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Why the Stooges Are Still One of the Most Exciting Live Bands of All Time: Iggy Rocks Lollapalooza 2007
Well the votes are in and I think I'll put mine towards the Stooges as the most exciting event to happen at Lollapalooza... Sure I wasn't there, so I don't know for sure, and I'm sure that there were thousands of other moments from the huge lineup of talent, but many were probably a little shown up at the stage antics of a 60 year old man and his band.
I've been a fan of the Stooges since I first heard "Down on the Street" on a whim and have already written a few things about this band and their impact on music and performance for the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll, including one of the first things I ever wrote. I still haven't heard the new reunion album from the band, but the reviews of their latest concert performance have definitely been positive. Just this weekend at Lollapalooza the band performed with Iggy Pop, although now 60 years of age, is as electric form as he ever was, commanding the stage with his primal channeling of the music itself into a more visual form. The fact that they invited the crowd on stage to go crazy as well during "No Fun" turning it into a massive rock and roll release, certainly added to the excitement. That's really what the Stooges were all about live... it was about letting go and letting what happens happen without restraint in a sort of visceral scream.
Now, I'm a fan of the Stooges, so maybe I'm a little jaded in picking this as the highlight, especially seeing I wasn't even there in person... I'll agree with that... None the less though, I'm thinking that there may have been more than a few people in the crowd that day who had not seen even clips of the band live before, who are now well aware of the power of Iggy Pop and that maybe a few front men far younger than he, can learn a thing or two about letting one's self go on stage.
I was hoping to include some clips of the Stooges live from back in the day to help give testament to the energy and raw (although often frightening) charisma of Iggy Pop on stage, but I stumbled upon a neat little documentary/promotional video and thought I would include that instead.
Disclaimer: This video does contain some explicit language.
What I first thought was so great about this little video is it contains so many clips of the band back from the 70s playing live, including the infamous peanut butter act where Iggy was literally standing on the crowd, but the interview clips with Iggy Pop are also quite telling. His response to the peanut butter moment is pretty amusing as he just sorta shrugs as if to say... that was in the moment... I don't know what it means... just a spontaneous thing... And that really captures what it was about at the time.
I also thought it was interesting how he says that if you listened to the Stooges back in the 70s, that it was if you were special, one of the few who "got it" while everyone else hated it...Interesting because I believe that a mutual love of the Stooges was one of the things that bonded the members of the Ramones together originally. Not only a telling comment, but a good representation of some of the people the band influenced without major success.
Listening to Iggy Pop talk in interviews is always a little illuminating and pretty amusing as well. These short clips interspersed with footage of the band playing live right up to this day really give that added touch; an inside look at exactly why they are so electric on stage to this day. The clips from modern shows are especially exciting when you think about everything the band members have been through and how long it has been since they've performed.
Overall definitely a good little snapshot of the band that definitely demonstrates just one more time why the Stooges are one of the greatest bands of all time, especially live.
I'm thrilled to have heard that they put on such a rockin' show at this year's Lollapalooza and am hoping that I get to see them live myself soon enough.