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By Adam Palermo
It was ostensibly a warm-up gig for “Post Pop Depression Tour” — named for Iggy Pop’s album that gets its formal release March 18 — but the 68-year-old’s show Wednesday night at the Teragram Ballroom felt more than that.
In the shadow of the recent passing of so many rock legends, including Iggy’s friend and collaborator David Bowie, the 2 1/2-hour show was a celebration of the moment. It could hardly have started more appropriately than with “Lust for Life,” a song that’s a tick short of 40 years old.
Backed by a smart-dressed band including Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and journeyman guitarist Matt Sweeney, Iggy went into “Sister Midnight” before playing “American Valhalla,” one of seven songs they premiered from the new album.
The highlight was the single “Sunday,” but the most poignant was perhaps “Chocolate Drops,” which Iggy preceded with an anecdote about staying on an upper floor of a Beverly Hills hotel with a view overlooking the Beverly Hills jail, where he had spent time four decades before. He joked that when you’re at rock bottom, you’re still close to the top, and that the chocolate drops on his hotel pillow looked like shit, which reminded him of jail. He saved a heavier diatribe for the ending of “Paraguay.”
The album is streaming on NPR:
||| Live: Iggy Pop’s “Post Pop Depression Tour” visits the Greek Theatre on April 28.
||| Wednesday’s setlist: Lust for Life, Sister Midnight, American Valhalla, Sixteen, In the Lobby, Some Weird Sin, Funtime, Tonight, Sunday, German Days, Mass Production, Nightclubbing, The Passenger, China Girl. [Break] Break Into Your Heart, Fall in Love With Me, Repo Man, Gardenia, Baby, Chocolate Drops, Paraguay, Success