Iggy Pop - Chicago Theater - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Iggy Pop - Chicago Theater

by Zach Johnson Rating:9 Release Date:2013-04-08

The Chicago Theater is an immaculately majestic venue that seems designed for royalty, so in a way it was a fitting setting to witness legendary punk rock icon Iggy Pop in what may turn out to be the final tour of his esteemed career.

And although my balcony seat made the performance seem a bit more distant than I'd have liked it to be, given that I was on the front row it did offer a unique prospective to take in the living legend himself in all his spastic glory. For a 68-year-old man, you are not going to find many lead singers in his age bracket (with the exception of maybe Mick Jagger) that perform with such an emphatic vigor and unhinged quality that Iggy Pop displays. Hell, you'd be hard pressed to find many vocalists in their 20s that command the stage like Iggy does for that matter.  

And, when you think about it, that stage presence and manic intensity has always been Iggy Pop's calling card. His incredibly energetic and quirky stage persona are really how he made a name for himself over the years.  That, and of course making classic albums like Funhouse and Lust for Life (just to name a few) have obviously helped cement his legacy as an icon.

And I can't stress enough, that for a 68 year old, the man can still put on one hell of a show. Jagger still brings a lot of sass to his performances for an old man, but are you ever going to see him stage dive, multiple times into an audience like Iggy did last night?  Or jump down in the crowd and start prancing around while he belts out a song or two and interacts joyfully with the audience? (OK maybe Jagger might do that occasionally, but I digress).

Pardon the cringe-worthy pun, but Iggy Pop has a "lust for life", and even at his old age it was on full display last night at the Chicago Theater.  Paired with his not-so-secret-weapon Josh Homme, the band alternated between tracks from their new album Post Pop Depression, along with cuts from Iggy's classic Berlin-era albums The Idiot, and of course, Lust for Life.  Having Josh Homme and company in the mix certainly adds an extra punch to the songs in a live setting, and coupled with Iggy's eccentric stage persona, it was virtually impossible not to be glued the performance and thoroughly engaged throughout.  

Out of all the usual suspects you would expect from the aforementioned albums, the standout tracks live were "Lust for Life" (which kicked off the show), "Passenger" (which had most everyone singing and dancing along in their seats), the sleazy "Sixteen", and the standout from Post Pop Depression (at least for me) "Sunday".  Even the more sedate tracks from The Idiot were no less compelling in a live setting, as "Sister Midnight" and "Nightclubbing" cast an ominous spell on the audience that had he effect of transporting you back directly to some dingy, druggy club straight from 1977. 

Iggy and friends made sure there was never a dull moment across an impressive 2 hour set (the old man has some serious stamina) which fittingly ended the night with "Success" from Lust for Life. It's a fitting description not only for the great performance that night, but it's also a reflection of Iggy Pop's career as a whole. To call what many people consider to be the Godfather of Punk a "success" is actually a bit of an understatement, as his legacy has long been cemented, but this tour seems to be a final victory lap, and the proverbial icing on the cake of a brilliant and highly influential career.

Cheers to Iggy Pop, a living legend who continues to give everything he has on stage, and continues to make a strong impression for new and old fans alike.


Comments (2)

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I'm jealous. Listening to the new album again today and I need to see him live.

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Another excellent live review Texacaliago !

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