Back on his feet, the wild man punches out proto-punk classics at the Palladium.
It says everything about Iggy Pop that in an age of wireless technology he still opts for a microphone with a cord. The choice led to some serious inconveniences Thursday night at the Hollywood Palladium, where Iggy & the Stooges played the first show of a brief West Coast tour.
The 64-year-old frontman was shadowed by a cable wrangler whose job was to collect the slack created every time Iggy Pop dived into the audience; it fell to this guy, too, to prevent the cord from tripping up the 100 or so fans who joined the Stooges onstage during “Shake Appeal.” (“Occupy Hollywood!” Iggy Pop had shouted by way of instruction.) Are roadies entitled to hazard pay? The cable wrangler, his shirt tucked business-mindedly into his jeans, made a strong argument for it.
Iggy Pop's use of the tether didn't signal any kind of old-school chauvinism; it wasn't wrapped up in ideas about the superior sound of vintage equipment. The singer works this way because he understands his role as an essentially theatrical one, and he knows that theater requires conflict.
So there was the microphone, straining against (but somehow never breaking free from) whatever it was plugged into. And there were Iggy Pop's pants, inching down (but somehow never slipping off) his ropy, parenthesis-shaped form. And, of course, there was the Stooges' music, which for 72 minutes kept threatening to veer off-course and collapse into a heap of riff and beat. It never did.