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Concert Reviews:
The Stooges Show They "Belong" To Meadow Brook Crowd
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

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ROCHESTER HILLS -- A couple of songs into the Stooges' fierce invasion of the Meadow Brook Music Festival stage on Tuesday night, Iggy Pop bellowed to the crowd that "we're very...hot and we're very...happy to be here with you -- where we belong!"

Nothing could be truer.

The individual Stooges may be scattered around the country now (only guitarist Ron Asheton remains in Ann Arbor, where the band formed in 1967), but playing in Detroit and its environs clearly means something to them. That was certainly the case at its 2003 reunion appearance at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, and in April at Detroit's Fox Theatre.

And at Meadow Brook, following a spirited opening set by the local trio the Hard Lessons, Pop and company didn't let a disappointingly small crowd or oppressive humidity detract from a typically primal 75-minute set of cro-magnon rock 'n' roll. With an instrumental attack as thick and (intentionally) oppressive as the air outside, the Stooges powered through a 16-song selection spanning most of its catalog, excluding only the controversial 1973 set "Raw Power" but spitting out fiery renditions of "Loose," "Down on the Street," "TV Eye," "Fun House," "Not Right," "1969" and "1970."

Coming off a European tour and a performance at the previous weekend's Lollapalooza in Chicago, the Stooges were in finely seasoned form, with Asheton in particular finding room for an assortment of killer solos within the group's wall of sound. And the bare-chested Pop was as hyperactive and unafraid as ever, hurling his sculpted torso into amplifiers, speakers and the pit in front of the stage. The expected stage "invasion" by fans began during "Real Cool Time" and continued during "No Fun," with Pop clearly relishing in the chaotic ebullience of those around him.

The show became more special during the encores, however. Pop pronounced it a "double 'Dog' " night, playing a second version of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with both the stage lights and his jeans down low -- the latter sliding enough to leave nothing about the singer's anatomy to the imagination. The Stooges finished things with a rarity, "Little Doll," holding the "hypnotic, marijuana-laden belly dance number's" Bo Diddley-style beat while Pop made one final communion trip onto the crowd.

As he left the stage, Pop told the crowd that "we..worship you. I can die happy now." Let's hope that's not until after a few more happy returns to the area, however.



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