This year's tour was centered on the seminal 1973 LP Raw Power
, a record which never got its true due in a live setting, the band spiraling to an end before having a chance to pummel audiences with the stellar material. By that time Williamson had moved to Asheton's spot on guitar, and he was bumped to the bass position. Out of deference, during the previous tours Iggy had the band stick to material Asheton played guitar on, namely the first two Stooges records and also 2007's The Weirdness
along with some tracks he and brother Scott Asheton contributed to on Skull Ring.
While those shows were great, it's tough to see the band not play such primal rock numbers such as "Death Trip," "Raw Power," and most importantly "Search and Destroy." If aliens landed on the earth's crust tomorrow and demanded to know what this 'rock and roll' was all about, without a moment's notice I would drop the needle on the opening track of Raw Power
and watch their reaction to this extremely visceral chunk of audio pleasure, bursting with rebellion, pain, desolation, aloofness, and power - all the stuff that makes rock music so great. The guitar break into the chorus will always raise fists and back of the neck hairs in equal measures, and it was a glorious moment to see this explode on stage. No offense to the late Asheton, but Williamson is a much better guitar player and his playing really powered the show. Mike Watt
was held back a bit physically by his leg brace (kneecap dislocation suffered during a gig last month in France (read all about it in Watt's highly entertaining tour diary
), and Scott 'Rock Action' Asheton brought the beat down in his rather inelastic but highly effective style.
It just wouldn't be a Stooges gig without the thunderclap/lightning strike of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "1970," a song The Damned covered on their debut 1977 LP as "I Feel Alright"; if there was any question as to whether or not The Stooges
were the origin of punk rock, it's clear that they easily influenced as many if not more bands than the Velvet Underground. But it was the proto-hardcore neck throttler of "I Got A Right" which really electrified the set, a song that pre-dated Raw Power
yet not released even on the new Legacy deluxe reissue of that album. Subtlety was never The Stooges
strong suit; bringing a real edge and menace to rock music was, and still is. You can laugh about the band getting ready to file their AARP applications but don't underestimate what they've done, and are still capable of (though Iggy was genuinely concerned when a violently tossed mic stand bounced off the stage and inadvertently hit a security guard).