Iggy Pop – Still full of raw power

The godfather of punk brought his lust for life to Luxembourg for the first time on Monday night and with the casements as his backdrop he couldn’t have picked a better setting than Neimënster Abbey.

It’s 47 years since Iggy Pop rewrote the handbook of rock, introducing the world to punk before they even knew what it was. Still a force to be reckoned with, he has shown no signs of slowing down. His new album “Post Pop Depression” produced by Josh Homme of “Queens Of The Stone Age” is his most accomplished work since his Bowie produced albums “The Idiot” & “Lust for Life” of the mid-70s, with both producers managing to draw out his raw animal energy and existential angst to great effect.

Pop launched out of the traps, with The Stooges tracks “No Fun” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, songs most bands would kill to finish on, but with a back catalogue stretching to 1969 he had plenty more up his sleeve, well maybe more like down his trousers as Iggy was, as expected, flaunting his leathery torso and so he should.

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His trademark primal energy seems unwavering after all these years as he delved into hits from his mid-70s creative peak with “The Passenger” and “Lust for Life”. With his fist pumping and lunging across the stage it didn’t take long before he made his way down into the pit in front of the crowd flailing his arms around with all his adoring fans.

As well as garage rock and punk there was still the evocative and sleazy grooves of “Nightclubbing” and art funk of “Sister Midnight” which saw Pop prowl over every inch of the stage. Although he might walk with a limp these days he can still make his way around the stage with vigour and looks more comfortable leaping around than he does walking, which pretty much sums him up, there is nothing idle about his performances.

After the encore he came back with a few from “Post Pop Depression” with the punk-funk baseline and shimmering guitars which has more than a touch of Bowie on “Sunday” before “Break Into Your Heart” which certainly has Homme’s fingerprints all over it with the brooding and simmering chunky sound. Since its release Pop has alluded to the new record being his last and if so it’s certainly a fitting departure.

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With the night coming to a close there was one last blast of The Stooges with the powerhouse punk of “Search and Destroy” and “Down On The Street”. There are fewer greater sights in rock than the bare torso and long blond hair of Iggy Pop prowling the stage as he contorts his body to every grinding riff and thunderous beat.

Having first seen Pop 15 years ago I wondered how many years he had left with that energy in him, all this time later and I still wonder if anything can slow him down. Clearly drugs and aging hasn’t yet, lets just hope he can make it through 2016 and see if in 15 years time he’ll still have his lust for life, cause he certainly gives us ours.

Neimënster – 11/07/16

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