political numbers at Toad's: "I Got a Right." Was it also a political move as well, then, not to do "Lust for Life"?

Advocate colleague Hank Hoffman had told us that when Iggy played Toad's seven years ago, "his backing band was these metal kids, but they weren't good, so it was just right." That assessment held true Thursday, except for the "kid" part--these rockin' geezers were sloppy and stupid and earnest enough to keep the otherwise over-prepared show on a punk plane. There was a minimum of the slow monotone, narrative heavy bombast ballads that Pop has embraced for much of the '90s--"The Passenger" was representative of that phase. In hawking his latest disk, Iggy could take a tip from Alice Cooper, who's judicious in how he drops new songs into his sets, spreading them out carefully or working them into medleys with his old hits. By contrast, most of the first third of Iggy's Toad's stand was devoted to his mediocre new album Beat Em Up.

Much of what gave Iggy Pop his raw power in the 1960s and '70s has been diffused by the matter-of-factness of the punk ethic in the 21st century. Joan Jett streamlined his anthem "I Wanna Be Your Dog" years ago. Iggy's cover of the rock & roll standard "Wild Child" is a weak statement when you consider that Josie & the Pussycats also claim the song, on the movie soundtrack.

Opening act Ted Leo/Pharmacist(s) had been thrust into the Toad's limelight somewhat hesitantly. Instead of jumping at the opportunity to open for Pop, Leo had reportedly demurred, carefully weighing the potential of moving his act from the intimate confines of Rudy's and the fervent cult he's built in this area to the grander but more distant realm of "where the legends play." This is a guy who knows his constituency. Was it even worth finding out if he could win over such a crowd? An Iggy audience is particularly daunting--there were Trainspotting fans in their 20s, folks who'd seen the Stooges over 30 years ago, and the curious majority who simply wanted to see a legend prance past his prime.

Leo's anxiety was evident in his stage patter, but the playing of his songs (nearly all from his recent The Tyranny of Distance album on the LookOut! label) showed him supremely in control. Unlike his small-club shows, he didn't do acoustic punk covers of Pogues or Lauryn Hill tunes, and many subtleties of the band arrangements were lost on the large Toad's stage. But evening out the set in the interests of a large, diverse crowd was a wise move, and you could feel the breeze as all those milling heads suddenly turned in his direction.

The headliner was more assertive in his stagespeak: "Turn on the houselights in this dump! Hi there! Fucking thanks for fucking coming!"

"You're living too easy in New Haven today," was Iggy Pop's pithiest non-lyrical proclamation. "You never go anywhere." In fact, this is a week in town where the punk universe is off its axis. The ever-more diverse Tune Inn is presenting a much-admired blues guitarist, Joe Bonamassa, on Nov. 17. Like politicians, musicians often only get one shot at winning over a major party or label, but Bonamassa's album A New Day Yesterday, which flopped on Okeh/Epic, has been picked up and pushed anew by upstart mini-major Medalist Entertainment.

11/09/01:       The Avalon, Boston, Massachusetts. 7pm.



The Boston Phoenix

Issue Date: November 8 - 15, 2001

If it weren’t for bad luck, Social Distortion wouldn’t have any at all. But Mike Ness has been turning adversity into enthralling punk rock — the kind rooted in the dirt and the dust of country, rockabilly, and rhythm and blues — for a quarter-century. Following a hiatus during which he made a couple decent solo discs, and with a long-delayed full-band studio album said to be coming next spring, Social Distortion kick off their first national tour since the death of long-time guitarist Dennis Danell with a three-night stand in Boston. They’re at Axis (617-262-2437) on Friday, then take a very short roadtrip up Commonwealth Avenue to the Paradise (617-562-8800) for shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Lust-for-lifer Iggy Pop got all neo-metal on his newest disc, the sarcastic and scorching Beat ’em Up (Virgin) — another semi-baffling salvo from the sinewy proto-punk legend, who remains in late middle age a danger to himself and others. Iggy brings the broccoli to Avalon (617-423-NEXT) in Boston on Friday and to Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (401-272-5876) in Providence on Saturday. We suppose you could count Slayer as Iggy Pop fans — they did a covers album a while back with a massacre of a Stooges song they called "I Wanna Be Your God" — but most of the talk about metal’s reigning deities has centered on the eerie coincidence of their new album’s having appeared on September 11. It doesn’t help that the disc’s called God Hates Us All (American), but for cryin’ out loud, it’s Slayer — would South of Heaven have sounded any better? Slayer play on Sunday at the State Theatre (207-780-8265) in Portland; on Tuesday at the Webster Theatre (860-525-5553) in Hartford; and on Wednesday at Avalon.

The cream of the Elephant 6 crop has congealed into yet another spinoff, this one called the Circulatory System and featuring Olivia Tremor Control main man Will Cullen Hart and Neutral Milk Hotel main man Jeff Mangum. They play an afternoon gig at the Middle East (617-864-EAST) in Cambridge on Saturday, then head to Flywheel (413-527-9800) in Easthampton on Sunday in support of their recent homonymous debut on Hart’s Cloud Records. And speaking of neo-hippie supergroups: the alliterative Primus-Phish-Police triple threat known as Oysterhead play a sold-out show at the Tsongas Arena (978-848-6938) in Lowell on Saturday.

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen: Cake, the MTV-approved comfort food responsible for several nifty novelty tunes, have a new video that does for Iron Chef what American Hi-Fi did for Heavy Metal Parking Lot. And you can bet that their love of wordplay had at least something to do with their current touring partners — the indie-rock utensil Spoon. Spoon spend a night off headlining their own show at the Middle East on Tuesday, then get back to work across the river opening for Cake at the Orpheum (617-931-2000) in Boston on Wednesday.

**For raw endurance and gritty artistry, Iggy Pop gets it right

By Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe Staff, 11/10/2001

Iggy Pop wrote and recorded the snarling demand of a song called ''I Got a Right'' about a quarter-century ago. He sang it last night in front of a near-sellout crowd at Avalon - backed by the young turks that are guitarist/co-songwriter Whitey Kirst, bassist Pete Marshall, and drummer Alex Kirst - and stated his case once again. There could be no argument. If anybody has a right, it's Iggy Pop, a man with roughly zero percent body fat who was once in the top 10 of Rock Stars Most Likely To Die, due to a surfeit of usual bad habits. Ig beat the odds and is now No. 1 on the list of Rock Stars Most Unlikely to Give Worms Any Substantial Food After Death and Burial. He's a human X-ray.

And, at 54, he's got more energy than men half his age. The long-haired Pop took the stage last night shirtless and in butt-hugging faded blue jeans, bucking like a wild stallion. He and his guys proceeded to rip, roar, and grind through 70 minutes of punk/metal, including about a half-dozen new songs from his latest CD ''Beat Em Up,'' and opening with its lead track ''Mask.'' In a rant both grating and ingratiating, Pop railed at the phony images people employ and asked ''Where is the love? Where is the soul?'' In due time, Pop put the pedal to the metal with yowling classics such as ''Search and Destroy,'' ''I Wanna Be Your Dog,'' ''Home'' and ''TV Eye.''

It's all about controlled chaos. Admittedly, there is a certain monochromatic nature to Pop's set. The slinky ''The Passenger'' (drawn from his collaborative era with David Bowie, about blithely living life as a non-participant) was the only song that had any real sway to it. Even ''Real Wild Child,'' which has flashes of that quality on record, was amped up to meet the bar of ferocity. Pop - who bonded with the crowd by calling us a profanity - is aiming to satisfy longtime fans who view him as the godfather of punk and younger metal-ites who want to hear him thrash and burn. During ''I Wanna Be Your Dog,'' (not a song about pets) Ig dove into the crowd; during ''The Passenger,'' the kids flooded the stage. At the very end, Pop strolled the small space separating crowd and band with his hand out. Those in the front responded, reaching out to touch him as if he were a religious icon, the Torah, or some human embodiment thereof.

The peak came with ''Search and Destroy,'' which may feature the best opening verse in rock 'n' roll: ''I'm a street-walking cheetah with a heartful of napalm/A runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb/I am the world's forgotten boy/The one who searches and destroys.'' It's to Pop's credit that no part of this declaration of rage and pride sounds antiquated or nostalgic. Pop's got his life and his art together, but it still feels like he's looking up from the gutter, trying to find a reason to rise above it all. He's a marvel; he's a miracle.

Boston's re-formed Real Kids, fronted by singer-guitarist John Felice, opened with a set of punk/pop nuggets: hooky, basic value rock 'n' roll with an endearing warmth and snarl.

11/10/01:       Lupo's, Providence, Rhode Island. 8pm.

11/12/01:       Irving Plaza, NY, NY! 8pm.
11/13/01:       Irving Plaza, NY, NY! 8pm.

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