Almost 40 years ago in late seventies, Toronto Iggy Pop and The Ramones played a show at The Masonic Temple – punk rock was in its infancy and these men were all to become its legendary forefathers.
No doubt some of the audience who attended Saturday night’s Post Pop Depression show at the Sony Centre would be lucky enough to have ticket stubs from that 1977 show squirreled away somewhere.
An eclectic mix, 2016 concert-goers ranged in age from those who have been fans since his 1969 debut with The Stooges to much younger fans who have more recently discovered the brilliance of Iggy Pop.
Teaming up with fellow esteemed alt rock musician Josh Homme, Pop’s 17th studio album Post Pop Depression was released earlier this year. The tour that has followed includes music from the new album as well as past hits.
Joining Iggy Pop and Josh Homme on the album and tour; Homme’s Queens of The Stone Age bandmate Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys founding member Matt Helders. A stage packed with multiple generations of talent, the group delivered a legendary live performance with Iggy at the helm – as always, the consummate stage performer.
Signs at the door stated that the artist had requested all cameras and recording devices be put away. Looking towards the stage across the crowd, rarely did a screen flicker and without the distraction of technology there was definitely a lot more dancing going on.
The evening began with “Lust For Life” and ended with an epic multi-song encore, of which the final song was “Success”. Iggy crooned to the sultry beat of his hit “Nightclubbing” and sang his original song “China Girl” (popularized by his good friend and collaborator David Bowie).
Old favourties “The Passenger” and “Sixteen” rocked the house while fans sang along to new songs “Break Into Your Heart” and “Gardenia”. The stage was set very simply, a stark white background with something that almost resembled a ramp from centre stage (behind Iggy) ascending up into the ceiling and beyond.
During one song the “ramp” almost resembled a meter of some sort as a red line of light was projected onto it near the top. The symbolic interpretations are limitless given that Pop has suggested this could be his final album and the fact that he, at 68 years old, is one of the few remaining greats of his generation and exploring issues such as his own mortality.
In previous interviews Homme stated that Post Pop Depression “picks up” where Pop’s work with David Bowie in 1977 left off. The two albums released that year, Lust For Life and The Idiot are among Pop’s most enduring albums to date and Post Pop Depression will likely follow suit.
For those who have loved him for more than 40 years, those just discovering him today and everyone in-between – Iggy Pop reigns as one of the greatest punks to have ever rocked this earth.
April 9, 2016
Photo by Bobby Singh – http://www.frontofhousephotography.com