Iggy Pop made his first visit to the Twin Cities in fifteen years on April 4, 2016. On his “Post Pop Depression” tour, he played the Northrop Auditorium, accompanied by the Queens of the Stone Age as a backing band. Josh Hommes, of both Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age fame, was a welcome face to the many of the members of the audience that night.
I personally have waited my entire life to see Iggy Pop and for some reason, did not get the chance to until now. I was a bit put off by the show, and not simply because I had worked it up in my head that it would be fantastic. Doing that ruins anything, so it’s best to not get too worked up for events. It is true that my ideal Iggy show would be in some dank, dark, New York punk club back in the late ’60s or so, but that isn’t realistic in the slightest. So I have to stick with what I get. But it was still rather bizarre seeing him at the Northrop Auditorium of all things. Looking back, the last two times he was here (both in 2001 and 1996), he was at First Avenue. That seems so much more the proper atmosphere for him. The Northrop is wonderful venue, but it’s very fancy. It’s the place you would go to where you would imagine the whole audience would sit very properly and enjoy the show, rather than standing, dancing, perhaps singing along while the performer shouted back to the audience while also dancing and occasionally yelling obscenities. Iggy was in his familiar form, which contrasted not only with the style of the venue, but also his backing band, who were dressed in formal wear. Something tells me the band thing was on purpose.
Regardless of the strange tenor of the venue, and even the audience at times, Iggy was fantastic. It was the entire reason I enjoyed the show. He acted the way I had always imagined he would act, interacting with the audience, running back and forth across the stage, and dancing around strangely. His voice was the same as I had always heard it. The majority of the setlist was made up of “Post Pop Depression” and “Lust for Life”, which was a bit of a downer, as it would have been nice to have heard more of his hits. He hadn’t been here in fifteen years, so I’d have to say it’s safe to say that I wasn’t the only person seeing him for the first time. I was more than grateful to hear, “The Passenger” as it is one of my favorite songs ever and I never thought I’d get to hear it live, but it would have been amazing to hear “Search and Destroy”, “1969”, “I’m Sick of You” and the much loved, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”.
Overall, I hope he comes back to Minneapolis before another fifteen years pass. If he does, I hope the venue and setlist are a bit more of an uplifter for this type of music.