Iggy and the Stooges bring ‘Raw Power’ to the people

Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/ Associated Press Iggy Pop (seen here in Sweden last month) rocked the House of Blues. Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/ Associated Press
Iggy Pop (seen here in Sweden last month) rocked the House of Blues. (Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/ Associated Press)
By Scott McLennan
Globe Correspondent / September 2, 2010

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Iggy and the Stooges is as good a pairing of frontman and band as you can get, judging from the group’s joyously chaotic yet deeply musical performance Tuesday at the House of Blues.

The Iggy in question is, of course, Iggy Pop, the 63-year-old sinewy and shirtless ball of energy responsible for belting out the tunes. And the Stooges these days consist of guitarist James Williamson, drummer Scott Asheton, bass player Mike Watt and sax player Steve Mackay.

This lineup is notable for bringing Williamson back into the fold roughly 35 years after he and Pop parted ways, though not before collaborating on the landmark 1973 album “Raw Power.’’

The 85-minute concert hit upon all of “Raw Power,’’ plus other songs from that era of Stooges, such as the harrowing “Open Up and Bleed’’ and caterwauling “I Got a Right.’’

“Raw Power’’ covers more moods in eight tracks than many bands do over the course of an entire career, and the current version of the Stooges ably conjured them all.

Pop, who dived three times into the crowd before the night was over, marched the band through the manic defiance of title track “Raw Power’’ and “Search and Destroy,’’ as well as the giddiness of “Shake Appeal,’’ which resulted in fans swarming the stage to act out the song as honorary Stooges.

During their genre-melting performance, Williamson applied slinky slide guitar to the churning blues of “I Need Somebody.’’ Elsewhere, Pop manifested a psychotic glint for the wretched decrees of “Penetration’’ and “Death Trip.’’

The Stooges also tapped the dark “Beyond the Law’’ from the album “Kill City’’ that Pop and Williamson made post-Stooges.

The Stooges covered some pre-“Raw Power’’ material, offering up an especially debauched “I Wanna Be Your Dog’’ that made you glad this show was moved from the airy Bank of America Pavilion to the tighter confines of the House of Blues, where the energy of the moment ricocheted with greater force.

The Neighborhoods opened with a punched-up set full of garage-pop anthems plus some new tracks showcasing the Boston trio’s enduring power and appeal.

Scott McLennan can be reached at


With the Neighborhoods

At: House of Blues, Tuesday