Iggy Pop Brings Punk Carnage to Carnegie Hall at Tibet Benefit

March 1st, 2010 by Patrick Doyle Leave a reply »

Photo: Tracy Ketcher
About 30 seconds into his opener “The Passenger” at New York’s Carnegie Hall Friday night, Iggy Pop declared, “Aw, fuck this shirt,” tore off his black V-neck sweater and tossed it stage right to a waiting Patti Smith, who caught it and giddily hopped up and down while swinging like she’d just caught a wedding bouquet.

It was a rare moment even for the Tibet House Benefit Concert, an annual event that raises money to preserve the country’s threatened culture. The benefit, now in its 20th year, has hosted unlikely collaborations like Moby and David Bowie performing “Heroes” in 2003 and Ray Davies and Debbie Harry trading verses on “Lola” in 2007. This year marked the 60th anniversary of the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, and the show kicked off with several Tibetan monks performing a haunting chant in front of a large painting of the region’s sprawling Potala Palace.

The setup was sparse: most performers shared the same drums and amps, and the Patti Smith Group acted as house band. Early in the night, composer Phillip Glass introduced Irish singer Pierce Turner, who sat at the grand piano and performed the soaring, Bowie-reminiscent “Yogi with a Broken Heart.” Regina Spektor later played an apocalyptic set including the bone-chilling “Laughing,” which featured gloomy strings. The 30-year-old Bronx singer joked about finally making it to the legendary hall. “I’ve always wanted to play Carnegie Hall,” she said. “And now I have lipstick on my nose.”

Gogol Bordello followed with an acoustic set of revved-up Eastern European punk. Soon, Smith was onstage, looking like a road-tested gypsy. In a baggy white shirt, black vest and work boots, she kicked off with a joyous sing-along of the O’Jays classic “Love Train...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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