Nearly 30 years after their final show together, the last thing fans of the Stooges expected was for the surviving original members to reunite for a handful of shows in 2003. But the planets must have aligned, 'cause that's exactly what happened, as Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, and Scott Asheton (with Mike Watt filling in for deceased bassist Dave Alexander) shared a stage once more. With a warm-up gig in New York, the quartet set out to play a homecoming gig in Detroit on August 14, 2003, only to see it shut down when a freak power outage left parts of America in the dark. Finally, Stooges fans got their wish 11 days later, when the show finally went down at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. Although the Asheton brothers had been largely obscured from view since the Stooges' disintegration, it doesn't take long to see that they still possess the minimalist chops that proved integral for the band's sound (expectedly, Pop is still a hell of a frontman, and Watt is extraordinary on bass as always). Playing almost every song from their first two classic albums, 1969's The Stooges and 1970's Fun House (except for two extended "filler" songs, "We Will Fall" and "L.A. Blues"), you couldn't have asked for a better set list. Standouts include two (!) ferocious readings of "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "T.V. Eye," an over the top "1970," and "Fun House" (with the set's latter tracks including a cameo by sax player Steve MacKay) -- the only downer being when the stage becomes so swarmed with fans during "No Fun" that you can hardly find the band. The "special features" section includes quite a few goodies as well -- a stripped-down set performed by Iggy and the Ashetons at a N.Y.C. record store appearance, an image gallery, and a Watt diary reading of his experiences as a Stooge. Live in Detroit 2003 is essential viewing for Stooges fans one and all.
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