The man on stage is nearing seventy but he wears the same outfit he has worn on stage for forty years – tight black jeans and no shirt. He is as sinewy as ever but his skin has the weathering of an old man. Think melting wax. He has the energy of someone half his age, younger. There is a brightness in his deep set generous eyes. He loves it, this thing: performance. His stance disguises his ill-made spine and awkward movement. He can twist his legs. He can ping in the air. He can still rock it. His hair is damp dark blonde tendrils. His pants need hitching up again and again. Sometimes his stomach moves as if an alien is about to burst forth. He invites the audience to the stage. His minder, nearly as old and wizened as he, does some protecting. But Iggy is still picked up, hauled around. Where does the lout want to take him? People sense this is their moment to touch him. They reach out. Some are pushed away. Everyone struts their stuff. If you get on stage you want to show off. You turn your arse on the audience and wiggle it. You don’t want to get off either.
I remember how Dylan would not let them put his close-up image on the large screens. He seemed vane, awkward with age. He hid beneath a big hat. Not Iggy. Not a hider. Every vessel under every bit of chest skin is on show. Every arm pit hair. Everything up close. Even from a distance you feel his sweat land on you.
Later Iggy climbs down to join them in their mosh pit. Again everyone is about touching him. Feeling the skin and the hair. You could taste him if you wanted to. He says Bless you and he means it. The audience is his saviour. He asks for the lights to be turned on them. He wants to see them. Bless You. He takes you passenger. He climbs back on stage, his hand down the front of his pants.
But Iggy is punk. Some Blues N Roots fans have wandered home. Too much sun. The audience is thinner. There is space about the lawn. Red cardboard checkers the lawn. Some choose to be witness to this spectacle and watch to say they saw him. A Punk God. Up close it is still heaving. They are the fans that have come for Iggy, despite the other bands in the line-up. They don’t want crooning to by Chris Isaak. They don’t care for Pretty Woman. They would rather die than get Down, Down with Status Quo. They want hard, raucous, real. They want Iggy.