Saturday, August 4

Fuji Rock 07

Iggy Pop, who turned 60 in April, was the most anticipated act at FRF '07. At four years Iggy's junior, Jonathan Richman had enough steam to play three sets on three stages. Both men are cited as punk progenitors, but their careers couldn't have diverged more. Iggy still works the self-destructive rocker thing, while former Modern Lover Richman renounced electricity in the mid-'70s, opting for what sounded like children's music.

Richman's show at the Field of Heaven was steeped in nostalgia — for his native New England, for public plazas, for a certain European model of sophistication (songs sung in flawless French and Italian). But it was also there in his irrepressible style, the one performance-related constant of his career. In the middle of a verse, he'd drop his acoustic guitar and execute some curious dance moves or shake his jingle bells (literally). Richman has always been nostalgic, but it was startling to hear him play three songs — "Old World," "Girlfriend" and "Pablo Picasso" — from that formative phase he once so vehemently rejected. The audience didn't care. Richman's past isn't important. They love him for what he is right now, and they heartily requested an encore.

They got two.

-- Philip Brasor, in "Fuji Rock 07: We came, we saw, we survived" The Japan Times Online

1 comment: