Iggy Pops by Toronto.

I’ll confess it here, on my first blog post of my new website, I am a clastrophobic publicist.

Last weekend, I was thinking about that from the perspective of the media pit in front of the stage set up at Yonge-Dundas Square. The day was humid and before Iggy and the Stooges were set to take to the stage for their only Canadian tour date of the summer, some guy got his foot run over by a car near the backstage gates of the stage, causing massive backstage commotion before the show.

I’d managed to locate all of the precious waiver forms for Iggy’s management, and seen the look of anticipation on the face of my friend Dustin Rabin – who happens to be one of my favorite (and perhaps most talented) Canadian rock photographers. There wasn’t even a barrier between the 63 year old rocker and his band and the line of camera-wielding photo-journalists, a fact that had Chromewaves blogger Frank Yang glancing at me worriedly. I laughed it off, although I joked that if Iggy reached for the camera equipment, it would likely be best to run, rather than see what would happen.

Looking out at the crowd, there were all ages. The strung out, the innocent, and the parched all looking and snarling eagerly anticipating a rare free set from the band whose Raw Power was re-released this year as an annointed classic on the Sony Legacy label.

So, as the band rushed to the stage, and the concert quickly began, with, as expected, the first song being Raw Power  and the shirtless baritone gyrating menacingly to the audience to a solid bassline and a shaky drumhold, I turned to look at the waves of photographers moving up and down, vying for the best angle to capture the scene. Every once in a while, they’d turn to the crowd and click aimlessly capturing the constant turnover of wide-eyed crowdsurfers who were being manhandled out of the crowd by security guards into the photo pit and then carefully shoved towards the exit alley at stage left. Some looked victorious, others had lost clothing, and one even successfully launched a shoe at Iggy’s head, cheering as he ran for exit alley.

And me? I was near the edge of the pit, in a seemingly calm, space-enhanced area, between fence and security guard, thinking about how if I didn’t have this job, I may never get to see any shows because I’d likely freak out too much due to my claustrophobic tendencies.

A fan launched herself over the fence behind my head and landed on my shoulder. NOWtube videographer Graeme Philips made use of his manly skills to get her on her feet and urged her towards the exit alley. “I just know he wants me to go dance with him” she said to both of us as I struggled to focus on the actual concert .

By then we’d made it to the second song, and we’d cleared the pit of all my media, I watched the first half of the concert from that spot, and at one point was joined by Sune from The Raveonettes who was obviously a massive Iggy and the Stooges fan (he was like a bouncy toy jumping up and down most of the set, only relocating when our production manager deemed it too unsafe to be in that spot.)

Definitely one to remember. Spinner Canada has a good recap of the concert. And of course, I should mention this concert was part of NXNE, the 16th edition… which was held in Toronto, Canada.

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