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Iggy and The Stooges, on tour promoting their latest album “Ready to Die,” played on August 6 at the Spandau Citadel in Berlin, Germany, as part of the Citadel music festival. The concert was organized by Trinity Music GmbH in cooperation with Semmel Concerts GmbH. Due to the peculiar venue, the event’s scenario was astonishing: the Spandau Citadel is a Renaissance fortress located on an island created by two rivers crossing the city of Berlin. The majesty of the venue was well adequate to frame the live performance of one of the most relevant acts in the music scene. Iggy and The Stooges are indeed considered responsible for the birth of punk rock, with the record ‘Raw Power,’ released in 1973, which later became one of music history’s milestones.
At the Citadel, the supporting band Pothead took the stage around 7:00 p.m., playing for about 40 minutes. The band entertained a crowd which seemed to really enjoy the local act’s performance. Pothead is a Berlin based band which plays some old-school rock’n’roll. The band’s performance was an adequate and not-too-stressful introduction to the evening.
Finally the Godfathers of punk got on stage at 8:15 p.m. setting the evening on fire. The band opened with the song ‘Raw Power’ and people instantly went crazy, creating a flow of energy exchanged from stage to audience and back, which went on for the entire concert.
Iggy Pop is well known for his peculiar way of staying on stage, jumping, dancing and shaking as if he were possessed by some music ghost driving him, while penetrating the air with his beautiful and deep voice. He kept this usual attitude during the gig, acting like a real “street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm.” The rest of the members, although liberating their energy in a different way, are also always able to give the crowd a strongly energetic experience while playing their instruments with the virtuosity of wise masters. James Williamson’s ability of playing guitar creates a sound so powerful, rich and real that seems to live of its own life during the whole concert; Mike Watt’s bass notes make the soul tremble and the sax played by Steve Mackay warms the heart, while Toby Dammit on drums fits perfectly into the role, sometimes pushing drums to the extreme.
Iggy and The Stooges played more than one hour and a half, proposing a set list composed of songs by some of their most famous albums, with a focus on the two albums “Raw Power” and the latest “Ready to Die.” New songs like ‘Burn,’ ‘Ready to Die’ and ‘Sex and Money’ perfectly merged together with classics such as ‘Search and Destroy,’ ‘Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell,’ ‘Raw Power’ and ‘Open Up and Bleed.’ When Iggy announced ‘The Passenger’ was going to be the next song, the crowd became even wilder, accompanying the band during the whole song. The audience was composed of people of diverse ages, going from some experienced rock’n’roll fans to 4 year-old kids. One of the many qualities of this band is to be able to satisfy, both with its sound as well as with its live performances, a wide variety of people, who find in Iggy and The Stooges a safe harbor of greatness.
As mentioned, Iggy Pop did not spare himself, jumping and dancing like the real rock icon he is for the entire concert. He stage dived, he got off stage several times to shake hands with the audience and get the deep love coming from the attendees, giving it back to them with his pure and genuine rock star soul. As typical in an Iggy and The Stooges concert, he told the audience to join the band on stage, so that a large group of attendees had the chance to dance along with him.
Iggy and The Stooges live reaches levels of quality and power which are hard to imagine if not experienced. With no doubt, Iggy and The Stooges is the event to attend. Each music lover owes it to oneself.
Photo Courtesy of It’s Only Music, but Live