Iggy Pop/Impotent Sea Snakes : Atlanta Earthlink live

Iggy Pop/Impotent Sea Snakes : Atlanta Earthlink live

An incendiary performance from the long haired, shirtless, vein straining, skin-tight jean clad Iggy...

Halloween comes three days early, dirty pun intended, Sunday night, as Atlanta ‘s own Impotent Sea Snakes bring faux fur and simulated sadomasochism to EarthLink Live opening for Iggy Pop.

Performing to a semi-circular arena of many leather and latex wearing longhairs, the glam metal Sea Snakes – with men in thongs and fishnets and women in, well, very little besides strategically placed electrical tape – preach and screech pseudo-prog metal songs of pleasure, pain and protection.

Ending their set with Jim Carroll ‘s ‘People Who Died’, they pack the stage with audience members before packing it in.

Simulated sex acts can’t hold a candle to the visceral thrill of the main act, however. No amount of dripping hot wax, vibrators or PVC panties get the crowd going as much as seeing the outline of ‘Godfather of Punk’ Iggy Pop bouncing like an uncoordinated prize fighter as his band takes the stage just seconds before he tackles the mic stand for opening number ‘Mask’ off his new full-length, ‘Beat ‘Em Up’.

Then for the next hour-and-a-half the feral 54-year-old, with his hair long and shaggy, shirtless, veins straining, skin-tight jeans glued to his slender frame as they have been – on and off – for more than 30 years, tears in to tracks from almost every album when he isn’t flinging mic stands, flailing madly or belly flopping on the crowd.

Animated and aggressive, Iggy Pop and his band don’t pause once. He ranges from spoken word to primal scream over searing, primitive grooves and a pounding rhythm. In Pop ‘s slower, lower register you can easily still hear what – David Bowie stole. The set – mostly from the more metallic ‘Beat ‘Em Up’ with many post-’90s numbers but also including classic anthems like ‘Search and Destroy’ , ‘Cold Metal’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, ‘I Got A Right’ and ‘Real Wild Child’ flows perfectly, sometimes a little uniformly, but ultimately highly satisfying.

Not satisfied with being caged by the stage, however, Pop calls for and gets an audience mobbing during ‘The Passenger’ so he can ‘fucking feel the energy.’ In return the audience get to feel songs like ‘Death Trip’, ‘T.V. Eye’ and finally ‘No Fun’. As Iggy Pop runs the pit, shakes hands then exiting, his guitarist plays ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, lights firecrackers and leaves his amp humming loudly. Finally all that’s left is the smell of gunpowder and sweat – perfect for such an incendiary performer.

Tony Ware