What’s the best way to hear Raw Power? Consider its legacy: Between David Bowie in ‘72, Iggy Pop in ‘97 and then back to David Bowie in 2010, Iggy & The Stooges’ vitriolic proto-punk masterpiece has continually suffered from a production standpoint. How does one perfectly capture music this vulgar, loud, primal and obnoxious? Bowie had one idea (muted, primitive) and Iggy had another (muddy, sloppy). The rest of us have only the songs to gauge The Stooges’ intensity as mixing has failed to really put across what was intended. Despite this, Raw Power is still one of rocks’ most necessary and influential contributions. That being said, the songs must mean something.

So, in its naturalist of natural settings, Raw Power was performed live at the All Tomorrows Parties Festival in September of 2010, a few months after the album was reissued. In what is being referred to as the “In the Hands of the Fans” series, this new recording of the ATP performance entitled, Raw Power Live, is a crudely cut document of this post-Ron Asheton Stooges, (bassist Mike Watt interchangeable between the also-deceased Dave Alexander and Asheton), pushing themselves to the limits of the music’s construct as well as their respective ages will allow.

Inasmuch as I hate to point out that this is “young man’s music,” the type of wild and relentless sonic passion only a twenty-something under the constant strain of physical, artistic, chemical and sexual duress could possibly bottle up so to spew throughout an albums’ grooves, Iggy Pop’s might is more than respectable. In fact, it’s admirable. The man is 63 years old. Trying to harness and deliver something like Raw Power for an audience should be tantamount to suicide for someone his age.

But, Iggy’s a fucking warrior. Before “I Need Somebody,” Pop essentially taunts drummer Scott Asheton repeatedly, “Are you ready to play some blues? Hey! Hey! Hey, you on drums! Hey! Are you ready to play some fuckin’ blues?” It’s as if his mortality exists simply as a basis for defiance.

Raw Power, though, enables this defiance. Iggy Pop’s most recent solo ventures and even the reformed Stooges’ The Weirdness album point to an inability to recapture the spirit of those early albums. So, utilizing this perfect outcome of his youth, The Stooges simply have to play. And, they do a pretty good job.

There are points where Watt and Asheton seem out of sync with guitarist James Williamson, but the mix is still deadly, their strength still significant. Even saxophonist Steve Mackay’s inclusion aids Iggy’s harmonizing and does little to distract or soften the music. Iggy’s predictable onstage intros get kind of hilarious: “You’re very, very pretty. But, your ‘Pretty Face Is Going to Hell,’ baby!” “Hey! Does anyone wanna take a trip with me!?! Alright! It’s a ‘Death Trip!’” You can imagine someone like Paul Stanley employing banter like this: “Hey! Did you hear about the city!?! The Detroit! Rock! Citaaaaaaay! Owwwwww!”

But, rock star posturing aside, Raw Power Live is a worthy addition to The Stooges canon and a respectable performance. The editing is annoyingly abrupt, but I guess it would defy Raw Power’s legacy if anything other than the music itself were perfect.