Wednesday, September 24, 2003 @ 1:58 PM
Iggy & The Stooges -- This Tim
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REVIEW BY: Mark K.
Driving our way back into town from the DTE Music Theatre (Clarkston, Michigan) where the Iggy and The Stooges show had just been cancelled due to a massive power outage which had just occurred no more than three hours previously, we agreed that the rescheduled date of August 25th, being on a Monday, would be a pretty cool way to start out the final full week of summer as we know it.
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August 25th, 2003 was to be a big, big party. Based on the tumultuous career path that Iggy has created and endured over the decades, combined with the unpredictability of the group -- The Stooges -- I don't know if anyone knew really what to expect, performance-wise. This was not your typical run-of-the-mill reunion tour. Hell, it's really not even much of a coherent tour. I guess that if there were a catchy marketing phrase to plaster on banners and T-shirts, I'd call it the "Tentative and Subject to Change Tour." Iggy is 54 years old. Not that this should matter too much except for the fact that one certainly expects an over-the-top performance from him and whether he can still rise to the occasion. The line-up, I thought, was pretty clever. A local Detroit punk band named Von Bondies opened things up. They were kind of like watching White Stripes in duality, seeing as there are four members. Next on was Sonic Youth. They were okay. Ummmm.... yeah, they were okay because they provided an excellent opportunity to get out of our seats half-way through their set to stroll the grounds and people watch and meet up with friends.
My first impression of Iggy was this -- "He can't be human." I couldn't bend my body in that slithering iguana posture if I took six weeks of Yoga lessons. And I am half his age. No spectacular light show or props. No corporate sponsorship banners. Nothing of the sort. The "props" consisted of Iggy himself, Ron and Scott Asheton (original founding members of The Stooges) and Mike Watt, of Flame fame, taking bass duties, two Marshall stacks and a bass drum with a big piece of white tape covering the brand name of the drum kit (I think I could make out Ludwig underneath, though).
From start to finish, Iggy ripped and rocked and literally did a one hop jump onto the Marshalls. Jumped back off, dived into the crowd (still singing) back on stage... dived BACK into the crowd... told everyone to "fuck off!" No, he really didn't tell us to "fuck off." He'd just outburst with "Fuck!!!" He was out of control. House lights blaring into the crowd, "I seeeee you Deeeetroit!" One time when he dived into the crowd and disappeared, literally, in the sea of flesh, I began to actually get concerned that he may get hurt. But then through the speakers you could here the Ig screaming, "I feel fine! I'm okay! I feel fine! I'm okay!"
The song "No Fun" turned the stage into a dance-hall party with nearly two hundred people swarming just like ants on sugar. Things were certainly on the verge of complete and total collapse, but never quite went THAT far. And just when the ramshackle "security" finally got everyone off of the stage, you'd think that things would settle down. "Fuuuuuuuuuucccccck!!!!" It just went on and on and on. What turned out to be the closing song was “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” This was very weird because it was also the THIRD song of the set. Iggy didn't care, and more importantly, none of the thousands of happy concert-goers cared either. The final note came to a very abrupt end, the house lights went up and Iggy and them Stooges disappeared. No "good-bye," no "You want some more?" Nothing. That was it. At first everyone kind of sat in disbelief, disappointed, expecting SOMETHING to happen -- again. But then I think that everyone accepted that the man gave us his all, and then some. Sure, he could've come back out and taken the whole thing a bit further. And sure, it would've probably culminated in some type of disaster. Everybody was, for once, satisfied.
The first show was cancelled due to the disappearance of 90 million megawatts of electricity. Iggy and The Stooges MORE than made up for it. And THAT is -- rock and roll. I highly recommend catching this one if the opportunity arises.