Prior to their Riot Fest appearance, Stooges guitarist James Williamson issued a sarcastic jab to the show headliners: “Good luck to the Replacements on following us,” he told Exclaim!. Given the anticipation leading up to the Mats first gig in over 20 years, it sounded like a grab for media attention. But who knew this quintet of geezers would actually give them a run for their money.
The band – Williamson, bassist Mike Watt, drummer Scott Asheton and sax and keyboard player Steve Mackay – took the stage launching into “Raw Power.” The Lizard King wasn’t far behind, pausing behind Mackay briefly before James Osterberg had fully transformed into his manic alter ego, Iggy Pop. This guy is now well into his 60s, his body is lean, if wrinkly and his stage presence remains completely magnetic.
Iggy’s got a shtick, that’s for sure, but my God does it work for him. He remains a menacing figure, just
ask the photogs standing underneath him as he leered over the photo pit during “Gimme Danger.” He’s matched by the Stooges, who, despite age and line-up changes, remain one of the fie
As if to prove that he can still be the real wild child his audience wants hi to be, he even launchedhimself into the audience unexpectedly during “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” If he hurt himself in the process, he showed no sign of it, emerging back on stage as manic as before. “Search & Destroy,” “No Fun,” “Funhouse,” the list of classics was impressive even if they did skip over “Out in the Street” rcest bands alive, throwing down slabs of proto-punk riffage while Iggy did his thing.
While there was no way the Stooges were going to steal headlines from the Replacements, they certainly gave the band a run for their money. Moreover, they proved why they were (and continue to be) a catalyst for pretty much every single band who graced the Riot Fest stage over the weekend.