Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iggy and The Stooges- In The Hands of the Fans DVD

Raw Power

Through an online competition six fans were sent to film and interview Iggy and The Stooges play the “Raw Power” album at Montocelli New York’s “ All Tomorrow’s Parties” Festival.  The competitors had to submit a HD video clip of themselves with probing questions and reasons for wanting to film that show a passion for the Stooges.

Fans filming a band could have led to dubious quality videoing with the camera operator getting carried with the music as on the average amatuer youtube clip.   However many of these fans come from a background in media and there has been some great editing work using all six cameras done by a non-contestant.

While the video opens with clips from the contestants are first up, of course the meat and potatoes material is the actual concert footage, which is uninterrupted.   Iggy Pop is all over the stage more like a toddler that discovered energy drinks whilst already on a sugar rush rather than a man old enough to be many of the camera operator/interviewer’s grandfather. It absolutely shows that he loves working the stage as Iggy manically twirls this way, that way and almost absolutely any other way that is humanly possible.  Even if he didn’t have his shirt off, it would still be apparent that the guy keeps himself in great shape.  Guitarist, James Williamson and bass player, Mike Watt are much more subdued and don’t move around very much.  Despite being the youngest band member and not displaying much movement Mike Watt smiles like he is having the time of his life and really why shouldn’t he be?

For the song Shake Appeal, Iggy asks for for dancers, spazzers and freaks to come on stage and The Stooges are swamped by a couple of dozen people but the band play on despite the stage resembling an overcrammed bus.  During the shows the frontman dives into the audience a number of times and the real reason security are on the stage is not to contend with overeager audience but to pick Iggy up and get him upright on the stage.  The ever-present primal rawness of The Stooges shows without raw camera work.  There’s more here than just the “Raw Power” material as there are eight other songs taken mainly from The Stooges early works.   It’s impossible to pick a best-performed song but there is a very short moment where Iggy is unhappy about the bass sound and lets everyone know it.

The interview questions in the bonus feature are asked to Iggy, James and Scott.  The fan’s questions provide some interesting answers and Iggy does most of the talking and comes across as a different character with articulate and revealing answers which contrast with onstage unpredictable wildman persona.  Amongst other things the band talk about their average audience in their early days, how they got a bunch of London schoolgirls to listen to their recordings of Raw Power before they released them and how timeless really isn’t a good word to describe their music. It would have been good if Mike Watt had been in on the interview. The other bonus features  are full submitted fan videos,  the original advertisement for the contest and the great touch of physical liner notes by Mike Watt.

The band’s live performance translates well to DVD and it may well have been because the people filming were already passionate about the band or just because the Stooges sizzle because  they are a crack band in a class of their own as Iggy is quoted as saying on the back cover.


The above review was originally written for dvdholocaust where you can find a few more of my dvd reviews and don't forget to check out the other reviews.

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