It's Only Rock'n Roll
We just got out tickets yesterday, but when we found our seats, Wow! We couldn't believe how close we were. We could even see Mick running over on our side.
The Wallflowers opened again at 7:30 sharp. I don't know why, I'm used to opening acts starting a little later. But oh well. These guys are really good. Jakob even got in few jokes. "Unlike the other band whose playing tonight, we're gonna play all of out hits." The crowd cheered for that. When announcing the band members, he said that it's a once in a lifetime that you get to hear your name announced at Dodger Stadium. And oh, his name is Jakob. (Crowd goes crazy.). Toward the end he mentioned that the Stones were the world's greatest rock band and I agreed.
The Stones took stage at about 9:10-9:15. They start with that Babylonian chant introduction. Then I see Keith in all his glory standing in front. And then the moment we've waited for: the opening riff to "Satisfaction". The crowd goes nuts.
Mick makes a comment about how it's nice to play a second show in LA; they felt more relaxed and tonight proved it. Commenting on the VIPs that were there last night, he said "Last night there were more white limousines, tonight they're mostly black"
They're moving along. "Flip the Switch" was great. They played "19th Nervous Breakdown," which I thought was really cool since it was the first time I've heard them play it. "Anybody Seen My Baby" was better than last night and "Saint Of Me" had a nice gospel feel to it. Then came time for the song of the evening; it was "When the Whip Comes Down", a song Mick said they hadn't played since 1978, so I almost felt honored to hear them play it for the first time. And how could I forget Lisa Fisher on "Gimme Shelter", that woman is just an awesome singer. And not bad looking either.
Then it's time for the band intros. Thought it was interesting that Mick introduced Ronnie first instead of Charlie; must've had something to do that the crowed went crazy for Charlie last night that Mick had to cut into the cheers to intro Ronnie. But when Mick announced Charlie's name tonight, the crowd just went nuts. Charlie is so cool because he's very humble about what he does. Then it's Keith's intro and I'm yelling out "Keef". The man is just awesome. Keith then says "It's time to take care of business". "We're going from the bad boys to the bad girls" and then he starts "All About You." Keith's set sounded much better than last night. "Wanna Hold You" kicked ass.
Then came the moment that the bridges shot out. They started out with "Little Queenie". That song was so sharp and Keith can play a nasty blues groove. Incredible. I'm trying to coax my girlfriend to dance with me, and she did a little. Then it was "Crazy Mama", another song that I've never heard before. Then "You Got Me Rocking". I love that song, so I was glad to hear that song both nights in a row. It sounded much better than when they did it on the Voodoo Lounge tour. Then it was time to go back to the main stage, only wished they could play more.
Now it's time to play the big songs. "Sympathy", "Honky Tonk Women", "Start Me Up". Then they ripped into "Jumping Jack Flash", perhaps the best song they do live. I had to take my coat off because I was going crazy on that song. Then it was the encore "Brown Sugar". I think that the Stones had such a good time that they didn't want the song to end. Keith seemed to stall at our end of the stage and they just kept going. Then it's over. And when the foursome made their bows, I wanted it to go on. I could even see them as they're leaving the stage still turning around and waving at the crowds.
I was so tired that I had to wait about half an hour to rest. My hair was just drenched in sweat. I but I think that this was the best Stones concert that I've ever seen (thought it's only the third one). Hopefully, I'll see them next time at San Diego next year.
Show start time: 9:10 pm Show end time : 11:25 pm
The set list:
I don't care how old these guys are getting, they still do it better than anybody. There is nobody else that even comes close for a pure spectacle of music and show.
I can't say enough about the show. My only disappointment was that they didn't do Sister Morphine either night which I really wanted to hear. But hey....the skies opened up and it was a perfect evening! Simply perfect. God these boys can play!!!!
In the seats around my section were Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Anniston, Peter Boyle, David keith and Farrah Fawcett. I was impressed with the enthusiasm of Nicholson. The guy did not stop rocking the entire show. However, it was the Stones turn to take over Hollywood, and that they did. They delievered 2 incredible performances. Possibly the best version of Miss You I have ever heard was 9/10 with the added horns. They cranked that one out.
Saint of Me, Out of Control, Anybody seen My Baby. and Flip the Switch went over really well. It seemed that Mick was really into Mondays performance. He was laughing several times. Lisa was getting loud applause. However, it was Charlie who got the loudest. He even got in a little drum solo on Sunday during the band intros.
I think Ronnie liked Micks white overcoat with black spots. I don't know if Keith did. He flipped ronnie the middle finger on Monday night when he tried to get him to wear it. All in good fun. Mick and Lisa on Monday night put on there own little show. She is a pleasure to watch and seems to really fit in. The whole band seems really to be interacitng well, both with the crowd and each other.
Keith ignored the front section when he asked "so now what do you want to hear"? They were screaming for Happy but as Keith put it "let's get back to business" and played the standard second song "I wanna Hold You". It was well recieved. The weather was cooperative. Rained almost up until showtime as you know. But Mother Nature kept herself in check and it dried off just in time for the show. As Mick put it " I woke up this morning, looked out my window expecting to get a couple hours of that California sun for a golden tan, and I was surrrpriissed!! But it looks like the weather is gonna hold off and we are gonna have a good time". I think it's safe to say, most agreed.
Somebody said to me the other day that, the Stones were awesome in 1969...Well I agree Get Yer Ya Ya's Out is probably a great album. I think the Stones sound now blows 1969 away. In fact I'll go as far to say that the past two albums, Voodoo Lounge and Babylon, are better than most of the albums in the Stones 30 year history. The sound is more alive and more clean.
As for the other parts of the show, Lisa Fisher is awesome...I wish they could redo that song. She has got the voiceof an angel, and it echos throughout Dodger Stadium. The Stones themselves are the only band that puts on "the show". After the Wallflowers bore you for 45 minutes, the Stones can come in and just kick as$ over LA..Now I am on to Oakland..I'll give you more from there...
I had made plans with a friend to go to the show at the MGM Grand This idea didn't set to well with my girlfriend. In 1994 she attended her first Stones concert and well, the rest is history. She holds me personally responsible for her total infatuation with the group. She would not be easily convinced to stay home. I figured, if she went to both L.A. shows, that might carryover until I got back from Vegas. I won't go into that.
Saturday morning arrived it was time to secure some tickets. Yeah, I waited because I knew things would fall into place. My girlfriend was quite worried that we might not get tickets. Somehow, when it comes to the Stones, everything seems to work out. I arrived home Saturday night after work and there had been a call from a guy who earlier had purchased front row seat to the 1st L.A. show. His son was injured and he wanted to know if I might want to pick up the tickets. I wanted them, but the price was too high. We finally agreed on a deal where I gave him two 7th row and 2 second stage tickets for San Diego in exchange.
We left Sunday morning , arriving at my friends house in Beverly Hills (different friend) in time to watch the second half of a couple of football games and rest up a bit for the show that night. We found a ride and made our way to the seats. At first we were disappointed. Sure, they were in the first row but way off to the left side of the stage. We decided that we were not going to let this detail get in the way of our special night.
At 9:15 pm the opening chords of Satisfaction were heard and that was that. Instantly the seats were great, the security allowed us ample space to walk up and down the front of the stage whenever Mick (or Bernard, or Woody, or Lisa) came close. That was pretty cool because there was about 3,000 security guards and they could have posed a problem, but they didn't. The Stones seemed to start a bit slow but maybe that was just that we were over anxious. After Satisfaction came It's only Rock n Roll, Let's Spend The Night Together and Flip The Switch. By now everything was just perfect, the sound was great, the reality set in and ,well , we were at the STONES! Lisa stole the show from Mick on Gimmie Shelter and it made one wonder how far he would let her go in the spotlight. Man that girl can sing! Anybody Seen My Baby was awesome different from the CD (actually better).
After the introductions, Keith took center stage with brilliant versions of All About You and I Wanna Hold You. Then it was time for a special treat, especially for those not real close up. They walked out a "bridge" to a tiny stage in the middle of the second section back. On this stage, it looked like the Stones were playing a little club gig. They had no room to move so they slithered in and out and around each other. Little Queenie, The Last Time and You Got Me Rocking were the selections. Incredible, awesome, you find the words. Sympathy for the Devil brought them back to the big stage followed by the signature songs like Tumbling Dice, Honky Tonk Woman, Start Me Up, and Jumping Jack Flash. The night ended with Brown Sugar. It was sad to see it end but then again we might not have made It through much more, we were beat!!
Monday brought a whole new side show. Linda (my girl) and Chris (my friend) Joe (his friend) had purchased some killer seats , 4th row Center. I had no seat. I had arranged to get a seat from another friend who was working on the 'inside' The rains set in, he got lost in traffic, and 5pm was quickly approaching. Worried? Not me, well maybe a little.
Chris's roommate Jack was hanging around the house with me while Linda ran in the rain. Out of the blue, he said, "let me give a guy a call, he might have tickets" Well, he did. Actually, he had the first seats off the smaller stage. After last night, I certainly could appreciate seats right by the stage. The guy wanted $100 each. Sure, I would pay $100 to lean on the stage in a club like setting for three or four songs. He was rather impressed too. See, earlier he said his back hurt too much to go to the show but suddenly, he mysteriously got better. We made arrangements to pick up the tickets on the way to the show. The phone rang, it was my other friend finally getting back to me on the other ticket. I had obligated myself and even though I didn't need the ticket I would still live up to my obligation. Chris had arranged the services of a limousine for the nights escapade and we were just about set. Yeah, it was still pouring rain but I wasn't worried.
The Limo arrived and the rain stopped. The clear skies set in , we piled into the Limo, opened the sky roof end were off. When we arrived at the stadium my entourage stayed in the Limo to party while I set out to pick up my other ticket. I found Ed, got the ticket and turned around to try to sell it. It felt like old times. This was the way I got into shows so many years ago. Tickets were scarce, but those looking did not want to spend much money. I didn't want to hold out and try to get the money out of the ticket, I wanted to get back to the Limo and my friends I sold the ticket for $50, taking a $50 dollar loss, oh well.
We got inside and Chris sat Linda down coming back to me with her ticket stub, so I stubbed' my way to the 4th row center. Just as we sat down, the show began. Right from the start it was 'Rock On'. The moment Keith hit the opening of Satisfaction it was obvious this was going to be "one of the ones" After so many shows it's hard to say one certain show rated amongst the best. This one did. Top 5 or 6 actually. Through It's Only Rock N Roll, Let's Spend The Night Together, Flip The Switch the place went wild. All 70,000 braving the weather were on their feet with no signs of sitting. This placed was rocking.
As Flip The Switch ended we thought we might be able to catch our breath, not tonight. Lisa Fisher belted out her input on Gimmie Shelter, once again showing Mick that he's not alone up there. Tonight, Lisa would strut her stuff not only when she was in the spotlight but when she was alongside Bernard in a backup role. This girl is sexy,seductive, great looking and one heck of a performer. Anybody Seen My Baby, onceagain superbly done, followed up by Saint Of Me, a likely single before the years out.I was just about to lean on one leg to rest and the night stopped.
This was it!! I couldn't believe my eyes and ears, 19Th Nervous Breakdown !. I pinched myself to make sure it was true. All the people around me stopped, turned and starred as I went crazy. I had seen it all . For 27 years and 51 shows I have been waiting to hear 19th Nervous Breakdown Live. They had played it in earlier shows but had dropped it as of late. Well, it was back tonight. Then while still lost in the ozone of 19th, Mick went into Out Of Control, and that's exactly what he was, loose, flying,bobbing ,weavlng about as if a force had taking over him. This song is good but live it is fantastic much better than you can imagine, unless of course if you were there.
When The Whip Comes Down was the web song of choice. I hadn't heard it live since1978 and doubt if they played it since. It was sharp though and quite enjoyable. MissYou was next, a song that never gets old, it's so simple yet so good. During the introductions I made my way to the little stage to find out where my seat was. Then I went back to get either Chris, Linda or Joe. Joe was the lucky one and he followed me back to the second stage seat. While Keith blared away on I Wanna Hold You we made our way, secured our position and waited. Moments later the 'Bridge" emerged,out came the Stones. Little Queenie was first, incredible, words can't do It justice. I was awestruck, Joe stood with his mouth open and Jack was Rockin and Rollin waving 'thumbs up'. We were so close I could see the shine of Mick's tooth and the scratches on Keiths guitar. All Mick's prancing, dancing, strutting and pointing seemed directed at the 'chosen' few leaning on the railing. There were some 70,000 people there but it seemed the show was just for us few about SO people glued to this tiny stage. You hadto be there. In fact in all the concerts I've seen 1 can only think of twice that I was closer. (Those being the Keil Opera House in St. Louis, Winterland in S.F., ) The nextsong was Crazy Mama, my favorite song from Black and Blue and another I had neverheard live. What a treat! You Got Me Rocking Now followed and everybody was inRock n Roll heaven. As this little set ended there were people splattered all over each other like the old days when 50 people were crammed into an area where 10 belong. It was mayhem, but it was fun. Tomorrow the bruises will tell the story.
This little set will be etched in our mind forever. During Sympathy For The Devil , Joe and I attempted to return to the 4th row without much luck. The place was a mob scene."Just like the old days", I yelled at Joe. The security were pushing, yelling ,on the verge of panic. It didn't last too long for us Knowing we had little chance of going through the mob, Joe peeled off to the left and scampered around in the opposite direction with me in tow. I fell in behind him as he cleared a path back to our seats just in time to kick into Tumbling Dice. Whew!!
Linda took one look at me and just smiled. She knew. I almost went down as my body said "Hey give me a break, I'm to old for this". Nah! I gathered all my remaining strength and jumped into Honky Tonk Woman. Lisa was back in the spotlight again and now Keith is taking over. I didn't know who to watch and then Mick comes right in front of us sneering and pointing right at Linda. Keith won out this time as I followed him over to the keyboards and watched him take over for Chuck. As he banged out the final notes on the keyboard he finished it off with his boot. During Start Me Up, I realized that the end was in sight. I thought about leaving for a moment then discarded the idea knowing I better soak in as much as I possibly can. I was already thinking ahead to Las Vegas. But, let's finish tonight first. Jumpin Jack Flash went on for over 10 minutes as if Keith didn't want it to end. Brown Sugar, the now staple encore was without a doubt the strongest version in years. These guys cease to amaze me. I think it's safe to say I'll never grow tired of them. How can you improve on greatness? I don't know but the Stones do. Best Song 19th Nervous Breakdown. Most Fun, CrazyMama.
Well, off to Las Vegas Maybe I'll see you there.
Wow. They were kicking it on "Out Of Control" just as I was getting inside. The sound was great and the big screen really worked. Man, they sounded good. if there would have been a roof on Dodger Stadium, it would have been blown off during "Miss You", the whole band was grooving. They were hitting that note. As usual, Charlie got the loudest ovation. It brought tears to my eyes to know that the fans appreciates the world's greatest Rock and Roll drummer. "Little Queenie" from the small stage was ragged but right. The night ended with "Brown Sugar" and fireworks.
Read all about the 1997 tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine issue IORR 30 out Oct. 15, 1997.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1997 -
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