Just the two of us
Robert Lund - Man About Town
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IGGY POP & Dirty Mary
Irving Plaza, Nov. 13, 2001

New York Waste - Dec. 2001



"Light my candles in a daze cause I've found god - yeah, yeah, yeah..." That's what kept going through my head as I staggered away from the Iggy Pop concert at Irving Plaza. "Excitable boy" they all said - yeah!

Iggy's concerts at Irving Plaza in 1999 and 2001 differed as strikingly as the two CD's released in those respective years, "Avenue B" and this summer's "Beat 'Em Up". At Irving Plaza in 1999, the opening band was some lame bunch of college wannabe hippies that had most of the crowd shuffling around impatiently waiting for Iggy Pop to come on stage.

This year, NYC's own Dirty Mary prepped the crowd for what was to follow perfectly, rocking the house with their brash metal sounds and witty insightful lyrics. The audience rocked along enthusiastically, and not a single cry of "IGGY!" was heard during the set by these three hot young women. I've seen most of Dirty Mary's gigs in local clubs, and this was the best they ever played. Who wouldn't, in that great space and with such a crowd! I'm still stumped as to which one of this Holy Trinity I love the most -- it usually turns out to be whichever one is in front of me at the moment.

Iggy Pop came tearing out on stage to the pounding beat of his new band, snarling "You're wearing a mask -- you look better that way!" from the new CD. He didn't play any of the "laid back" type songs that he included in his 1999 concert, firing away at a series of hard rockin numbers from "Beat 'Em Up" mixed with old classics. While "Avenue B" was a good CD, with quality music and many good songs, it's great to see the Wild Child back in action, cutting Loose once again.

Iggy's onstage antics were generally wilder than two years ago. He repeatedly flung his body out onto the crowd, who kept him aloft devotedly as he kept singing into the mic. And OK, I have to acknowledge that maybe all that climbing the balcony and being pulled back by the staff was all "staged", like an elaborate punk Marx Brothers routine. Who cares? It's credible and convincing, and I was close enough to see genuine concern on the face of his tour manager (whom I had met outside, when he refused me a last-minute press and photo pass) as he labored to keep his key asset from damaging himself.

In '99, the security dudes led a number of people onto the stage during "The Passenger"; most danced in a big boss line behind Iggy, while I and a few others approached the front of the stage to sing alongside him. This year it was different. After a couple of verses, Iggy screamed "Get on up here you fucks and destroy this fuckin place!!". I was right in position when about 15-20 people were permitted to get on stage. I huddled around him with about 5 others, heads together, all singing "la-la-la" while grasping mic, until the crowd moshed us right over. I wound up on the floor, Iggy on top of me, and I helped him up. At the risk of sounding like a starstruck kid, I have to say it was pretty awesome holding his sweaty bare back as we cavorted together up there. I was in a daze for days.

When it was finally over, Iggy bounded off the stage looking like he was ready to do another wild gig, while the tightly packed crowd stood around stunned and exhausted. I dunno how he does it, but I sure hope he keeps doin it for a long time. Definitely the pinnacle of my concert experiences to date.