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Iggy Pop Unites With Duff McKagan, Chad Smith at Ferocious ‘Every Loser’ Tour Launch in L.A.

Over the past few years, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan have played just about every stadium on the planet with their respective bands. But on Friday night, they scaled down drastically at the 1,100-seat Regent Theater in Los Angeles to serve as Iggy Pop’s rhythm section at the launch of his five-show West Coast tour.

The supergroup, which also features guitarists Andrew Watt and Jamie Hince, spent 80 minutes ripping through songs from Iggy’s excellent new LP Every Loser, and classics from his six-decade career, both solo and with the Stooges. It was, without any doubt, one of the greatest rock concerts I’ve seen in years. It was also a vivid reminder that Iggy, even a day shy of his 77th birthday, remains the most electrifying frontman on the planet.

Iggy started the night by delivering the spoken-word interlude “The News for Andy” offstage before bounding out for “Neo Punk. “Got a custom Rolls-Royce, I’m a neo punk,” he roared. “Old ladies cum when I flash my junk/I’m a hunky, Gucci model neo punk.” He followed it up with “Frenzy,” also from Every Loser, before dipping back in time 50 years for a ferocious rendition of “Raw Power.” It sent the crowd into hysterics, separated Iggy’s vest from his bare chest, and inspired quite a few stage divers to leap into the audience. McKagan played this song on “The Spaghetti Incident?” 30 years ago, and he sang it on several stops of the GN’R reunion tour over the past few years, but this was finally an opportunity to play it with Iggy himself. It’s clear he was relishing every second of it.

The rest of the show toggled between Every Loser cuts, Stooges standards like “TV Eye,” “Loose,” and “Search And Destroy,” and Iggy solo tunes like “The Passenger,” “Sixteen,” and “Lust For Life.” Watt, who also produced Every Loser, was the MVP as he effortlessly channeled Ron Asheton, James Williamson, Ricky Gardiner, Phil Palmer, and other guitar greats from Iggy’s past. “This is incredibly old, like me,” Iggy said prior to a fantastically sludgy “Nightclubbing.” “Time to sniff some drugs, drink some hard liquor, and get down, baby.” The main set ended with a primal “Search and Destroy” where Iggy transformed back into the “street walking cheetah” of his Stooges days.

A mellow cover of “Walk On The Wild Side” was a surprise start to the encore, though perhaps he wanted to honor Lou Reed as we near the 10-year anniversary of his death. “No fuckin’ war, no politics,” he ad-libbed near the end. “No social media. We’re going to walk on the wild side, baby! Playing for you has been very fun. We’ve done the very best we coulda done. And now we’re going to sing a song about a very special dog.”


He could only have been referencing “I Want To Be Your Dog,” and it was a particularly feral version of the 1969 Stooges classic. As the final notes rang out, including a few bars of “No Fun,” it occurred to me that everyone who played on that original song was dead besides Iggy himself. This is a band that’s been through a lot of misery and suffering, but there’s no better way to honor for Iggy to honor his fallen bandmates than to keep their music alive like this.

For everyone else in the band, it’s a chance to live out their childhood rock fantasies. Sadly, the tour wraps after just four more shows since everyone has to return to their day jobs. Let’s hope they find a way to take this show to other parts of the country in the near future. It’s almost cruel to put something together this magical and only do it five times.

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