The Gig: Iggy and the Stooges – NXNE 2010 headliners
Where: Dundas Square, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When: 19 June 2010
In One Word: Legendary
On Saturday night Iggy and the Stooges, headliners of NXNE 2010, took to the stage at Dundas Square in Toronto. This free show attracted thousands of people, with Yonge Street closed off to accommodate the massive turnout. (Apparently this was the first time Yonge Street’s ever been closed.)
I can’t recall a concert being so hotly anticipated – bar perhaps my previous encounter with the Stooges. I mean, it’s the Stooges: if you live in Toronto and have any kind of interest in music then there were no excuses for not being here.
The night was hot and humid but the threat of rain and thunder never transpired. Thousands of Torontonians got hot and sweaty together while the ever-shirtless Iggy Pop doused himself on stage with water bottles.
The Stooges were always going to deliver. Their stage manager is an intimidating, no-nonsense kind of guy, and it was amusing to watch as he shouted at the sound guy and other stage hands during set-up: “There’s no sound in this monitor. What?!… Come here and listen for yourself then!” There was no doubt who was calling the shots and running this show – that Napoleon type figure makes sure everything is in order for Iggy Pop.
Dundas Square erupted when Iggy made his appearance. The audience became a human tidal wave, as everyone crashed and rolled and within moments I’d moved five rows forward. For the next hour and a half the people hanging off your pockets became your friends.
The Stooges played through material from all three of their albums. Every moment was soaked up with a jaw-dropping, transfixed gaze – “Is this really happening? Iggy Pop. Wow.” Gobsmacked.
Early on in the set, Iggy invited some of the crowd to jump the barrier and join him on stage – those people will have an extra special memory from tonight, but everyone will have their own story.
My own story is that I was denied access to the photo pit for this show – that was frustrating but I was determined to get some shots of one of rock music’s true icons, and one of my ultimate favourite bands ever. Concerts and moments like this are the reason why I moved here from my wee rural village area of Scotland. I’m not here for a vacation: I’m here to try and make a career around this rock n’ roll thing that I’m addicted too, so you bet I was on a mission. As a photographer, I had to document this, and other factors like potential damage to my camera (already held together in places with electrical tape) did not cross my mind…
Look out honey, ’cause I’m using technology
Ain’t got time to make no apology
Soul radiation in the dead of night
Love in the middle of a fire fight
Legendary night. An “I was there” concert if ever I saw one.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Pictures of Iggy and the Stooges: