It's Only Rock'n Roll
Dead Flowers replaced Sister Morphine. As much as we like both songs, hopefully Sister Morphine isn't permamently out of the setlist.
Bernard is great throughout the show, but he seems to have great fun with the rap portion of Anybody Seen My Baby. The crowd seems to enjoy that part of the song too.
Because of the way the field was set up, the center stage was unseen by thousands. The screens were off during the three center stage songs. Mick commented about the "barbed-wire fence" for the "rough" crowd.
A final note, the Stones must have had a momentary lapse of reason to let the Smashing Pumpkins open. The small portion of the crowd that liked the Pumkins talked through and paid little attention to the Stones.
Start time: 8:40 p.m. End time: 10:50 p.m.
The set list:
Frustrations... where is Saint of Me, Already Over Me and/or others from the strong new album? Flip The Switch is still a bit rough but it's good to hear it. Also, Dead Flowers came at the expense of Sister Morphine while Bitch and You Got Me Rocking replaced preferred (IMHO) 19th Nervous Breakdown and Last Time. I'd readily trade out Jumpin' Jack Flash, Brown Sugar and Start Me Up for some rarer gems.
Dave Matthews Band, one of the opening acts, put on a very strong performance.
Now, back to our story, the fence was in the way of our seats that were far from the centre of the stage (and we paid $75 for them!!!). There were also a race lighting tower and a sound control stand in our line of sight. Not happy at this point.
They had originally planned to have the stage much farther away and the general admission area (which was cheaper) was on the racetrack itself with the $75 seats in the stands some 300 ft from the stage. They had poor ticket sales and decided to move the stage 150ft closer, putting the small centre stage right in up next to the stand seats. At the time I had purchased the tickets nobody (not ticketmaster, the race way, or the promoter) could tell me how it was going to be set up. I was the second person in line and asked for the best seats available, getting 11th row. Sounds pretty good, not like your going to be 400 ft from the stage with a huge fence, lighting tower and sound tent in the way, and thousands of people who paid a lot less than you did in front of you on the other side of the fence.
Matchbox 20 started off the show, at a time when the natural light made them blend in perfectly with the piles of speakers and equipment on the stage. It was hard to even see them as they dressed in dark colours and didn't move around much. Good sound though, but quite a bit of noise from the crowd. The young kids wanted to hear them, the older crowd didn't care. Due to REALY poor seat set up, they had loose folding chairs lined up along the fence forming the first 8 rows of the stand seating and almost no security for the size of crowd they had. The people in those chairs stood up, and hundreds of other people went down and stood there as well.
After Matchbox 20, I discovered the next big dissapointment for the night. Being in a dry county they sold no beer in the venue, having instead a beer garden 500 yards out in the parking lot. There you had to buy a membership (it has to do with the dry county laws) for $3 and then by warm flat $4 beer. Needless to say this made for a generally dry crowd.
They had expected around 70,000 people but didn't get them, though it made for no lineups in the restrooms (mens and womens). The Dave Mathews band was better and the crowd was much more into it. It was also much easier to see them (though the people, fence, lighting tower, etc). The Smashing Pumpkins sucked. I have been a fan, having liked them since I first heard them on university radio, before they got popular at all. I was looking forward to them, but they sucked. If I had come to see just them I would have left halfway through their set in disgust. Due to the piss poor security some kids were climbing up on the fence and it took quit a while for anyone to try get them down. Oh, I forgot to mention that once the Pumpkins started they turned on lights that shone into the crowds face and left them on. Big bright steady blinding lights, real nice touch.
Having had enough, we decided that if there were 1000 people down front blocking the view then what did it matter if there were 1002, so we went down just as before the Pumpkins did their last song. The kids that had pushed their way to the front for the "hipper" opening acts had to pee so we got right to the front, right smack in front of the small stage (only 15 or so feet away). Nothing to block my view. Then the Stones started. I'm still so excited I'm tingling all over. Awsome concert, great mix of songs. They really made use of the stage and kept moving so that people all up and down the stadium got to see them closer.
Everyone I could see was standing the whole concert and behaving like a good loud Texas crowd. The internet song was the one I wanted (Star Star). About half the crowd was right into Star Star (aka Star Fucker), the other half had never heard it and seemed pretty shocked at the lyrics. Perfect for a Stones concert. I knew God wanted me to be there, after such an unprommising start my expectations were blown away by the fantastic show put on. I can hardly wait to see them again in Las Vegas.
And that small stage. I can't say enough, it was like seeing them in a bar with nobody to block our view (the people in front were down on the racetrak, so we were well above them at the same height as the stage. The ending fire works were super, as was the whole stage blowing up and spewing fire.
The Stones blew the roof of the place. Actually, there's no roof, the Texas Motor Speedway is a huge open air venue, but you get the picture. Mick hasn't lost a step since I saw them last tour. He was in rare form, Jaggeresque in the extreme. Star Star was the webchoice and a real treat. Gimme Shelter was an explosion akin to the third world war. The rest of the setlist was essentially unchanged.
There was no Sister Morphine or 19th Nervous Breakdown, but they gave a good performance of Dead Flowers instead. Lets Spend the Night Together was a throwback to yesteryear with The Stones live on the bigscreen in black and white. Keith could have picked different songs for his portion of the show, but by then it didn't really matter, nirvana had already set in firmly. Songs from previous tours that would be nice include Paint it Black and Midnight Rambler, but there's too many good songs to choose from. At the end of the gig, you felt like you had just seen the Apocalypse come and go. Irregardless of age, the Stones are still the Stones. Irreverent as hell and the greatest band on planet earth.
I thought they all looked great. Ronnie is so cute when he plays. I loved hearing Starfucker! That was so damn incredible! Ronnie and Mick singing it together was almost too much for me! Mick performed outstandinly! His voice was so strong and he was his usual charismatic, sexy self. Not to mention he was so full of energy. If you have not figured it out Mick is my favorite! Keith was his usual self, playing extrodinary! I really thought I might die when he walked down on the lower ramp in front of me. To actually make eye contact with someone, well 2 someones (Keith & Ronnie) that take your breath away the way they do mine is just amazing. Saturday night my heart skipped several beats thanks to these lads. I think it even stopped briefly when Ronnie winked at me. my heart flutters just thinking about it.
The sound was perfect, you could hear every instrument crystal clear. The boys gave it their all. Wish they would have played a bit longer but I got a good fix anyway =). Everyone waiting for the show to come to your town (or one near you) I must say it will be well worth the wait!
Now there was something that bothered me (pissed me off really), after
the concert there were several people I heard putting the Stones down.
Saying the show sucked. Most of these were Opening act fans. They were also
bitching about the Pumpkins not doing an encore and really stupid shit like
that. I just want to know why the hell would anyone pay $80 to go see
opening acts only?!?! IMHO that is totally stupid.
#1. They never play much longer than an hour
#2. NO ENCORES!!
Now why would you pay that kind of money for that?!? If you do not like the headliner wait till the band you want to see headlines!! I do not want to hear your negative shit about my band and IMHO the BEST band in the world!!!
Waiting for Houston show!!!
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 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe