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The Rolling Stones Fan Club of Europe
It's Only Rock'n Roll

The Summit a.k.a. The Compaq Center
Houston, TX
Friday Feb. 13, 1998

Review by Eli Cipriano

Well, if you were unfortunate to have to choose between Thursday and Friday... as good as Thursday's show was, Friday was clearly the better show. Thursday was great, but Friday was greater:

Keith missed his mark to open Satisfaction and Can't Always Get What You Want, but other than that the show seemed flawless to me. Even Start Me Up, which I've found to be quite boring this tour, was alive with energy (as even Charlie threw in a few surprises during this number!) Houston was fortunate to get 22 songs each night with the full change-out of five songs on Friday. I hope somebody had a tape rolling 'cause this one was a real keeper! Viva Las Vegas...

Start time :  9:05
End time   : 11:15

The set list:

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Let's Spend The Night Together
  3. Flip The Switch
  4. Gimme Shelter
  5. Ruby Tuesday
  6. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  7. Saint Of Me
  8. Out Of Control
  9. Dead Flowers (web choice)
  10. Miss You
    -- Introductions --
  11. You Don't Have To Mean It (Keith)
  12. Wanna Hold You (Keith)
  13. Little Queenie (center stage)
  14. Under My Thumb (center stage)
  15. Like a Rolling Stone (center stage)
  16. Sympathy For The Devil
  17. Tumbling Dice
  18. Honky Tonk Women
  19. Start Me Up
  20. Jumping Jack Flash
  21. You Can't Always Get What You Want (encore)
  22. Brown Sugar (encore)

Review by Leo Dadson

About the only way I can sum up the opportunity to see The Stones in an arena is once in a lifetime. Even if the band had only put on only average performance last night, my memories of seeing them in a building which only fits 12,000 will be some that'll last forever.

However, as excited as I was about seeing them in a smaller place, the band seemed to be even more excited to be playing in one.

Last night's show was just magnificent. Even the songs I'm really tired of (It's Only Rock And Roll and Miss You specifically) were especially punchy. The small setting obviously helped, but the band appeared to be in a better than ever mood. Mick was much more personable with the audience than I've ever seen him. Ronnie had a big grin all night. (Especially when he took to the keyboards for 'You Don't Have To Mean It') Even Keith looked especially alive and dove down to his knees and smiled throughout the show. (Interesting note- While Mick often messes around with Woody and the others, he never goes anywhere near Keith. Hmm...)

The first major highlight of the show, and my most memorable moment, was 'Ruby Tuesday'. (A song that was originally recorded over a decade before I was even born!) It seemed like even Mick was really hit by how emotional it was last night, as he took a second afterwards to enjoy the moment before he quietly thanked the crowd.

When we arrived at the web choice, I was really hoping for 'Under My Thumb', especially considering that my choice, I Go Wild, had only received about 1 vote! Unfortunately, it was 'Dead Flowers' which, when it was over, I was really glad to have heard mainly because Mick did so much with making it memorable. Before it, he said that he needed to get into costume for it, as a cowboy hat magically appeared on stage that he wore throughout the countryish song. Afterwards, he said the he hoped no one would receive Dead Flowers the following day, which for those of you not in the know, was Valentine's Day.

After that, Miss You was so good because of the bridge. While Darryl was off on his own, Keith and Ronnie were sitting/kneeling in front of Charlie acting like the criminal element would in NYC, Lisa was hitting on Darryl, and Mick was Mick. I'm sure it happens like this every nite, but last night was the first time I had really noticed it and caught on to how well the song is acted out by the band.

The only really sad moment of the night came when the band headed out to the b-stage. Mick shot down the shortened/less elaborate bridge only to stop suddenly to run back and help Charlie down the steep stairs from the main stage. While that was the only real reminder all night that there getting older and this isn't going to last forever, it's one that I can't get off my mind. It almost seemed like that was a signal that this may be the last worldwide stadium sized tour we'll ever see from them.

Once they were out to the b-stage, "Under My Thumb" on the was an especially wonderful surprise. It wasn't quite as sharp as some of the other versions I've heard (namely 9-23-1997 in Chicago) but it really got the crowd excited as everyone who was sitting found there way to their feet. Afterwards, 'Like A Rolling Stone' was so good because at each of the choruses, the main stage lights were turned up to a bright yellow and were used to que the audience that was already singing along.

Mick didn't attack the vocals in 'Sympathy For The Devil' (I rode a tank, held a general's rank...) like I like him to and like I've heard him in the past, but the crowd made up for it. Before he could even get to the start of the lyrics, the entire audience was already singing the "ooh-ooh" part which comes in later in the song.

'Jumping Jack Flash' featured the only fireworks of the night, as when the band came in at the beginning, a nice quick blast came up from under the stage.

The show ended at around 11:15, just like the night before, after a magnificent version of 'Brown Sugar', another song I'm a little tired of. (I guess I'm tired of the dancing mosquito Pepsi commercial!)

Changing the subject slightly, The technical problems were few and far between, but one of the goofs was major, as the main PA was not on when Keith struck the first few notes of Satisfaction. It was punched on about half way through the first riff.

The only other negative I've heard, and it never occurred to me, was from those with me who mentioned that they missed the elaborate intro, massive stage, and the generous fireworks. I guess it's become so much of The Rolling Stones experience that some find it hard to forget.

On a final and really interesting note, I didn't hear anyone all night complain about the cost of tickets. (I felt I got every bit of my $86 and would have still felt satisfied if I had paid the nearly double $150 price.)

Review by Jason Brown

Wow! what a performance! It is sunday afternoon yet friday night is still ringing in my ears. friday marked the first time that i have seen the stones since '89 at busch stadium and it was definately worth the wait. the intensity of seeing the stones in such an intimate setting is beyond words. i truely hope in the future they will offer more shows at smaller venues. johnny lang opened and although ive never heard his album he sounded damn good. the kid has definately got a future. of course, the best part of johnny lang's performance was sitting down drinking a beer and anticipating the stones amongst fellow stones fans. even though the arena was less than half full he recieved numerous ovations following some beautiful guitar work. gotta love the blues.

The stones hit the stage at 9:05. satisfaction, LSTNT, FTS, and GS all sounded great. keith,mick,and ronnie all seemed in great spirits and having the time of their lives onstage. being my first show of the tour i couldnt wait to hear their sound system. i couldnt have been happier. everything sounded just perfect from micks vocals to charlies drums to incredible horns which i simply loved all night. the crowd definately was not as responsive as i would have liked. maybe my seats had something to do with it. they were a little expensive at $126 a pop but why spend that kind of money if you stand there expressionless as if you were watching a movie? come on. this is the rolling stones!! anyway me and holly had smiles from ear to ear, dancing all night, and savering every moment.

The first highlight of the night came when mick announced that they were going to slow it down a bit. the lights went down and then came back up on mick as he started into ruby tuesday. the performance in my mind was incredible and the crowd agreed giving up their best applause so far. IORR, saint of me, out of control followed which i was really looking forward to after reading all the reviews of mick during out of control. he wore a sequined jacket and went out of control all over the stage however i expected a little more but it was a great performance none the less. Dead flowers was the web choice and this was the second highlight for myself. simply incredible. i missed most of miss you and upon returning i was sorry i had because it really sounded energetic and the crowd had come to life once again but i had to let go of the beers sooner or later.

Introductions followed with once again charlie recieving the loudest ovation and keith bowing in front of him. during mick's introduction of ronnie he commited on ronnie's rather 'drabe' appearance as he wasnt his usual colorful self (he was wearing black leather pants,red tshirt,and a black shirt over). another wonderful moment followed with keith singing You Dont Have To Mean It , my personal favorite from bridges to babylon however i couldnt believe it when people started heading out in droves to make a pitstop during keith's set. its truely a shame as keith was wonderful. All about you followed which i cant comment on since it was my first time hearing this song but i enjoyed it just being a fan of keith's.

The center stage was unbelievable! our seats were directly across from keiths side (sec.106) and the view was great. i couldnt detect any problems with the sound from the center stage. Little Queenie, Under my Thumb, and Like a Rolling Stone are all three beyond description. this moment of the show was surreal for me. Like A Rolling Stone was without a doubt the best performance of the night. The setting of the center stage was like a bolt of electricity to the band as they began playing with an intensity not seen in the first half of the show and finally houston responded from here on out like a rolling stones craved city should respond.

SFTD, TD, HTW, SMU, and JJF sent the crowd into a non-stop frenzy and these five songs passed much to quickly. suprisingly, the highlight was Start Me Up which i was not looking forward to simply because ive heard that song so many times yet the energy from mick and co. was full throttle and the crowd was going nuts. houston was treated with two encores, YCAGWYW and Brown Sugar. what more can i say both were great and i came home with a pocket full of confetti.

Obviously i had a great time and to everyone in europe and around the world, get ready. the greatest rock and roll band is coming and they will kick your ass. enjoy.

Review by Tim Barnes, Jr.

Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents from the show in Houston 2/13. My Brother, J.P. and I drove down from Dallas to see Keef do it up in a small setting and "did it up" they did!

For the unfortunate souls out there that think the boys are too old, my brother has claimed the tour should be named the "Too Old, My Ass!" tour. He was one that hadn't seen the Stones in 17 years (1981 Start-Me-Up in Cotton Bowl) and was skeptical in regards to the performance. We made the trek down I-45 and got to the Summit just after Johnny Lang's set.

Mick and the boys really had it together tonight. Every song was tight, and it was as if the small setting had transcended them into a different light. It was a far different band than the one that was playing Ft.Worth just a few months ago. Keef, Ronnie, and Darryl were even laying down at one point. Laughing and carrying on as Mick did all the work! Bobby Keys and Lisa Fischer were exceptional as well. The "Too Old, My Ass" Tour was just that. Those bands that and critics that think the boys are washed up, should take heart at the way the band has endured over the years. In the words of J.P.- "Too Old, My Ass!" These boys can rock!

It's only rock-n-roll!

Read all about the Bridges To Babylon tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine issue IORR 31 out Jan, 1998.

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