Number 40. Bo Diddley. Hard to put into words how totally cool this is. The man is awesome. He is warm and friendly, and in pretty good voice in spite of a nasty head cold. The crowd is totally mesmerized and most of us are either dancing in place or clapping. It's hard to comprehend the reach of his influence. I'm happy to see him get the respect he deserves from the kids.
The Raveonettes have been asked to cut their set to two songs because of the impending rain, which prompts Jim to call up a weather forecast on his cell phone. We could get smacked before the end of the night.
It's dark now, and it drizzles on and off. Band #43 is the New York Dolls. This is another high point for me. David Johansen looks like the love child of Mick Jagger and the Grinch who stole Christmas. He is the consummate front man, the band is tight, and the music is really good. They haven't played in the US in a very long time, and they are clearly having a blast. We are, too.
We wait a very, very long time for the Strokes. Clearly, they are the big draw for a large segment of the younger crowd. They finally come out, and the lead singer decides that climbing down into the audience will be a good way to start the show. Security is appalled, and there is suddenly a lot of pushing and shoving at the front of the stage as they jostle the crowd back and escort Julian back onstage. Jim looks at me and mouths the words "Bryan's glasses." We are both remembering that Bryan lost an expensive pair of eyeglasses stageside at a White Stripes concert last year. It's kind of a sensitive topic. I'm sure he'll be responsible, though, because the glasses are expensive, and he's blind as a bat without them. The Strokes seem pissed off at a lot of things, not the least of which is the fact that the crowd is waiting impatiently for Iggy. They're kind of ruining the vibe for me, but the younsters seem to like them just fine.
At long last, Iggy and the Stooges are onstage. Iggy, at age 57, is a force of nature. He's wearing nothing but a pair of dangerously low-slung jeans, and he looks to be in great shape. He's a stringy, gnarly man, all muscle and bone. He's dancing around the stage like a madman. The band is wailing. Iggy decides that he wants to be in the audience. I'm pretty sure that the security guards have had enough of this tonight, but Iggy has other ideas. He gets pulled over the barricade by several audience members and attempts to crowd surf. Iggy makes his way back onstage and encourages the audience to join him. The audience takes him up on it, and he's soon joined onstage by dozens of sweaty, smiling fans. Iggy continues to rant, rave and rock. We continue to worry about Bryan's glasses. They finish their set to huge applause — at the end of the day, I am secretly glad that it's the old guy who's the most extreme example of rock and roll anarchy that day, that Iggy has made virtually no concessions to age. Iggy rocks.