"Raw Power Live: In the Hands of the Fans"


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RATING: 8/10

It continually amazes to watch primal pre-punk icon IGGY POP bounding across the stage at an age that qualifies him for the senior discount at Denny's. Lean and mean; the guy's energy is without bound. The definitive case of it is made during IGGY AND THE STOOGES' 2010 reunion gig at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in front a wildly appreciative crowd, one during which the seminal "Raw Power" album was performed in its entirety, as well as multiple cuts from THE STOOGES' self-titled debut and "Fun House".

Filmed by six fans who won the opportunity through an on-line contest, the video quality is solid and without frill, The audio captures a live-as-it-gets sound that suffers slightly from a mix that pushes the guitar a little too far out front at the expense of Mike Watt's bass and Scott Asheton's drums. A minor issue at worst, the show is nonetheless energetic and glorious its conveyance of a style that still confounds some and amazes many over 30 years later. Bitter sweet in that "Raw Power" guitarist James Williamson replaces the late Ron Asheton, but given a boost by STOOGES' saxophonist Steve Mackay, the performance of "Raw Power" anthems like "Search and Destroy", "Death Trip", and "Shake Appeal" (during which the band was joined onstage by a throng of fans) forces all needles into the red, making select tracks from the first two albums (e.g. "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "1970", and all time freak-out "Fun House") go over like a napalm run following a ground assault.

Best of all is that once the first notes are played terms like "reunion" become meaningless in the context of what is merely another transcendent IGGY AND THE STOOGES live experience. The interviews with the band conducted by those same six fans end up far more informative than most typical interviews by veteran journalists. This is one case where ignoring the interviews in favor of the performance would be a cardinal sin; both are integral parts of the complete package. The same goes for Mike Watt's interesting liner notes about the show. There is nothing tired or retreaded about it. This is the real deal; a must for fans.


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