The first part of the Voodoo Lounge world tour took the Rolling Stones to 50 concerts in USA and 10 concerts in Canada, plus the surprice gig in Toronto. The surprice gig was on July 19, at the RPM nightclub. Having rehearsed for the tour in Toronto, this gig was kinda saying thank you for being so nice, but also a way to test out parts of the set.
People walking by the RPM club in the morning noticed the poster saying "The Rolling Stones - Live tonight - $5". Less than 1000 people crowded the small place. The Stones played 16 songs in one and a half hour. The set was:
The first major concert on the tour was set in the president city and capial of USA, in Washington on August 1. Press people and fans from all over the world, plus thousands of Washington fans, got to see this very special show, the first one in 4 years. There was another concert two days later, on Aug. 3. The first few concerts on a new Stones tour always bring in some strange songs they play for some time, but then they get dropped in favour of others.
The setlists of all the US concerts may be found on page 23 - 27. You will notice they played a total of 41 different songs during the tour, some songs one time only. The set was typically including some 23 songs, lasting for 2 hours 15 minutes. I have arranged these setlists so that they reflect the fixed set and song order as found late on the tour. This is how they have continued playing in 1995 also.
The stage was as in 1989 made up of lots of steel; grey and not colorful at all, unlike the European Urban Jungle stage in 1990. The people who built it was told they should build a static stage - all the dynamics were to be by the Stones. This was the opposite of the Pink Floyd stage, where they had lots of live stuff, lasers and other gimmicks built into the stage. Jagger & co. need no toys to get attention! The huge cobra on the right part of the stage have given it the caracteristic name "the cobra".
The opening part of any Stones concert is always a piece of memory in itself. This time they use lots of drums and percussions. A steadily growing beat is hammering all over the stadium. The cobra is blowing fire high up and above the stage. The drum beats go harder and harder. Some maracas is joining in. The famous rhythm of Not Fade Away gets into shape, and they are on!
The huge display monitor in the top center of the stage shows the highlights of the concert in blow-up size. The camera crew and the producer is really doing a great job in mixing live shots with computer animations, old b&w films, toppless girls during Honky Tonk Women, always following the band members as they move.
Memory Motel has been the new masterpiece they have brought us, one of my real favorites, just like Ruby Tuesday in 89/90. Mick & Keith on vocals. A pity it is not permanently in the set.
So many things may be said about this tour and the concerts. There's no weak parts, you walk out stoned after 2h 15. I've seen the Stones live since '73, and yes I miss Mick Taylor, but who knows... The Voodoo Lounge is a memory for lifetime!
It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 22 March 1995 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe