SXSW 2013
punk rock legends

Iggy and The Stooges render everyone else inconsequential with thundering performance

The Stooges render everyone else inconsequential at SXSW

Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_iggy and the stooges_march 2013_stage

The most striking juxtaposition to be found on a SXSW bill came Wednesday night at the Mohawk, with Iggy and The Stooges sandwiched between Japandroids and Ghost Face Killah.

Simply put, we all feel sorry for any act that had to play before, after, or within five days of The Stooges. 

After rolling up to the venue in a white van (soon engulfed by fans waiting outside) a mere 30 seconds before running on stage, rock-star legend status had been confirmed. One chord into the early punk rock anthem "Raw Power," and Iggy and The Stooges had rendered every hot band currently climbing the indie charts inconsequential. 

 One chord into the early punk rock anthem "Raw Power," and Iggy and The Stooges had rendered every hot band currently climbing the indie charts inconsequential. 

At 65-years-old, Iggy Pop holds on to the rebellious nature in any way he can. He continually jumps into the crowd, prompting his tour manager to pull him back in by the legs; he spits; sticks his hand in his crotch; sucks his middle finger; lets the lucky few in the front row stroke his abs; and looks lasciviously towards his bodacious wife while ripping through "Double Ds."

And he loves every minute of it. I have not seen an act, perhaps in my life, as gracious and outwardly thrilled to perform as Iggy and The Stooges. Between every crass punk rock gesture was a smile he couldn't disguise. At one point, Iggy asked the Mohawk to raise the lights because "I want to see you guys — I wanna see, I wanna see, I wanna see!"

Though the band used the opportunity to debut new material from the forthcoming Ready to Die, the biggest frenzy of the night was ignited by "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Crawling on the floor with mic in mouth, Iggy said "I can sing songs all night about being a dog." Other tracks from the backlog included "1970," "Search and Destroy," and "No Fun."

 At 65-years-old, Iggy Pop holds on to the rebellious nature in any way he can.

With SXSW set times strictly limited, Iggy and The Stooges milked every moment, hardly taking pause between shredding guitars. So much so did Iggy want the moment to last that he didn't leave when the band's allotted time on stage was over. He called his bandmates (all of them grey and aged, but with every bit of spunk) back onstage for one last chance to raise his fist to the sky during SXSW with "Fun House."

This is the stuff rock and roll is supposed to be made of, and last night's performance should serve as a humbling measuring-stick for anyone in the business today.