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A few songs into the set, Iggy stepped back to the drum riser, picked up a bottle of water, poured it over his head, into his mouth and then out into the packed 9:30 Club pit. He paused for a breath and then launched into the opening howl of TV Eye, a song originally released almost 40 years ago.

With most of the current Stooges lineup well into their late 50’s (Iggy will turn 60 in two weeks while former Minuteman Mike Watt on bass is a limber 49), witnessing the group pound through their groundbreaking concoction of psychedelic garage rock is a strange experience, something like opening a radioactive time capsule. But let me be clear:

Scotty Asheton still=cement mixer.
Ron Asheton still=searing volcano lizard.
Steve McKaye still=acid freak-out jazz.
Iggy Pop still=ass-crack maniac.
Mike Watt still=headshaking low-end visionary.

Sure, the new material is not up to snuff (let’s be honest, “I see your hair as energy/my dick is turning into a tree” doesn’t even come close to “And now I’m ready to feel your hand/And lose my heart on the burning sands”), but when the Stooges launched into hits like “Down on the street,” “I wanna be your dog” and “Funhouse” the pit went nuts.

My personal favorite was watching Mike Watt work his mid 60’s gibson bass with characteristic intensity – he is definitely one of my heroes and was unassumingly hanging out on the 9:30 balcony area during the “Sista’s in the pit” set – I was lucky enough to shake his hand and thank him for all the music over the years.

Take a listen to NPR’s recording of the show and check out Joel’s photos – and watch this video for context. And this one too.

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