“I jumped in the van and managed to somehow lick his chest,” remembered Grace Potter in a 2012 interview with Glide about her first encounter with Iggy Pop. “Don’t ask me how it happened but I was just an excitable young thing, just basically a screaming fan.”
Iggy Pop can do that to people. The former James Osterberg cemented his reputation as an instigator a long time ago, when he himself was young and excitable and part of the seminal punk band The Stooges. So why would you think at the age of sixty-nine he would be anything different.
Back in May, Pop played the Royal Albert Hall with his Post Pop Depression band – Josh Homme, Dean Fertita and Matt Helders. While they were dressed in shiny suits, Pop was fashioned, at least for the first song, in a black suit coat. But Pop being Pop, he was always best when his upper torso was uninhibited by clothing. So with that item discarded, the man from Michigan was ready to rumble through some of his best punk songs and new material and it was all captured in the new live DVD, Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall, from Eagle Rock Entertainment.
There are no bings and whistles on this, just pure unadulterated Pop. And that’s all you need. Between his crowd surfing and Homme’s guitar shenanigans, the songs of the past and present come alive with juicy verve. Not one to warble away with niceties, he laughingly calls the Albert Hall “a dump” and showers out fucks like blowing bubbles with gum. A non-conformer to the end.
Post Pop Depression is one of Pop’s best albums to date, released in March and produced by Homme, who has brought out the shiny penny in the punk idol. The songs are strong and the energy they bring to them onstage is like lightning in a bottle: “Gardenia,” “Break Into Your Heart,” “In The Lobby;” “American Valhalla” has all the oily panache of a snake charmer reeling you in, while the excellent “Chocolate Drops”/”Paraguay” sends you spinning out of control with delight.
Pop’s first two solo albums, Lust For Life and The Idiot, are salivatingly represented almost in their entirety sans two songs per record. But if you’re looking for some Stooges action, you’re out of luck.
There are several variations of Post Pop Depression available, including DVD or Blu-Ray with two CDs, which doubles the pleasure of Pop’s bold-faced anti-establishment musical snarlings.
In closing, if David Bowie was the first best thing to happen to Pop, then Josh Homme is definitely the second. Pop has never sounded better, thanks in part to Homme’s touch on both the new and older songs. This is a collaboration you wish to see continue into the future. But nobody does Iggy Pop better than Iggy Pop: “If you want people to pay attention to you, you need a good frontman. And Iggy was a great frontman and still is,” former Stooges guitar player James Williamson said in a 2014 Glide interview. And that’s all you need.