‘Lust For Life:’ Iggy Pop In Los Angeles


Iggy Pop delivered a memorable performance at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles last Thursday. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Jake Tully

In what may be the Godfather of Punk’s twilight hour of recording and performance, Iggy Pop delivered an utterly transcendent and fatalistic performance at the Greek Theatre Thursday evening.

Joined by Josh Homme and the remainder of the Queens of The Stone Age in support of his latest record Post Pop Depression, Pop has never perhaps been so virile or ornery since reuniting with The Stooges nearly a decade ago.

‘I’m gonna find my way to get to everybody in this audience,” said Pop as he pounded his chest and skulked around stage. “You know why? Cause I’m ornery and I can f—ing hang – oh yes I can.”

Kicking off the night with an utterly glamorous and near maddening reimagining of “Lust For Life,” Pop dove out on stage began contorting himself around every syllable, physically submitting to his own lyricism.

Clad only in black trousers and flanked by the bright red suits of Homme and company, Pop appeared to be the Dashiell Hammett incarnate of a blond Satan as he antagonized the Greek audience and rolled out hit after hit from his misfit solo career.

“There’s four sets right up front that are vacant so tell security to bring four people to fill them,” said Pop as his writhed around following a cut from The Idiot. “It makes me sick to see them empty. Somebody probably couldn’t make it because they passed out doing something dirty in their Los Feliz triplex.”

The evening made for a hellish dream sequence straight out of a scrapped Jim Jarmusch short featuring Pop relishing his dominion over the damned acolytes of Jim Osterberg.

Never once losing steam over the course of two hours and showing his age only in his increasingly flattened torso, Pop is one of the best examples of near-septuagenarians putting on a quality show nearly 50 years after coming into Rolling Stone era fame and prominence.

Pop played the part of his “open me up and watch me bleed” persona up as he obliged the Greek with “The Passenger” and “Some Weird Sin” yet he seemed to particularly light up when performing the new material co-written with Homme.

“Alone in the cheapo motel by the highway to hell,” crowed Pop on his latest single ‘Gardenia.’ “America’s greatest living poet was ogling you all night – but here you are now!”

Such a sentiment proved to be a testament for the night with the Los Angelenos weirdos coming front and center for their beloved miscreant and entertainer.

“I know there are some people in this town that are a little lonely and a little down,” said Pop as the band caught their breath. “My advice for those people is do not fu—ing give up ever.”