NXNE: Iggy et al in Toronto

June 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm (Uncategorized)

Ooh, I remember when the North by North East music festival was a pretty small affair. Not so anymore. NXNE is a big deal. This year, NXNE staged three days of free shows at the downtown Dundas Square culminating with a performance by Iggy and the Stooges.

I had considered going down earlier in the day to catch the Soft Pack, the Waaves and Surfer’s Blood, but in the end I realized only Iggy and the Ravonettes were possible.

The Raveonettes took the stage about 8:00. The friend I went with asked me their demographic, to which I wittily replied (in my mind anyway), imagine the Everly brothers (one of which would be a sister) fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain. Oh, and they’re also from Denmark. 

A blast of dry-ice,  “We are the Raveonettes and this is our music” and away they went.

At the NXNE show, the Everlys took a back seat to the JMC. Lots of feedback, lots of noise (and a stand-up drummer!).  The band played a selection of their hits, and kept us happy for about an hour.

At the beginning of their set, Dundas Square was still pretty roomy, but by the end, things had filled in quite a bit. We beat a coward’s retreat from our vantage point to a bit farther back.  

At 9:30, Iggy hit the stage with “:Raw Power.” there was a lot of hype from the MCs about the Stooges being the greatest rock n roll band ever (“forget the Clash, forget the Rolling Stones”),  and it was a fairly intense experience. 

I could barely see the stage from where I  was, (hence the  quality of the pictures) , but as James Williamson began his solo, I knew we had made the right decision. It was LOUD.

Iggy continued with “Kill City”, “Cock in my Pocket”, “I Got a Right”, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “Search and Destroy”, “Gimmie Danger” and many more. The sound was great and Iggy was too. For a 63-year-old man, he certainly didn’t show it: Moving back and forth across the stage, uttering somewhat odd pronouncements (“We are all being crucified for the sake of a dollar” and “Is this a democracy? Is this a fucking democracy?” – not necessarily wrong, but somewhat lacking in context); at one point Iggy invited people up to dance on stage (making a lot of people’s concert experience to be sure) . It was a weird time.

Then it began to get weirder. I was probably 200 feet back from the stage when just in front of me a mosh pit erupted: Frat boy types too young to remember punk let along Iggy in his prime slamming into each other, and anyone else at home. A lot of people my age were there too, and it seemed some of them were going to make this a life time experience too.

It was a great show. And the price was extremely fair. Maybe next year I’ll buy a ticket for NXNE.



  1. Paul said,

    I’m having “I survived the Iggy Pop & The Stooges concert” T-shirts printed up.

    Good Times!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Scott “Rock Action” Asheton | Notes from Underground said,

    […] Stooges twice. At a free show at Dundas Square in 2010 and last year at Riot Fest. At the Dundas show, Iggy barked, “we are the remains of […]

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