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From Nuremberg to Istanbul

The Nuremberg show was the first one in Europe following the delayed start due to Keith's accident, and Keith felt so strong about his "debut" that he wanted "Thief In The Night" from this show to be included on the new live album. Pages 6-7 of IORR 33 gave you a bit of the first two week of the tour, from Nuremberg via Werchter times two, to Dusseldorf and Hannover. Then on to Holland!

The Stones moved into the luxury Amstel Hotel by the Amstel river, and from the moment they arrived, you could always see 50 or so fans hanging around there, waiting for autographs, or just to see Mick, Keith or anybody else show up.

The Amsterdam ArenA was sold out for five nights, and at the same time the Dutch football team, as well as others, were fighting for fame and glory at the World Championships in France. Due to unstable weather, they had closed the roof of the arena, which gave bad acoustics, but the mood of the crowd was great. As they played the first show, Holland played Yugoslavia. The crowd was wild when the monitor said: Latest score: Holland - Yugoslavia 1 - 0.

Memory Motel was played every night except for the last one, and Dave Matthews were guest singing with Mick and Keith, so we knew this might end up on the live album - and indeed it did! On July 4 Holland made it to the semi finals of the world cup by beating Argentina 2 - 1. All of Amsterdam as well as the rest of Holland went wild, celebrating, and the show next day at the ArenA was great too. Before the encore they showed the two Holland goals on the screen. Great mood. But the great days in Amsterdam had to end, as Monday gave us the 5th show.

The Frauenfeld show in Switzerland was a strange one, as the Stones were added as a bonus to a three days festival. Many people came to camp and stay for all the days, and the crowd was not as wild as they use to be, more like a festival.

At Wiener Neustadt they had organized a large airfield to host the show, and fans came from all over Austria. Great show, and Under My Thumb got a special treat, with Mick singing a special preludium, and the crowd and the Stones made a very long and special postludium. Then back to Munich, where the press conference opening the tour had been held few weeks earlier. As they played to a large crowd at the Olympic Stadium, the rain poured down. Love Is Strong...

Then down to Spain and Costa del Sol. Rain was replaced by hot weather and blue sky, as they performed at the port of Malaga, and made the wild and very popular debut of Paint It Black. Just like in Malaga, the local authorities had been involved in sponsoring the show in Vigo too. A bus all painted with Bridges To Babylon logos was parked outside the stadium, to sell tickets and hand out free tour posters. Barcelona was the third stop in Spain, and even if it was not completely sold out, they made a great show.

Then they headed for Paris, as they did three days of live album mixes and overdubs (see No Security page). They played at the Stade de France, the main venue for the World cup just two weeks earlier. Then on to Gelsenkirchen, in the Ruhr area of Germany. This show was delayed from May, but finally they could play it. Like in Paris the crowd were singing Happy birthday Mick, as his July 26 birthday was in-between these two shows.

Scandinavia was next, as they once again visited Parken in Copenhagen on July 29. Then they moved on to Nya Ullevi in Gothenburg, first time in this stadium since 1982. The set list got a change when they played It's Only Rock'n Roll as song number two on the list, and later on we got Star Star as well. Going further north to Oslo, Norway, they did a great show in relatively cold weather, with Dead Flowers as a bonus to country music lovers.

Finland was the 4th Nordic country to be visited, and they arrived to the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki for the 2nd time since the debut in 1995. Not as wild crowd as first time, but still a great show. Then a short three hours ferry trip south to virgin ground in Estonia, as they played in an amphitheatre setup in the main city of Tallinn. Small crowd, but very good show. Next was even more exotic Russia, again first time ever for the Stones, as they moved into capital city Moscow. The Stones were posing in front of the St. Basil Cathedral by the Red Square. They played a set identical to the Malaga show(!), and such a great one!

Chorzów was next. Fans travelled from all over Poland to this show, also broadcasted on Polish TV a few days later. Then the delayed show in Zagreb, Croatia, played to a big, warm and wild crowd at the hippodrome.

The Sports Hall in Prague was a small arena of 13,000 people only, just 10% of the 127,000 record crowd in Prague from 1995. The Corrs were a great warm-up, and fans all over Europe came to see a great, great and intimate Stones show. Then Berlin was next, the delayed tour start show, so wet that they didn't play Honky Tonk Women! Then another rain show in Leipzig, before the very early start show in Hamburg, playing to 90,000 people. The 4th German show in a row was Bremen, also broadcasted live all over Europe; see separate review.

The Hague show was a late add-on bonus for the Dutch crowd, due to the 750th years anniversary of the city of Hague, giving the fans lots and lots of extra fireworks after the show. And it was so wet, probably as wet as it could get. Mick said: "I have used all my raincoats today!" The Globen show in Stockholm was announced same day as they played Helsinki, and sold out in a couple of hours. Great and intimate arena show, with the King and the Queen of Sweden in the crowd! Then the 2nd Berlin show in two weeks, at the Waldbühne amphitheatre, with a special set list, no B-stage, and a great bonus to the Berlin fans.

Mannheim gave us the 11th and final show in Germany. Cold night, but luckily no rain. Then they moved to Athens, and played to a record crowd of 97,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium. Finally, the tour ended where Europe ends and Asia begins, in Istanbul, at the small stadium Ali Sami Yen, just 15,000 people in the crowd, but Paint It Black sounded so right there, as the tour of 1998 was over...

Previous page Next page First page IORR home It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 34 - October 1998 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe