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 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.