Q: What’s The Best Concert You’ve Ever Attended?
A: Iggy Pop, who I saw on the Beat ‘Em Up tour in 2001. He opened with “M.A.S.K.” and it was the only time a live performer totally had me from note one with a song I’d never heard before. It helped considerably that Iggy didn’t saunter to the stage like some “dig my life” asshole but instead came out hopping up and down wildly like Bugs Bunny in “Rabbit Punch,” throwing swift jabs like he was about to get in the ring with the Crusher. The guy grabbed the microphone and gave two hundred percent as he bitterly ranted and wailed over “M.A.S.K.’s” mechanical smashing. You could have cut the Ig’s passion, his societal dissatisfaction, his raw disgust, with only a chainsaw.
It didn’t really matter what he did after that—he played all the hits, of course, all with the same unbelievable energy, but he also played “Death Trip,” which I found miraculous simply because it seemed like a Stooges song Iggy’d surely skip in concert. There was a violent crowd surge when the band launched into “Search & Destroy,” to the point where I was immobilized for a minute or so by a cushion of damp bodies from all sides, and I thought, “Yeah, that’s the correct reaction to this sequence of guitar chords.”
Standing in line before the show I got to chatting with a couple in front of me, and the girl made some remark about how Iggy was the coolest person on the planet and he didn’t even have any tattoos, which ever since has been my little mantra every time I think I want to get Krusty the Clown permanently branded on my bicep.