Despite her rep for canceling shows at the last minute, doo-wop diva Amy Winehouse arrived on the Bud Light stage just shy of 2:30 P.M. I mean, her set was scheduled for 2:15 P.M., but dude, girl showed up. Bonus? She was even sober! You could almost hear the sigh of relief from the crowd when she shimmied onto the stage.
The set was almost identical to the one she played at Virgin Festival, but here the crowd seemed to be in slow motion — not a shocker, given the 237% humidity. At its best, Winehouse’s performance was a jumpin’ and jivin’ mix of ’50s bop paired with a healthy dose of ska, wiggled out with Wino’s signature hip shakes, which encouraged all to follow in suit. Horns, dancers and back-up singers added to the scope of her live show and if not for the 20,000 people standing next to me simultaneously checking their PDAs, it would have felt like a simpler time, albeit one where singers use the word “fuckery.” I couldn’t help but think it would have been way cooler in a venue like the Apollo, with, you know, A/C. Though most began to shuffle off after “Rehab,” those who stayed around were treated to “Valerie,” her Zutons’ cover off the new Mark Ronson album. As soon as she finished, Winehouse disappeared just as quickly as she arrived.
If Winehouse was down, then Iggy Pop & the Stooges were up, up, up! Cheers erupted as the 60-year-old rocker literally busted onto the stage, his signature grey locks blowing over his naked torso. Soon enough, he was humping the speaker and screaming at the top of his lungs, “Hello motherFUCKERS!” Yes, this is a guy who knows how to put on a festival show. During “No Fun,” he invited literally half the crowd onstage (like he did at SXSW, but waaaay bigger):
It was all out mayhem as fans gang-rushed to the front, up and over the security fence to do their mob-crazy jumping thang. He certainly meant it when he sang, “no fun to be alone.” Gleeful fans hugged Pop, kissed him, sang along and even grabbed the mic to sing or shout out to friends. It took at least 10 minutes to remove everyone from the stage after the song. Sadly, he lamented, “It can’t go any further, it could get weird (say it: weeeiiiirrd).” If it could have, a lot of us would have stayed with him all night. ROBIN MONHEIT / PHOTOS BY LUCY HAMBLIN