7/12/02: Esparrago Festival, Cádiz, Spain. 22:15 pm.
Academy, London, UK. Doors 6:30 pm.
Unlimited review. (Thanks Donald.)
Monday July 15, 2002
Pop has been hailed as the godfather of punk, thanks to his messy and exhilarating tenure in the Stooges, and his anger has rarely abated. His most recent album, Beat 'Em Up, is as scornful of society as ever, his nihilistic lyrics and nagging rhythms still burning with dissatisfaction.
But his showmanship is faintly comical. Pop skips on to the stage, pulling poses as blinding white lights flicker around him and give his craggy features a goulish tint, while the grinding guitars and demonic vocals of Mask add to the freak-show atmosphere. Slight and sinewy, he caresses himself, using his torso like an instrument as he matches each phrase he sings to a flexed muscle, thrusted hips or sudden jerk. When Pop smoothes his long blond hair gracefully, it is like watching a little girl dancing in front of a mirror, overemphasising every motion. He is Bonnie Langford with Keith Richards's wrinkles.
For Beat 'Em Up, Pop spans the tricky rap-rock divide, his gravelly vocals disentangling themselves from the unceasingly heavy guitars. Each new song is strikingly similar to the last, but Pop's voice is perfect throughout, youthful and urgent on the sublime hymn to submission I Wanna Be Your Dog, cold and voyeuristic for The Passenger.
is both iconic and personable, inviting fans on stage and constantly demanding
for the lights to be on "so I can see your faces while I feed off you".
He is stage-diving after only three songs, fiddling about with his zip with a
devilish glint in his eye a little later. When his feet get tangled up in his
microphone wire and he almost falls flat on his face he simply puffs up his chest
and dances like a chicken standing on a hot plate. He may have been doing this
a long time, but he does it well - and as irascibly as ever.
Last seen on the Letterman show wearing a sarcastic lump of broccoli, tonight punk rock's one man Big Bang whirls forth and declares the game's begun by hacking down the mic stand with his forearm. Iggy's sustained an awesome record of gladiatorial stage madness through his middle years, but surely now, at 54, he'll feel less compulsion to act the human hand grenade.
Except, no, there's no sign of it. The Metallica-a-like three piece band take the psycho-crackhead approach to Mask (from last years Beat Em Up album), setting a pace and intensity which they maintain through the mix of Iggy greats old and new. Meanwhile, the growling, shirtless trunk of sinuous obscenity formerly known as James Osterberg parades before his devotees in a bumcrack-displaying pair of denim hipsters.
The primal frenzy which tracks him around the venue is unmatched in rock, and every second is milked by the wee dynamo of errant calisthenics. He's down on all fours, howling like a werewolf. He's statue still, holding a spastic crucific pose. He's hopping and spinning and then casually leaning and waving, grinning idiotically, while the bulging guitar-lead vein to his heart threatens to burst.
As the band burn Motorhead-style through bludgeoning renditions of 'Search And Destroy', 'Corruption' and Johnny O'Keefe's 50s rocker 'Real Wild Child', all remaining hopes of resisting the romantic lure of his writhing legend are systematically napalmed. In underdog anthem 'Now I Wanna Be Your Dog' he executes a perfect swan dive into the crowd. During 'The Passenger' he invites/challenges the whole of the downstairs audience to join him, causing total mayhem as security guards battle massed stage invaders, including one crazed girl who strips naked, gyrating and throwing herself at a man old enough to be her grandpa.
Much of the crowd are first time viewers of the original Detroit destoyer, and their mouths open wide as the show hammers endwards through a velocity-centered 'TV Eye' and a pleasingly mangled 'Sweet Sixteen'. Its a definitive gig. Less a singer than a mythical beast, Iggy leaves after attempting to pull the Academy's giant speaker stacks over, still the planet's most magnetic rock'n'roll performer, his ongoing revenge for early 70s neglect still magical to behold.
The title track from his last album Beat 'Em Up, "Mask" is a typically excoriating Pop lyric a diatribe at the falsity and emptiness of modern life, castigating "critics, college graduates, everybody in LA". But, it soon becomes obvious that, with his low-rent band and intensified theatrics, Iggy, too, is wearing a mask of his own devising.
On one level you can't blame him: hailed as the greatest rock'n'roll poet and most extreme performer of his era, the one-time Stooges frontman and self-proclaimed "runaway son of a nuclear ape" was washed up, down, and almost out, in mid-Seventies LA. His recovery was evidence of steely resolve, while latter-day albums such as American Caesar and Avenue B revealed a thoughtful tormentor and savage inquisitor of the American psyche.
But the Iggy mystique rests on self-destruction, foolhardy displays of audience baiting, indecent exposure, blood and gore. Tonight, playing the part of the obedient entertainer he gives the crowd most of what they want. He dives into the audience and four bouncers go on a fearless rescue mission. Glasses land on stage and he spits at the crowd. He has a weird, centaur-like physique, made for spectacle, and he delights in contorting it. He hurls insults at the lighting man, exhorts us to drink new blood and howls songs of despair and disdain, boredom and revenge in a tortured vibrato.
It might work but for a band stubbornly tuned to a lowest common denominator: all the scowling magnificence of "Death Trip" and "Search and Destroy" funnelled into a narrow squall of sound. He challenges the audience to be wilder than he is and, during "The Passenger", stage invaders lose no time in losing all their clothes. As they cavort towards him, Iggy's body swerves to the side of the stage and he sticks his tongue out, waggling his hands donkey-ears style at the crowd.
When he sings how "corruption rules my soul and chills my bones" perhaps he's explaining the infantile performance. Irony and sarcasm have long been part of the Iggy survival manual, but on this evidence only the blindly besotted will appreciate the punch line.
Is London review.
It's 30 years, give or take a few weeks, since Iggy Pop played his first-ever London concert, but, seen from the back of the cavernous Brixton Academy, the wiry figure bounding shirtless on to the stage seems eerily unchanged from the archetype of the "beautiful and damned" immortalised on the cover of the 1972 Raw Power album.
A formative influence on David Bowie, Johnny Rotten and many more, the 55-year-old former frontman of Detroit's protopunk Stooges is still the most kinetic performer in rock, barely staying still for a second.
He doesn't exactly dance, at least not in the formal sense of vintage James Brown or Prince: he's either undulating like a belly dancer, flexing his still enviable physique like a bodybuilder or flinging himself around like a hyperactive child.
Backed by a solid, workmanlike trio blasting out his trademark punk/metal roar, he blended songs from his current album Beat Em Up with vintage classics such as Search and Destroy, Now I Wanna Be Your Dog, Wild One and The Passenger, during which he invited a stage invasion, though the ecstatic "guest" dancers were unceremoniously bundled offstage the instant the song ended.
Age and excess haven't frazzled either that distinctive voice - simultaneously harsh and crooning - or his driven, shamanic intensity. As Iggy attempts to shake himself out of his skin, he seems to be exorcising both his own demons and the crowd's. Once a blue-collar Jim Morrison minus the rhetorical flourishes and poetic pretensions, he has become rock's immortal dervish, generating enough energy to light up most of south London.
A packed audience of ageing goths and baby punks received him - literally: this pioneer of crowd-surfing is still prepared to dive offstage into the front rows - rapturously. It doesn't seem as if "the world's forgotten boy" is going to be forgotten any time soon.
Pix from the BBC.
7/15/02: The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland. Doors 7:30 pm.
While there's little doubt that 50-plus James Jewel Osterberg has set a virtually unassailable benchmark for aspiring rock 'n' rollers, there's also little doubt that as a performer he has nowhere else to go, no new shapes to construct. Yet what goes around comes around, and if the recent renaissance of guitar-based rock is anything to go by it looks as if Iggy Pop will be around for at least another few years, parading his skinny, ugly body, striking crucifixion poses and jumping around like a three year-old high on E numbers.
The bane of any rock performer's life is that, try as they might, they cannot reach that sacred level of epiphany each time they play - irrespective of what the audience might think. Tonight was a prime example of a superb player at the rock 'n' roll game making a valiant attempt at overcoming various difficulties - some self-imposed, so let there be little sympathy - and honourably failing.
The first hurdle was a woeful, take-it-to-the-max sound mix thoroughly undermined by a sloppy, bludgeoning young-gun lead guitarist. The second hurdle was the selection of songs Pop wilfully chose to play (or not). No Lust For Life and No Fun, their place taken by cod-metal tunes such as Home and Cold Metal. Run-throughs of I Wanna Be Your Dog, The Passenger, TV Eye, Sixteen and Real Wild Child (his sole UK Top 10 hit, a vastly unrepresentative choice from the Iggy canon and a song he didn't even write) were delivered with all the throbbing, veined neck we have come to expect.
yet, amid all the bluster, the iconic postures, the shadow of past glories, there
were occasional glimpses of how exciting, how close to danger he could get (which
does not include spitting at Andrea Corr). Close to the edge but not close enough,
this was not - in the words of Iggy's former, truly great band, The Stooges -
a Metallic KO, but just a metallic okay.
Glasgow, Scotland. Doos 19:30.
Jul 12 2002
Iggy Pop, who plays Glasgow's Barrowland on Wednesday, was once the most dangerous man in music and source of inspiration to many crazed souls.
He burst out of Detroit in the late Sixties as frontman for The Stooges. He invented stage diving and, through his visceral performances and chugging, cataclysmic sound, The Stooges are credited with being the birth of punk.
Following the break up of The Stooges, Iggy went on to forge a remarkable and often imitated solo career dedicated to keeping the danger in music alive. That any of Iggy's solo material ever reached an audience is largely due to his friendship with David Bowie.
The fruit of this unlikely allegiance was 1977's The Idiot, followed later the same year by the commercially- successful Lust For Life, the album that holds Iggy's most famous song, The Passenger.
For some, the music of Iggy Pop had peaked with Lust For Life, many of his later albums, some of highly-dubious musical integrity, were panned, although he did have a hit single with Real Wild Child. It may be viewed as pastiche by some, but Iggy Pop will always represent a trawl through humanity's dark side. Few 55 year olds can say as much.
Evening Times review.
Raw power incarnate Iggy Pop is never one to dumbdown and this gig was no exception. While many men of his age - 55 - consider mowing the grass to be a substitute for relaxation, the Ig prefers stage diving and leering. Although he did admit to being "knackered" before his second encore. The set started with a half-hour of nu-metal drawing on material from his latest album Beat 'em up before launching into a smattering of the classics which included Search and Destroy and Wild One. I wanna be your dog is the highlight of the night ..."I wanna be your dog, well c'mon". The crowd lap it up and little encouragement is needed to get them up on stage with the old rocker by the time he sings The Passenger. Security are flummoxed but it's not nearly as chaotic as last year's Gig on the Green when nearly 70 fans stormed the stage as Iggy threatened to murder anyone who got in their way. Yes this was Iggy in a good mood and he enjoyed every minute of it. "Turn the lights on," he yelled halfway through the gig. "I wanna see your faces, yeh turn the ****ing lights on". This seems to be his latest obsession. Rather than writhing on broken glass or shooting up on stage he wants to reach out and touch his new fanbase - couples canoodling back from the melee at the front, kids in the moshpit and hardly a smelly rocker or punk in sight. The atmosphere's electric. Bare torso and hipster jeans clad Iggy never takes a breather. He deserves to be knackered by the end of the two-hour set and the crowd know it revelling in the fact they've seen the world's most extreme performer go wild once more.
Distortion 2002 Festival,
Cardiff, Wales, UK. Bute Park in the shadow of Cardiff Castle.
The Western Mail
The band will be taking to the stage in Coopers Field supported by none other than punk bad boy Iggy Pop. Then over the next three days the arrival of the Route of Kings tour featuring rock idols like Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, UB40 and Meat-loaf promises to make it a rowdy weekend.
tour is just one small part of the programme of events scheduled for the Cardiff
The three-piece band from California and the notorious rocker blasted out song after song in Coopers Field last night in the first of the Route of Kings Concerts in the capital.
Both acts belted out old and new favourites and had their thousands of sweaty fans bouncing up and down in the midsummer heat.
And last night's gig was just the beginning of a week of music in the city.
Today sees Party in the Park in Cooper's Field, where 20,000 fans are expected to bop the day away to Hear'Say, Blue, Liberty X, the Sugarbabes and Darius.
And tomorrow the Groover from Vancouver Bryan Adams will be on stage.
if that was not enough, Scottish rocker Rod Stewart is in town on Tuesday to be
followed by Meatloaf a week tomorrow.
Distortion 2002 Festival,
Wollaton Park, Nottingham, UK. 7:30pm-8:45pm. Main stage.
virtua-lfestivals.com review exerpt and pix.
No anouncement is needed to introduce Iggy Pop as he pogos onto the main stage. This is a man who believes firmly in having a minimalist wardrobe. Skin tight hipster jeans - 1 pair... that's it! The godfather of punk is a frenzied web of energy and bulging veins who likes to say 'f**k' an awful lot. He might be nearly double - in fact probably closer to treble - the age of many of the other bands today, but in a fight I know where my money would be.
He once stage dived right on top of me, and the crowd gave way, leaving me pinned nose to nose with the great one. I can tell you that close up and personal, with our breath mixing and eyes staring into each others, Iggy Pop is quite possibly the scariest person on the planet!
Tracks from a repertoire that stretches back to his early days hanging out with The Doors and going all transvestite wierdy included Corruption, Wild One ('Do ya wanna see me go f***in' wild ya little muthaf*****s?' - you see what we mean?), I Wanna be Your Dog, Home, Passenger, Cold Metal and Sweet 16. Iggy berates his band ('Now you three booger eatin' muthaf*****s are going to play the f*** out of these next three songs - right??!'), he berates the security line ('What are you guys in the yellow shirts so f***in' afraid of? Loosen the f*** up!!') and he berates the state of modern music ('The heart's gone out of rock, and pop is sh*t, and you're eatin' sh*t on the radio and on DVD!!!').
He leaves us with a crashing roar of static feedback and a victory/peace sign that, as he turns his back on the crowd, becomes a single finger salute to the cr*pness of it all and his own unique greatness. IGGY ROCKS!!!
virtua-lfestivals.com pix (dropdown list.)
Evening Post review.
- 22 July 2002
As they took to the stage, the chanting and rain stopped and the sun shone on the glorious backdrop of Wollaton Hall.
Distortion 2002, what was left of City in the Park after stars Jamiroquai pulled out, opened on Saturday with sunshine and bands such as Snuff, The Levellers, and Raging Speedhorn.
Wandering around in this tree-filled setting made for some bizarre viewing on and off the two stages... lots of green hair, tatoos, Mexican trumpeters, Batman and Robin and even a 3ft Asian Elvis lookalike.
The golfers and deer looking on must have wondered what was going on.
But everyone in the 20,000-strong crowd was enjoying themselves as they browsed around the stalls ranging from a tattoo and body-piercing parlour to the folk selling emergency ponchos - a popular purchase after four hours of persistent rain.
As the day wore on, names for the future came to stake their place with Nottingham's alternative rock fraternity.
The lively Rival Schools, The Wildhearts and a Hundred Reasons belted out soon-to-be-remembered tunes, while the more established band Starbucks treated the crowd to A and Idlewild appeared fresh from a stint with Steve Wright on Radio 2.
The heavens continued to open as notorious ageing rocker Iggy Pop came on stage.
He was as professional as you would expect: posing for photographs, milking his fans and stomping around the stage topless as if in his own backyard.
Some younger members of the gathering stood opened mouthed at his antics and expletives, but happily bounced around to hits such as Passenger and Lust for Life.
One more break for a change of equipment and headliners Green Day hit the stage running, belting out old favourites like Maria, Welcome to Paradise, and Basket Case.
Lead guitar vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong announced, to his fans' excitement, that he was going to get three audience members on stage to create Nottingham's very own version of Green Day.
After much deliberation, the chosen ones got to play their idols' instruments with unbelievable precision. Chris, the young fan who played Armstrong's part, even got to keep his guitar.
the youngster's honour, Green Day played their massive hit Minority which sent
everyone spiralling into the frenzied mosh pit. Water guns and pyrotechnics, along
with the band's energetic performance, brought the day to a close. As the ticker
tape covered fans on their way home, you couldn't help wonder whether Green Day
really did stop the rain, or were they so good that no one cared?
Des Vieilles Charrues, CARHAIX, France. Scène Glenmor 13:30..
SETLIST (Thanks Gui.)
7/23/02: Theatre Antique de Vienne, Vienne, France. 20:00
concertandco.com pix and fan reviews.
7/25/02: Grona Lund, Stockholm, Sweden. 19:30.
Dirt's concert pix.
SETLIST (Thanks Dirt!)
7/26/02: Storsjöyran Festival, Östersund, Sweden. Doors 19:30.
7/27/02: Suikerrock Festival, Tienen, Belgium. Main stage 22:15-24.00.
Picture from show at festival site.
7/31/02: Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Mountain Claro Park Theater, 22:00.
L' Unione Sarda preview.
8/02/02: Sziget Festival, Hajógyári Island, Budapest, Hungary. 21:30.
Iggy rocks Sziget
This years Sziget Festival got off to a record start with an average of more than 50,000 international rock fans turning up daily for the musical extravaganza which over a decade has grown into one of Europes major pop festivals.
The major attractions at the weekend were US punk veteran Iggy Pop, pictured, who showed youre never too old to jump about like a teenager, and Britpop band Pulp, whose Saturday night gig at the Óbdua Island venue pulled in a crowd of 58,000, and British dance outfit the Stereo MCs. Sunday saw German punk legends Die Toten Hosen and Hungarian metal band Tankcsapda take center stage.
Budapest Sun article.
Wild times with Iggy at the Szigit
By Lucy MallowsOh Lordie, I feel old. I wandered around Óbuda island the day before the festival opened, trying to get my bearings before the crowds and the dust enveloped the horizon.
I saw a group of honed and tanned young men putting up the equipment on the main stage and I suddenly had a flashback. It was 1982 and I was working as stage crew for the Entertainment society at Leeds University.
We put up and took down all the amps and heavy stuff and were paid with four cans of Tetleys bitter. One of the concerts was given by a certain James Jewel Osterberg - alias Iggy Pop - and he came to say hello when he did his sound check, what a nice, polite young(ish) gentleman.
Now here we all are again 20 years later and I fear Mr Pop has weathered the storm much more successfully than yours truly. At 55, he may be called "the grandfather of punk" but his sinewy body still looks a treat (even after ingesting enough chemicals to flatten a cart horse) and he can still leap about the stage belting out hits better than most.
I stood at the back of the throng feeling a crowd-phobic migraine coming on, I suffered contact lens crises by the dozen in all that dust and I was disturbed by the fact that, given my advancing years, I could logically have given birth to at least 80% of the audience. Not individually obviously, but it was a terrifying thought and one that did not help to improve my mood.
Saturday night and the island was rocking; 58,000 people had come to party. We headed for the Rádió C Roma Sátor where some of the best music was generated. We caught the end of the fabulous Ando Drom, who were whipping up the huge, enthusiastic crowd into a frenzy as the dusk (or was it the dust?) settled over the Island.
Struggling through the crowds, heading north for the ever-popular World Music Stage to see the French band P18, I was flattened by a seven-foot tall lad who was otherwise occupied, shouting to his friends in an American accent, "You know, the first time I took acid...." Yes, he really said that. Perhaps the spirit of Glastonbury is indeed alive and kicking, although first impressions reveal a lot less drunkenness than previously. I imagine few can afford to get wasted with a pohár of Dreher selling for Ft190.
We passed the extremely loud Zanzibár Intim Zóna tent - how intimate can you get with that racket going on? - then peered into the one-time controversial Magic Mirror tent, but at 9pm it was almost deserted. However, one of the bar staff, Agota from Café Eklektika, said that the tent really came alive from 11pm onwards.
The tent was in a disco dolly area featuring the popular Cinetrip Labiritmus, Cha-Cha-Chas hip hangout, Tilos Rádió and the Vox Café, Roxy SunCity and the gigantic aircraft-hangar sized rave venue FéNyár Hangár. These are late night venues, hotting up way past my bedtime.
The queues for henna tattoos stretched way back as we headed for the main stage to see Pulp.
As we were making slow progress through the tree-to-tree walls of revelers, a young fellow tapped me on the shoulder and asked in extremely polite and respectful Hungarian, "Excuse me, you wouldnt possibly have a paper tissue you could give me?" Oh dear, I am indeed a mother figure.
"Ullo, ow are ya" said Pulps front man Jarvis Cocker, and then attempted a passable "Ogy vagy?"
The band played songs from the new album We Love Life as well as the classics. We then headed for the Bee Extrémpark, past the Milli Milk Bar (Im sorry, but milk is just not rocknroll!).
In the Bee adventure castle, healthy youths were clambering all over the climbing frame but the big draw was a device that used enormously-strong rubber ropes to propel pairs of daring adventure-seekers 60 meters into the air at 100kmph in a kind of reverse bungee jump.
From the distance it appeared like a shimmering ball of light taking off into orbit into the night sky - an appropriate metaphor for the soaring Sziget.
Budapest Sun preview.
By John Hayes
You read it here first. A couple of weeks ago I announced that a truly legendary punk rock combo would be hitting the main stage of this years Sziget music festival. This was an understatement. Iggy Pop is not only a legend, he is the granddaddy of rock n roll as we know it today.
Without Iggy Pop and the Stooges (although credit must also go to MC5, the Ramones and the New York Dolls) we may never have seen the likes of the Sex Pistols, Guns n Roses and a whole host of other modern-day rockers.
Iggy formed the Stooges in 1967, a time when music was wrapped-up in the psychedelic nonsense of the hippy era. The Stooges music neither dwelled on the loved-up tunes of flower power or the political rants of the anti-Vietnam movement. Instead they focused on what many at the time described as "Stoopidity", bringing debate amongst musos as to whether or not they could actually play.
Surprisingly the group survived seven years of self-abuse (and Im not talking about a small pre-show gin and tonic), mixing with the likes of Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison and the Doors and latterly David Bowie, before they fell apart in true punk rock fashion.
Iggy fell further than most and ended up living on the streets of LA, devoting much of his time to his increasing drug habit. He was, however, a survivor, managing to pull himself up by the breaches and to this day he continues to buck trends whilst selling out shows as a solo artist the world over.
If you like your music with an edge (on which the singer is teetering), Mr Pop will not
8/04/02: Rock On Rock, Sports Center, Krk Island, Croatia. Doors 19:00.