Special Edition! Iggy Pop: 2001 Concert Reviews

 

7/07/01: Iggy Pop : Paris Hippodrome De Longchamps:  Solidays: Aids Benefit
Talia Soghomonian, New Music Express

The rain begins to fall as soon as Iggy Pop hits the Scene Paris stage at the Solidays festival. "Merci France, fuckin' merci," he drawls, as if thanking the skies, as if he's controlling the weather with his raindance. Paris, at least, is at his mercy for now.

"Which mask are you?" he asks in the opening song 'Mask'. Iggy's consists of a goatee which, along with his long hair, gives him the look of a demure rock icon (albeit one who has life experience written all over his face). He's almost convincing until he removes his jean jacket and bares his small but defined elastic frame. It's Iggy alright. The Iguana.

Looking healthier and more adrenaline-charged than ever, the godfather of punk wants to show that he's no has-been. Who cares if some of the songs sound like they're cut from the same pattern. He's part of that group of artists who have made such a mark on the music scene in the past that the music itself no longer matters. His career, spanning thirty years of music, accounts for his consistent popularity.

So now it's all about performance. At age 54, he still oozes energy, gyrating and wiggling as spasmodically as ever. Backed by a Metallica-hard band, his repertoire includes both old classics and new songs from his latest album 'Beat 'Em Up', including the title track, 'Howl' and 'Go For The Throat', during which he admits, "I'm fucked up". The audience sings along throughout the show, chanting the unwholesome choruses on 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' and even joining Iggy's wails on 'Howl'.

At the end of 'Corruption', he shares one of rock's worst kept secrets with us: "I'm gonna tell you something. I'm a real wild one, wild one," and bursts into his personal theme song, 'Real Wild Child'. His home is the stage - he invites a group of fans, young and less young, to dance in his sanctum. And as the band shift into 'Lust For Life', one grey-haired fan insists on hugging Iggy before being chased across the stage and behind the drum kit by a staff member.

And then, when Iggy's left the stage, the rain stops. He's still, after all these years, working that demonic magic.


Pop remains raw, reckless rockin' man
5/18/01:  Vic Theatre, Chicago, Illinois.
By Greg Kot
Tribune rock critic
May 21, 2001

The world's forgotten boy, as self-proclaimed in the Stooges' immortal "Search and Destroy," came to the Vic over the weekend with a few issues to get off his spindly chest.

Iggy Pop remains a marvel of human engineering, with a twisted rope for a body that, by traditional standards, should have collapsed of hard living decades ago. But Pop wears every scar with a rock 'n' roll soldier's pride.

The singer's approach is bedrock simplicity. He emerges as though unleashed from a cage, wearing the frenzied, feral look of a prisoner tasting freedom for the first time in years. tThe washboard torso is shirtless, the frayed jeans cling to his inconsequential hips, inches away from an arrest for indecent exposure. He dances as though taunting a biker wielding a pool cue, breaking into a mariachi fast-step, flapping his wrists, leaping and writhing at the same time.

"We live in a maaaa-sheeen!" he cried on the night's third number, "Beat 'Em Up." "We can't keep up with a machine!"

It was simple logic, and even simpler music. Pop's backing bands sometimes have a tossed-off, Chuck Berry-like feel to them, as if the singer thought anybody could play those three-chord Stooges riffs with proficiency. But not just anybody can get the groove right, that greasy sense of swing that made every note the Stooges ever played sound both lethal and somehow sensual. Pop's current ensemble came closer than most to getting that sex beat just right, especially drummer Alex Kirst, who refused to overplay, and guitarist Whitey Kirst, whose tone was covered in Detroit rust.

Still, the band had a tendency to play everything in Pop's past faster than the way it was originally recorded, until they let the tempo breathe a bit on a killer version of "Loose," Pop prowling like a panther in search of a mate. After a breathless one-hour opening set, spanning "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Raw Power" to "Home" and "Corruption," the encore shifted into an even higher gear. The singer grunted pithy commands -- "Street!" "Noise!" "I'm lost" -- that summarized not just the content of the songs, but his worldview.

Forgotten or not, Pop represents everything that once and forever will be great about rock 'n' roll. His bouts with hard drugs, abusive record companies and more than a few embarrassing songs -- included the self-parodies "Wild Child" and "Cold Metal," performed at the Vic -- have not softened him. On the contrary, Pop is still the one act that no rocker wants to follow on stage.

4/29/01: The Fillmore. San Francisco, CA. 8pm. By Seven Mile Road

OK, gotcher thumbnail review of SF show. Much as described for AZ show. Rather than letting the band vamp for about 2-3 minutes before he comes whirling on stage, Iggy entered immediately. The new song "Mask" is a real good set starter, with that philosophical bent done so well by our guy. Why he follows that with the bi-lingual number I'll never know. Crowd erupts at Search & Destroy. The new goatee looks good. His eyes seem also black, not so spaced-out blue as in the past. Wearing a pair of low cut jeans, his body just showing a trace of less-than-tautness. Iggy an inspiration to all of us in the aging department (and yes, we are ALL aging). My thought is, did he move to Florida to be closer to the legendary fountain of youth?? 'Cause it's working! Another new song, "Beat 'em Up" is a bit weak. in fact, all the new songs seem cut from the same cloth, kinda a big beat thing -- playing to the band's weakness, mebbee? Except "MASK", a good rocker. Band lags a bit on "Got a Right" and another couple rhythmically challenging hits. Sound is too bass heavy, you can't really hear the guitar leads, not that there are many. Whitey finally gets a chance to cut loose on "Dog". "Cold Metal" is good. He does only one cover, "Wild Child". Good version of "Corruption", it's a good song. "Passenger" with attendant stage dancing a bit week, as is "Lust for Life". Killer version of "Death Trip". Good version of "Raw Power", get the biggest sing-along. 1000 people crowing "Raw Power" on response.

.
.. No songs that I can remember off "Caeser" and "Naughty Little Doggie". No songs from "New Values", "Soldier" or "Party". "Down on the Street" gets extended treatment, but the band just can't punch it like the Asheton Bros. If Iggy is tired of playing these chestnuts, you'd never know it. He takes to each song with nothing but energy and desire. WE LOVE THIS GUY! AT least 10 stage dives to his rapturous fans. Handlers get a bit aggrieved. Two mics go down. Iggy uses the mic stand as the ultimate prop, grabs it for one second, sets it up, flings it aside. At one point, maybe during "Wild One", he clambers up on the bass cabinets (with a bit of effort) and begins humping madly (missionary style, FYI). Crowd goes nuts. The mature female members of the audience truly lose it. Lots of crucifixion poses as well as the fertilization pose. "Home" is pretty good with the tea drinking pantomime. .... None of that staring over the crowd stuff for Iggy. He's got eye contact with many, including yours truly, who gets a big wink (probably in response to my huge grin).

It's pretty tough to remain composed, rational when THE WORLD'S FORGOTTEN BOY is doing it. This is the guy who broke through, we owe him so much for putting his entire reality on the line. Now he's finally getting his due. What more can you say? His presence is that of a Greek Hero, the religious implications do not go to waste either. At one point, during the KILLER version of "No Fun" (Whitey's solo actually audible), he gets the whole crowd, even the staid folded arm types in the back, you know who you are, screaming "NO". Ah, a little negativity will get you ... honest, anyway. SO GET ON YOUR HORSE, DON'T MISS HIM. Who knows how thoroughly he'll ever tour USA again. See him at a venue, not a festival. Get right up front, don't f** around. You've got to look in the eyes of the setting son. deep in the night, you'll be lost in love. Thanx, all, thank you Iggy, YOU GIVE US A REASON TO GO ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4/25/01:  Cajun House, Scottsdale, AZ. 8pm. By Mike from Texas (thanks from all!)

What a night!! There were several suprizes in store for the faithfull at the Cajun House in Scotsdale.. The sound at the Cajun House was stellar (unless you were pressed up againist the stage, and this beef is common no matter what the venue) and with the exception of the L.A. shows at the El Rey a couple years ago ,a welcome relief from the usual barns hes' been playin in out here the past few tours. The performance was stellar on both Iggy's and the bands part, and included a very generous preview of his upcoming cd. Which sounds to be the Igs strongest in years.. The biggest surprize of the night was Pete on the bass , handling the chores in place of "Mooseman" Roberts...WHERE HAS IGGY BEEN HIDING THIS GUY ON THE LAST FEW TOURS AND WHY??? Standing off to the side playing guitar and often buried in the mix on the Naughty and B tours, Pete proved himself to be not only capable, but throttled my bass luvin ass. This guy is a monster and the most welcome "addition" to the lineup since the Brick tour. Strange how things work out, and If it hadn't been for the loss of the Moose, this gem most likely would never have been uncovered. And the benefits of this move get even greater!!! With Whitey on his own, he seems to be much more focused , pushing himself, Iggy and the music like I haven't seen since he joined the band. Along with his brother Alex playing on drums and the second nature musicianship that only brothers can have, this adds up to one of the most satisfyin bands the Igs had in as very long time. An amazingly full sounding and rockin 3 piece. I can't wait to see them again!!!!!! The set list as follows.

1) The Mask (?)
2) Yo Yo Hablo Espanol
3) Beat 'em Up (?)
4) Raw Power
5) Search And Destroy
6) Howling (?)
7) Corruption
8) Real Wild child
9) I Wanna Be Yr Dog
10) L.O.S.T.
11) Home
12)Passenger
13) Lust For Life
14) Death Is Certain (?)
15) Ugly Mess (?)
16) I Got A Right
17) Cold Metal
18) Death Trip
19) Down On The Street
20) No Fun

 

4/25/01: Cajun House, Scottsdale, AZ. 8pm. By Steve B. from Texas (thanks!)

Got back yesterday to San Antonio from the all-too brief Iggy tour after
spending the previous night on an Iggy bender in San Diego.

The 4th & B was a great place, in the heart of downtown among the scyscrapers.
The layout was perfect for an Iggy show and I was easily able to get up front
right on the stage and didn't receive any mosh damage all night. The personnel
there was great, with the security guys more concerning about people smoking (I
had forgotten it was taboo in CA clubs!) than they were about me taking
pictures or other audience members trying to OUR MAN a hand job.

First off, we were treated to the lovely absence of any opening act (it really
bites trying to sit through another band waiting for the IG!) That big burly
roadie with the British accent (the guy who's always on tour working sound or
returning stage-divers to the audience) played about an hour of trance records
instead.

The set was basically the same except for the addition of another new track
("Jerk"?) and the ommission of THREE of the news ones he played in Scottsdale.
So, for the new stuff, Scottsdale was the place to be.The band just barrelled
through the set, with hardly and banter from Iggy. It was great. Iggy tried
climbing up the curtains on the side of the stage and yanked the pulleys out of
the floor. Fans were launching stuff at him all night, the most that I've seen
since since the early 80's. A guy hit him square in the forehead with a bottle
of water, and someone else threw a cup of beer, which caused him to later slip
and fall right on his ass (of course, he incorporated it into the show quite
well.) Iggy was really pissed all night at the sound and eventually got so mad
that he chucked the microphone stand through Whitey's amp, knocking it over and
cutting off the power to it. Whitey kept on playing through "Cold Metal" with
no sound from his guitar while the crew worked on it. The absolute highlight
of the evening, however, was the free-form freak-out at the end of the set that
threw me into a time warp. I could easily imagine myself at the Grande
Ballroom circa 1971, with the extended noise, feedback and wailing that emitted
from the stage for what seemed like ten minutes or so (I'm sure it was
shorter.) Iggy slowly dragged his body across the floor and off the stage. It
was great!!!

Overall, I think this show was more enjoyable than the Scottsdale gig, although
it is hard to top the first-night excitement of that show. I hope that
Scottsdale was not the only performance of some of those new songs, but I'm
glad I got to see them!

Oh, yeah... on the way from AZ to SD we stopped at the Coachella festival site
in Indio. It looked really nice but it was HOT (96F at about 1:00 pm.) Anyone
attend?

4/27/01: 4th & B, San Diego, CA. 8pm. By Mike from Texas.

Ah the gods were smilin.. I've never been to the 4th and B before and more was more than pleased to see that it was right ontop of the old California Theatre, scene of the infamous Instinct tour gig which is one of the best shows I've ever seen him give. The stars seemed to have aligned, all would be good. Karma continued with the absence of there being any opening band to suffer through and the presence of a jam packed full house. The man and the band were certainly up to the task as they stormed the stage with a blistering version of the Mask. We were treated to yet another new song ,The Jerk (?), and a locomotive of a set list that included virtually no between song breaks or banter with the audience. The highlights for me were the guitarless (for awhile) version of Cold Metal (After Iggy kicked Whiteys stack over), and the extended flight of musical and lyrical fantasy at the end of No Fun. The moment to live for though was the sight of Iggy Layin flat on his face , doing a full body crawl across the stage to end the set. The desperation and anguish as he reached for the life yet another inch might give , was vintage. Iggy fights the fight for all of us.

1) Mask
2) Espanol
3) Beat 'em Up
4) Raw Power
5) Search and Destroy
6) Howling
7) Corruption
8) Real Wild child
9) I wanna Be Yr dog
10) Jerk
11) Home
12) Passenger
13) Lust
14) I Got A Right
15) Cold Metal
16) Death Trip
17) Down On The Street
18) No Fun

4/27/01: 4th & B, San Diego, CA. 8pm. By Steve B from Texas.

Got back yesterday to San Antonio from the all-too brief Iggy tour after
spending the previous night on an Iggy bender in San Diego.

The 4th & B was a great place, in the heart of downtown among the
scyscrapers. The layout was perfect for an Iggy show and I was easily able
to get up front right on the stage and didn't receive any mosh damage all
night. The personnel there was great, with the security guys more concerning
about people smoking (I had forgotten it was taboo in CA clubs!) than they
were about me taking pictures or other audience members trying to OUR MAN a
hand job.

First off, we were treated to the lovely absence of any opening act (it
really bites trying to sit through another band waiting for the IG!) That
big burly roadie with the British accent (the guy who's always on tour
working sound or returning stage-divers to the audience) played about an hour
of trance records instead.

The set was basically the same except for the addition of another new track
("Jerk"?) and the ommission of THREE of the news ones he played in
Scottsdale. So, for the new stuff, Scottsdale was the place to be.The band
just barrelled through the set, with hardly and banter from Iggy. It was
great. Iggy tried climbing up the curtains on the side of the stage and
yanked the pulleys out of the floor. Fans were launching stuff at him all
night, the most that I've seen since since the early 80's. A guy hit him
square in the forehead with a bottle of water, and someone else threw a cup
of beer, which caused him to later slip and fall right on his ass (of course,
he incorporated it into the show quite well.) Iggy was really pissed all
night at the sound and eventually got so mad that he chucked the microphone
stand through Whitey's amp, knocking it over and cutting off the power to it.
Whitey kept on playing through "Cold Metal" with no sound from his guitar
while the crew worked on it. The absolute highlight of the evening, however,
was the free-form freak-out at the end of the set that threw me into a time
warp. I could easily imagine myself at the Grande Ballroom circa 1971, with
the extended noise, feedback and wailing that emitted from the stage for what
seemed like ten minutes or so (I'm sure it was shorter.) Iggy slowly dragged
his body across the floor and off the stage. It was great!!!

Overall, I think this show was more enjoyable than the Scottsdale gig,
although it is hard to top the first-night excitement of that show. I hope
that Scottsdale was not the only performance of some of those new songs, but
I'm glad I got to see them!

Oh, yeah... on the way from AZ to SD we stopped at the Coachella festival
site in Indio. It looked really nice but it was HOT (96F at about 1:00 pm.)
Anyone attend?


4/28/01: The Coachella Valley Music Festival, Indio Polo Field, Indio, CA.

"No one worked harder on Saturday then the elder statesman of punk,
Iggy Pop. Performing a rare daylight set, Pop threw himself -- scarred body and all -- into his high-energy music, showing that while he may be old enough to be a father to everyone else in attendance, he takes a backseat to no one when it comes to go-for-the-throat live performance. Highlights of Pop's ferocious effort, which also featured a couple of new songs from his upcoming album, included "Raw Power," "Search & Destroy," "Home," and the closer, "Lust for Life." "I'm a fucked-up person in real life," he offered before launching into "Wild One." Surely that was one of the
understatements of the day."

                        


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