Iggy Pop

Sydney Opera House, NSW
April 15, 2019

Iggy Large Iggy Pop

When one talks about rock n roll survivors, there may possibly be no one both more rock n roll and more of a survivor than Iggy Pop. Both contemporary of and inspiration for Bowie, Lou Reed, the Ramones, Fred “Sonic” Smith and more, Iggy has outlived them all, including most of the original Stooges. Even more than the Stones, who continue to somehow lurch their way around the world, he appears an unstoppable force of nature.

A week out from his 72nd birthday and a fully-packed concert hall crowd at the Sydney Opera House have been enthralled and amazed by this spry and sprightly rock dynamo, a performance powerhouse who embodies the spirit of rock and roll. He hits the stage at a run, as his highly-regimented six-piece band open fire with “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, dancing and cavorting as the crowds brings up its first cheer of the night. With crushing volume and crystal clarity, they roll on into “Gimme Danger”, “The Passenger” and “Lust for Life” with barely a break, Iggy unloading four of his best-known early in a set that was to last almost two hours. Ahead of “Some Weird Sin” he offers a moment of reflection on its origin, marking the only significant breather for the entire evening. As “Search and Destroy” descends, so too does Iggy, heading down into the crowd to be instantly mobbed. Without a pause he returns to the stage, dangles himself from the edge, makes to hurl himself into the crowd, high-fives those close enough, darts around. “TV Eye” erupts into an orgy of primal energy release as he drops to his knees and slams the hallowed Opera House stage with his belt, his band sounding monstrous.

The main set closes with Iggy and his band ripping through the song his late friend Bowie based on him, “The Jean Genie”, but they’re off stage for what seems like less than a minute before the grimy slow burn of “1969” announces their return. During “No Fun”, Iggy asks “Who wants to give me a hand?” and for possibly the first time in Opera House history there’s a stage invasion as what looks like the first few rows of punters swarm the stage. Another encore later and not only does Iggy look and sound like he’s just opened his set, it’s like he never wants it to end. He lays on the lip of the stage, teasing the crowd into his signature “Real Wild Child” before a final circuit of leaps and bounds. Incredibly, even after this, he offers us one more – “An Australian kind of song”, he says as this ultimate rock and roll beast leaves the crowd reeling with a shuddering, deconstructed and sledgehammer-heavy version of “Red Right Hand”.

With a wave then, he departs, the hall still ringing from the massive volume and the crowd in awe of the intensity of Iggy Pop, master performer, perhaps the last great pure rocker, showing us all how to do rock and roll.

I Wanna Be Your Dog
Gimme Danger
The Passenger
Lust For Life
Skull Ring
I’m Sick of You
Some Weird Sin
Repo Man
Search and Destroy
TV Eye
Mass Production
The Jean Genie

No Fun
Down on the Street
Real Cool Time

Five Foot One
Real Wild Child (Wild One)

Red Right Hand