In March of 2016, Iggy Pop and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age revealed they had secretly collaborated on an album together, Post Pop Depression. Joined by QOTSA's Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders in the studio, PPD was released to good reviews followed soon after by 21 dates across North America and Europe in support of the album. Rounding out the touring band were QOTSA's Troy Van Leeuwen and guitarist Matt Sweeney.
Their performance at the Royal Albert Hall on May 13 was the second to last night of the tour. It's an impressive, raucous affair that should impress fans of Iggy new and old. In addition to nearly playing PPD in its entirety sans "Vulture," the rest of the song selections came from his first two solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life, and "Repo Man" from the film of the same name, which he might not have performed live before this tour.
The band is dressed like the coolest Vegas lounge act in matching red sparkling jackets with black shirts and slacks. Iggy comes out in a black pants and jacket, with the former only lasting two songs. The high-def image reveals the 69-year-old's body in sharp detail, an unusual sight in the highly superficial and quick-to-mock world of today, but Iggy puts his all into his art, body and soul, and his shirtless self in just one example.
The show gets off to a highly energetic start opening with "Lust for Life." Throughout the setlist, songs from PPD are interspersed with Iggy's earlier work created in conjunction David Bowie and they stylistically blend well together. The band is a top-notch unit, seamlessly switching between upbeat rockers like "Passenger," which gets gets the biggest response of the night, and the slow, synth-driven industrial grind of a trio songs that concludes with "Nightclubbing" featuring an awesome guitar solo by Homme.
Iggy isn't contained by the stage or restrained by the typical space between artist and the assembled masses. During "In The Lobby," he steps into the audience to try and bring some folks on stage. As "Some Weird Sin" concludes he dives into crowd. Back on stage during "Funtime," he discovers he's bleeding on his head, yet he still mills about the fans, who all seem willing to embrace him. During "Break Into Your Heart," Iggy gets so deep among the crowd, the cameras have trouble locating him.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 on the Blu-ray delivers an marvelous experience as the music fills the surrounds. The track's dynamic range is wide. The loud guitars soar and the drums and bass lay a solid foundation that thumps out the subwoofer. At the other end, the keyboards hit high notes and delicate sounds. All the while, Iggy's vocals never get lost in the mix.
It's fitting the show concludes with "Success" because that's a completely accurate description of what this concert is. The only disappointment is that the night and the tour came to an end. Anyone with a lust for life or for Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, which is available on Blu-ray +2CD, DVD+2CD and Digital Formats, is highly recommended.