The house lights went dim as thirsty fans scurried from the bar to their seats with excited, nervous energy. The drums kicked in from behind closed curtains, the beat picked up, and suddenly, the stage was aglow, and almost in precise unison, the crowd hopped to their feet with a loud cheer. Iggy hadn’t even emerged from behind the curtain yet, but the crowd was already transfixed. Like classic 1960’s crooners, the band, featuring Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age in the forefront, was dressed in matching shiny red tuxedo jackets with slicked back hair. Just as the first verse was about to cue, Iggy emerges like a ball of fire, full of energy, gusto, and enthusiasm, with his signature slithery moves, whispy long hair, and distinctive rock n’ roll cool. “He’s still got it” crossed the minds of many as he dove into “Lust for Life” with impeccable delivery, removing his jacket shortly after and performing shirtless the remainder of the show.
At 69 years old, it’s hard to believe Iggy could deliver a performance that left us at once elated, sentimental, transfixed, and in awe. The type of performance that you don’t see very often- the kind that finds you leaving the venue with an ear-to-ear grin, feeling like you’re walking on clouds. The way you felt the first time you saw your favorite band as a teenager- full of giddy, naive excitement and a feeling that your life has just changed in the tiniest of ways.
Iggy’s performance felt as though it took us through an emotional journey, beginning the set with a high, followed by a winding, twisted road that took us from past to present, and back again. Our eyes were wide with fascination as the show unfolded with songs from Post Pop Depression balanced by Bowie-produced Lust for Life and The Idiot. The juxtaposition of old and new sent us spiraling down memory lane, fantasizing about life with Iggy and Bowie in the 70’s, only to be brought back to present at the first lick of any Post Pop Depression track to find him still here, alive and well- the same soul in an older man’s withered body. Although he is still the same rowdy, rock n’roller he once was, it seems Iggy’s grown increasingly sentimental and wise in his older age, perhaps in part due to the recent passing of Bowie. Iggy’s performance felt as though he was baring his soul to us, offering the culmination of everything he has been, is now, and will become. . . at times his performance oozed the sex appeal of the 60’s rockstar, at others, his deranged, punk rock attitude, while certain moments felt as though he was a fatherly figure; beginning songs with amusing, nostalgic introductions, dropping pearls of wisdom and advice reflective of his past and the lessons he learned. At one point, he pleaded “Do not give up! Do not fucking give up! after recounting troubled times in Los Angeles.
The set seemed to conclude with Homme and Iggy playfully singing to each other to “China Girl”. Minutes later, however, the band returned for a seven song encore concluding with “Success”, the perfect compliment to the opening song, “Lust for Life.” The final song choice, with it’s hopeful, upbeat melody, seemed to reflect upon and celebrate what has been hinted to be Iggy’s last album and tour of his life. As the last chord played out, Iggy asked the house to turn on the lights so he could see the beaming faces in the crowd. At that moment, we saw a glimpse of pure, genuine joy radiating from Iggy’s face. As he walked off the stage, with giddy, child-like honesty, he waved and said, “You’ve made me very, very happy!”
In that moment, under the twinkling sky of the Greek Theatre, we shared a moment with an icon, forever ingrained in our minds; and he made us very, very happy too.
– Words by Chelsea Bratches
Here are a few clips from Iggy’s performance at the Greek Theatre:
Lust for Life
In the Lobby
Some Weird Sin
Break Into Your Heart
Fall in Love With Me
Photo by Michelle Shiers