Monday, April 18, 2016

Iggy Pop brings Post Pop Depression to Philly- April 15, 2016

If the deaths of Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie showed us anything, it is this: we, as the listeners, should be thankful for who we have left. While our heroes are still around, we should take the time to treasure them not just for their music but for their character too. When it comes to Iggy Pop, he is no exception. The Michigan-born rocker, who will be 69 before the end of the month, is currently on tour in support of his latest album Post Pop Depression. On Friday April 15, Iggy performed at the Kimmel Center/Academy of Music. Even at his age, Iggy is an incredible performer and can still put on one hell of a show.  

            The show began a little after 9 pm, with a recording of chanting Native Americans playing on the speakers. The lights went out, the curtains opened and Iggy’s backing band went into “Lust for Life.” Iggy’s backing band, which features Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme, were in fine form the entire night. Homme and the band all wore red and black 1950s styled jackets. About a minute later, Iggy Pop walked onto the stage to the rowdy cheers from the audience. Iggy, wearing a suit jacket and pants with no shirt underneath, jumped around as he sang the 1977 hit song. The band quickly went into “Sister Midnight” afterwards. Iggy’s baritone voice was in fine form throughout the song. When Iggy crooned the longer notes, there were small rounds of applause from the audience. Sooner or later, the jacket came off and remained off Iggy for the rest of the show. After the song, Iggy said hello to the audience. Holding his jacket on his back, Iggy talked to the audience.

“At this point in my life, I’m starting to ask questions,” he said to some laughs.

“One of my questions is this: for people who are brave, for people who are willing to fight- where is American Valhalla?”

            After some applause from the audience, the band went into “American Valhalla” from the new Post Pop Depression album. Iggy and the band ended up playing every song from the new album- with the exception of “Vulture.” When it comes to artists playing songs from their new album, it usually tells some people that it’s time to use the bathroom. However in this case, the audience stayed and seemed to enjoy the new songs. Some people seemed familiar with “Gardenia,” as it serves as the album’s lead single. Like “American Valhalla,” Iggy did a little stage rap for most of the new songs. Iggy moped about employment before going into “Sunday” while for “Chocolate Drops,” he talked about meeting Chuck Berry back in the 1960’s while on LSD.  It should also be noted that Post Pop Depression is a great album and fits in with his earlier work.

            Speaking of Iggy’s earlier work, there was plenty of it played at the show. Sadly, Iggy did not play any songs by the Stooges. Given the deaths of the Asheton brothers in 2009 and 2014, it seems that Iggy has decided to lay the Stooges name to rest. With the exception of “Repo Man,” the set list was devoted to only the songs from Iggy’s first two studio albums- The Idiot and Lust For Life- along with the aforementioned new Post Pop Depression album. Although Iggy didn’t play any of his other solo work, Iggy and his band performed the classic songs with a lot of heart and passion.  While performing, Iggy is amazingly ageless. While some might notice that the leathery skinned godfather of punk isn’t getting any younger, it doesn’t matter: Iggy still has it. The man can still perform. During some songs, Iggy had a child-like approach to performing the songs. Iggy tossed his half full water bottle into the audience during “Some Weird Sin, bravely attempted stage dives during “Fun Time” and stayed classy while singing the jazzy “Nightclubbing” as he sat on a stool. Iggy also left time for some audience participation during songs. When it came time to play “The Passenger,” Iggy led the audience in singing along to the “la la la” choruses. During “Fall in Love With Me,” Iggy managed to crowd surf his way into the audience. It was there he walked up to several lucky ladies and serenaded them with the song.  The show ended with “Success” from the Lust for Life album. Iggy jumped around some more until the show was over.

            Seeing Iggy Pop in concert was a great experience. It’s hard to believe that as he approaches his 70s, Iggy can still perform as if he were himself back in the day. He is a remarkable performer and fairly underrated singer. As he has hinted with Post Pop Depression, this tour might very well be Iggy Pop’s last tour. Seeing how the tour is focusing on his first two albums and his latest album, I can see it happening. If you can, try and catch Iggy Pop in concert while you still can.

1.      Lust for Life
2.      Sister Midnight
3.      American Valhalla
4.      Sixteen
5.      In the Lobby
6.      Some Weird Sin
7.      Funtime
8.      Tonight
9.      Sunday
10.  German Days
11.  Mass Production
12.  Nightclubbing
13.  Gardenia
14.  The Passenger
15.  China Girl

16.  Break into Your Heart
17.  Fall In Love With Me
18.  Repo Man
19.  Baby
20.  Chocolate Drops
21.  Paraguay

22.  Success

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