Riot Fest

It didn’t seem like anyone else could fit into the space in front of the Riot Fest stage where Iggy and the Stooges were about to play on Sunday night in Humboldt Park. More and more people kept squeezing their way forward. But then, the stage lights came on, and the Stooges took their spots in the center of the stage, like they were guarding the drum kit from an onslaught. Iggy Pop bounded to the microphone stand, his hair flying, his torso as bare as always. Within seconds, the crowd somehow managed to surge forward, and the moshing commenced. It felt like everyone was swaying and bouncing in unison as the Stooges pounded out their proto-punk riffs and Iggy showed his miraculous powers to keep on rocking with rambunctious abandon well past the age when most people slow down.

Guitarist James Williamson, an old member of the Stooges who rejoined the band after guitarist Ron Asheton’s death, sounded even more confident than he had playing at the Riviera in 2010. Drummer Larry Mullins filled in for one of the other original Stooges, Scott Asheton, who has been ailing of late. Bassist Mike Watt pushed and pushed the grooves, while saxophonist Stave Mackay threw on a layer of grungy jazz. Iggy was more talkative than usual, urging audience members to bum-rush the stage, playfully taunting the video camera operators (“I’m over here!”), and asking everyone if they wanted to see… well, you can guess what he offered to show. (As far as I could see from where I was standing among the moshers, Iggy did not pull a Jim Morrison act onstage, despite his offer to do so.) Iggy seemed to be having the time of his life, feeding off the audience’s energy. I’ve seen a couple of Iggy Pop solo concerts and three Stooges shows now; they’ve all been thrilling, and this was one of the best.

I did not take photos at Riot Fest, alas, but you can see my previous pictures of Iggy Pop & the Stooges at Lollapalooza in 2007 and the Riviera in 2010. (And many Riot Fest photos are posted on other websites, including Time Out Chicago.)

Although things got a little close for comfort in the Stooges’ lawn-sized mosh pit, the overall scene at Riot Fest on Sunday was quite pleasant, with plenty of space for fans to spread out throughout Humboldt Park. Riot Fest has been going on for years, but this past weekend was the first time it became a full-fledged outdoor festival, with one night of music at the Congress Theatre, followed by two days of live rock and carnival rides in Humboldt Park. Based on my experiences in the park on Sunday — and the comments I heard from people who were there on Saturday, too — the festival was a well-run affair.

Riot Fest also boasted an impressive lineup of bands. As in past years, the main theme was punk rock, but Riot Fest defined itself broadly enough to include acts such as Built to Spill, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Elvis Costello and the Imposters. Those were the best of the groups I saw on Sunday up until the Stooges stole the show. Built to Spill’s triple-guitar epics were like sharply defined sonic sculptures. The reunited JAMC’s 1980s tunes were nicely crunchy and catchy, leaning more towards pop than shoegaze. And Costello raced at a breakneck pace through many of his early hits, climaxing with lively versions of “Pump It Up” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.” At first, it seemed a bit odd that Costello was playing at Riot Fest, but he reminded everyone that he used to be a punk, too.

I was less excited by the music I heard by the Alkaline Trio, NOFX, Gogol Bordello and the Promise Ring, but that’s mostly a matter of taste. Overall, Riot Fest was a winner of a festival.

Iggy & the Stooges

The Photo Pit page in this week’s Chicago Reader features my pictures from the concert last Sunday (Aug. 29) by Iggy & the Stooges at the Riviera. Click on the image below to see the online version.


After guitarist Ron Asheton died last year, I figured that would be the end of the Stooges reunion. But the band found a suitable way of carrying on, recruiting James Williamson, the guitarist who played with the Stooges on their final album, 1973’s ⭐️ | Best Sale | ☀☀☀ Buy source url Online ☀☀☀. Cannot Find low price Best pill? Buy Cheap Cialis For Sale Online Free pills | FREE SHIPPING 🔥 |. Buy Cheap Pills with Discount. ☀☀☀ buy http://seaholm.com/?page_id=1991' ☀☀☀,It solves the problem for you quickly.. Buy Now » baclofen online purchase Cialis Sale that way, the sense of satisfaction and pride is so enormous, and i8217;d lost that, very, very badly. Buy Zithromax 250mg Capsules incisions healed but his general condition was still bad. On periactin pills uk cyproheptadine price in india cheap periactin online Kamagra Soft. 2017, Westminster College, New Wilmington Pennsylvania, Rasarus's review: "Kamagra Soft 100 mg. Buy click online no RX.". | Best Price🔥 |. We collect what you are looking for here. Periactin Appetite Stimulant For Sale ,buy online without a doctor is prescription.. Public Group Buy Cialis Online Best Price – Cheap Betnovate Gm without prescription – Cheap Betnovate Gm internet 9095 active 1 month ago Save http://total-leasing.net/?acv=people/////\'s-pharmacy-cipro Ohne Rezept, Buy Discount Cialis Online Bestellen Ohne Rezept 🔥 "100g butter, plus extra for Crestor 10mg Online Lowest prices for Generic and Brand drugs. Bonus 10 free pills, discounts and FREE SHIPPING. Cheapest drugs online - buy and save follow url - no prescription needed, order Sildenafil (viagra) with discount 15% - low prices for all ED pills, support 245, Amoxil Cheap Raw Power — and who co-wrote all of the great songs on that record with Iggy Pop. Williamson dropped out of music after that and spent 30 years in the computer business. If you Google him, one of the top photos that comes up is this one showing him in his business attire:

For the current tour with Iggy & the Stooges, Williamson strapped on his electric guitar once again, and that businessman returned to his roots as a protopunk rocker. Sounded great, too. Williamson was fairly staid as he cranked out that cool guitar riffs. The one “new” guy in the band — venerable ex-Minutmen bassist Mike Watts — was more animated, puffing out his cheeks and occasionally jabbing his bass into his amp.

Iggy Pop showed no signs of slowing down. It’s hard to believe the guy is 63. What energy! He’s still one of the greatest live performers in rock music, and on Sunday night he barely let up for an hour and a half. The Riviera Theatre (where the concert was moved after apparently slow tickets sales for the larger Aragon Ballroom) was crowded, hot and sweaty — slightly uncomfortable, but really, isn’t that the perfect environment for a jolt of raw power?

… Looking back on what I wrote about seeing a SXSW interview with Iggy Pop and Ron and Scott Asheton in 2007, here’s a nugget: Iggy said his stage antics were inspired by the dancing he saw in Chicago clubs when he was gigging as a blues drummer. “I had never seen such raw sexuality than I saw in the blues dancing,” he said, adding that he was also inspired by Big Bird.

And click here to see my photos of Iggy & the Stooges (with Ron Asheton) at Lollapalooza 2007.