Iggy Pop : Paris Hippodrome De Longchamp

Still exuding a lust for life, Iggy rampages through a thrilling set in promotion of his new 'Beat 'Em Up' opus...

The rain begins to fall as soon as Iggy Pop hits the Scene Paris stage at the Solidays festival. “Merci France, fuckin’ merci,” he drawls, as if thanking the skies, as if he’s controlling the weather with his raindance. Paris, at least, is at his mercy for now.

[I]”Which mask are you?”[/I] he asks in the opening song ‘Mask’. Iggy‘s consists of a goatee which, along with his long hair, gives him the look of a demure rock icon (albeit one who has life experience written all over his face). He’s almost convincing until he removes his jean jacket and bares his small but defined elastic frame. It’s Iggy alright. The Iguana.

Looking healthier and more adrenaline-charged than ever, the godfather of punk wants to show that he’s no has-been. Who cares if some of the songs sound like they’re cut from the same pattern. He’s part of that group of artists who have made such a mark on the music scene in the past that the music itself no longer matters. His career, spanning thirty years of music, accounts for his consistent popularity.

So now it’s all about performance. At age 54, he still oozes energy, gyrating and wiggling as spasmodically as ever. Backed by a Metallica-hard band, his repertoire includes both old classics and new songs from his latest album ‘Beat ‘Em Up’, including the title track, ‘Howl’ and ‘Go For The Throat’, during which he admits, [I]”I’m fucked up”[/I]. The audience sings along throughout the show, chanting the unwholesome choruses on ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and even joining Iggy‘s wails on ‘Howl’.

At the end of ‘Corruption’, he shares one of rock’s worst kept secrets with us: “I’m gonna tell you something. I’m a real wild one, wild one,” and bursts into his personal theme song, ‘Real Wild Child’. His home is the stage – he invites a group of fans, young and less young, to dance in his sanctum. And as the band shift into ‘Lust For Life’, one grey-haired fan insists on hugging Iggy before being chased across the stage and behind the drum kit by a staff member.

And then, when Iggy‘s left the stage, the rain stops. He’s still, after all these years, working that demonic magic.

Talia Soghomonian