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

Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
Friday Jan. 16, 1998

Review by Bj�rnulf Vik

The show tonight started at 9:42, i.e. 10 minutes later than the the first MSG show, even if Fiona Apple finished 10 minutes earlier. I had a great seat like on Wednesday, and all I can say is, both Keith and Ronnie blessed me. As I missed Keith's pick the first time he threw it my way, he noticed, and placed the next one safely in my hand, crunching it as saying thank you. So I say thank you Keith!

I was saying to myself: This is just as great as Brixton, except it is for everybody. After Mick finished Miss You, he said: You were much better than on Wednesday, ..., I guess you say that to all the girls... And he had a big laugh, as he walked across the stage. But it was true... And Mick's voice seemed to be perfect tonight as well.

Out Of Control was may be not as fantastic as on the previous show, but who could top that performance on Wednesday of OOC???

The 2nd show on Friday surely had got rid of much of the nerve. The sound was better, even if the first song on the small stage had this bad acoustics at first, like usually. But who cares, it was great still.

This show is still ringing in my ears. Not because my ears have got tinnitus or something. No, it was just so great. They did Already Over Me. There was no web choice, and the reason, they said, was there were too many slow songs, and they could not fit the web vote winner in (Waiting On A Friend).

After the show we went to Mustang Harry, and had some beers, food and rest. Meeting up with fans and friends from Switzerland, England, Sweden, Finland, Argentina, USA, Germany and Norway sure is great. It felt like NY and MSG was pilgrim place.

These are the Mustang Harry 2am napkin reviews:

I hope to see a lot more reviews and comments about this show, and I will post it all here soon. Thanks!

PS. Ed Beaver will be back tomorrow...

The set list:

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Let's Spend The Night Together
  3. Flip The Switch
  4. Gimme Shelter
  5. Respectable
  6. Already Over Me
  7. Bitch
  8. Saint Of Me
  9. Out Of Control
  10. Miss You
    -- Introductions --
  11. All About You (Keith)
  12. You Don't Have To Mean It(Keith)
  13. Little Queenie (center stage)
  14. Let It Bleed (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 Fred Michmershuizen and Steven S. Couse

We had a terrific time at the Rolling Stones show Jan. 16 at Madison Square Garden. The band changed the lineup of tunes a bit and did six songs Friday that they did not do at the Wednesday show. It appeared that they skipped the cyber vote song (what happened to Waiting on a Friend? That one was leading in the cyber vote by late Friday afternoon.) They did, however, do two numbers that were on the cyber ballot, so perhaps one of those ones was the winner. In any event, they never acknowledged from the stage that they were doing a requested song.

Our seats were way in the back, Section 346. But we didn't stay in our seats for much of the show. Instead, we roamed around to the backstage area, and also stood in the aisles and watched and boogied. We had an unfettered, 360-degree walking-about space, which was nice. Every once in a while an usher would tell us to move along.

It was the best version of Satisfaction that we have ever heard them do. Keith played a high note on that one and held it there while Mick danced, and later in the song Keith had an excellent, lengthy guitar solo. Let's Spend the Night Together was second, with the opening on piano, but we like it better when played with more guitars. Flip the Switch sounded great, and that's when the sparks set in. (I had the turkey and the stuffing too, I even saved a little bit for you.) The crowd got really riled up during Gimme Shelter. (Mad bull, lost its way.)

The first surprise of the evening came when they did a very tight version of Respectable, with Mick on guitar. Sounded hot. The Stones did the slow number Already Over Me next, and just like with Lowdown on Wednesday it was the first time the band performed this number on the tour. We thought the song was beautiful. It had a slow acoustic groove with Keith playing a very emotional Neil Young-esque guitar solo. Charlie did great by accentuating the peaks toward the end of the song. He really is an incredible drummer.

Bitch was next, a good rocker, and we especially liked the double take they did at the very end. Saint of Me went well, and many in the crowd were singing along on that one. Ronnie punctuated that one at the end. Out of Control with Mick on harmonica really cooked. Mick was all over the stage like a firefly as swirling circular lights decorated the stage floor. Miss You was next, performed very casually, with the band members coming on the back runway for that one behind the stage, Mick with his guitar. When Mick was strumming the guitar, you couldn't hear anything. Was it plugged in? After Miss You, Mick said something like, "You're much better singers than the crowd on Wednesday."

Band introductions followed, as usual, leading up to Keith's chance to take center stage. All About You shows that Keef is really a sentimental guy at heart. Then for his second number Keith told the crowd he was going to do Wanna Hold You, then he changed his mind and instead started into You Don't Have to Mean It, and we think that was only the second time they have done that one on this tour, so that was good. Not one of our favorites on record but somehow very appropriate on stage.

Next, the band pranced out to the small center stage. No bridge so they had to walk the runway. Little Queenie was first, and it sounded fantastic. The sound was much, much better for this first song on the small stage than it was on Wednesday night. Let It Bleed was next, and they played that one for a very long time and really got into it. Mick added some acoustic guitar riffs to this one. Mick winced when there was a feedback screech during that one. Like a Rolling Stone is a big crowd pleaser, and it looks like the Stones are going to keep that one in the set for the rest of the tour. It climaxed with Mick wailing on harp. By this point in the show everyone in the whole place was on their feet and stayed standing for the rest of the show. Dylan was not there as had been rumored, but Mick did acknowledge that he was playing next door at the Paramount.

Next came the big hits, beginning with Sympathy for the Devil, and for the rest of the show the band worked the crowd into a frenzy. Tumbling Dice followed. Then Honky Tonk Women with Keith jamming wildly on piano toward the end. The line "I met a divorcee in New York City" brought wild cheering from the crowd. Start Me Up was up next, and the sound was very thunderous and you could really feel Charlie's bass drum in between the familiar riff parts. Some flashpots along the back of the stage exploded in a fiery flash before the start of Jumping Jack Flash, and Mick stayed at the mike in the center of the stage for most of that one, it seemed.

The encore opened with You Can't Always Get What You Want, then the awesome Brown Sugar finale, and the glitter shower brought the whole thing to a close. It was a terrific show.

A few other comments:

Review by Joe Schaefer, CT,USA

What can I say. It was 10 times better than Giants Stadium. Instead of it being too cold, the Garden was very hot! We walked around inside the garden during Fiona Apple, sorry just don't like her. Besides who really is worthy of warming up for the Stones?

At 9:40, we began to rock! Great to hear "respectable" never heard them play that one. "Bitch" was fantastic! Glad they didn't play "Waiting on a Friend", too slow. The one thing I did miss was "It's only rock n roll", but "Little Queenie" fit in just fine.

I won't post the setlist as it is already there.

Well this is probably it for me for this tour unless I win the lottery.

Thanks to all stones fans everywhere for sharing your thoughts over the past year and for those of you with shows to come.. ENJOY!!

Love(not in vain)

Review by Tamara Guo (aka Blue Lena), Pittsburgh, PA

Just returned from Friday's MSG show & I have to say that it was a stellar performance! It was my fifth show this tour & clearly the best yet. It was great to see such a change in the setlist from the Wed. show, and hearing Respectable & Already Over Me (beautiful for a first attempt) was a treat! The crowd was soooo into the show & the Stones were at their peak, they were pumped up! Mick was prancing & dancing like a mad man & Keith was doing those wondeful kicks & splits that I love to see so much. Keith did that long intro to Honky Tonk Women, played some awesome leads, and I was in heaven. I laughed when Keith announced he was going to play Wanna Hold You, because I knew the setlist for Fri. showed him doing You Don't Have To Mean It. It seemed to me that someone purposefully cut his power prompting him to turn around & say " I need some power", and walking back to the mic, he laughed & said "the boys just informed me, we're gonna do You Don't Have To Mean It." Bless you Keith! We love ya baby! I sent a third skull scarf backstage to Keith (thanks to Tony & Arnold Dunn) hope he wears it for Saturday night's show :-) See ya in Houston boys!!

Review by Bertrand Laisney Laheronniere, France

Before leaving Paris for NYC on 16 January 1998, I had seen The Rolling Stones 33 times in my life. The MSG concert on Friday 16 January was one of my best concerts. One of the best part of the show was Saint Of Me and Out Of Control. I had never seen Mick moving and dancing like he did on Out Of Control; a real jumping jack. During this concert, even Miss You was fantastic. I was at the first row of section 5 at approximately 20 meters from the main stage and less than 5 meters from the center stage.

When they played the center stage, I could approached at 2 meters and I had a tear during Little Queenie, thinking of Get Yer Ya Ya's Out and the 1969 shows. The best impression I had was to have the Stones in front of me at 2 meters and to have the sound - very loud - in my back, coming from the main stage. The usual songs from the last tours - Honk Tonk Women, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar sounded like never before. I think I heard the best JJF being played in the MSG from all the tours. I was there, what more can I ask for ???

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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