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

Centre Molson
Montreal, Canada
Monday April 20, 1998

Review by Stephane Giroux

I was a little suprised that they dropped one song, in this case the Web choice but the quality of the show made-up for the shortage of songs. There seemed to be quite a bit more energy than the night before, but it may have something to do with the fact that I had better seats. I was halfway between the two stages. Having studied security movements the night before, I was able to carefuly slip from my seat during I Wanna Hold You so I could walk back and position myself right in front of the mini stage. I jump to the description of the small stage because it remains my favorite part of the show.

Besides the fact that I had actor Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) standing next to me (he's in town to shoot a movie), I was so close that I could feel Jagger's breath. At the first licks of Little Queenie, the entire floor started jumping up and down, and we could positively tell that Mick, Keith and Ronnie were enjoying themselves like kids in a candy store. Keith tortured his guitar like there was no tommorrow, during the nice rendition of I just want to make love to You. There was a girl standing by the side of the stage who was holding what looked like a framed gold record. Believe it or not, Keith spotted, reached his hand with a market AND SIGNED IT!!! The girl had no luck with the other band members.

Great Like a Rolling Stone followed, before the action moved back to the main stage for essentially a repeat of the night before. Highlights included Angie, with Keith sitting on a stool. I thought at first that the song sort of killed the upbeat set by Flip the Switch, especially given that they did IORR the night before. But surprisingly people really got into that song. Bitch brought Pandemonium, which continued well into Saint and Out of Control.

Great show once again. Now the tough part: will they ever come back to North America??? Having enjoyed early and recent shows of the tour, I can only attest that the Stones did not let the energy down at any moment. Their consistency was amazing. I hope the European audience will get the same equal quality.

Start time:  9:00
End time  : 11:15

The set list:

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Let's Spend The Night Together
  3. Flip The Switch
  4. Gimme Shelter
  5. Angie
  6. Bitch
  7. Saint Of Me
  8. Out Of Control
  9. Miss You
    -- Introductions --
  10. You Don't Have To Mean It (Keith)
  11. Wanna Hold You (Keith)
  12. Little Queenie (center stage)
  13. I Just Want To Make Love To You (center stage)
  14. Like A Rolling Stone (center stage)
  15. Sympathy For The Devil
  16. Tumbling Dice
  17. Honky Tonk Women
  18. Start Me Up
  19. Jumping Jack Flash
  20. You Can't Always Get What You Want (encore)
  21. Brown Sugar (encore)

Review by Ed Beaver

I have been trying to grow up, not hanging arond the hotel when the Stones leave. But again, tonight, I found myself just happening to be there, with about 50 other fans and others who just walked by. And within half an hour, I could say hello to Keith, Ronnie and Charlie, leaving in separate vans within ten minutes. Then a bit later, Mick comes out, not jumping into his car, but rather waiting a bit, does an extra pose to us stupid guys who never can get enough of the Stones, and then he smiles, waves, and off we go.

The warm-up band is like last night Wide Mouth Mason. Like last night they put up a very good performance. I have a seat at the side of the stage, and have this bird's perspective of it all, really nice for a change to be partly backstage, partly onstage, and see all there is up there. However, the sound is kinda muddy, as I am closer to the roof, and the sound seems to come from the roof rather than from the speakers.

Last night Keith was late for the intro to Satisfaction, but tonight he walks out just as the intro is on, to make sure he wouldn't be late at all. The first four songs are the usual ones. Great Gimme Shelter. Then they do Angie. Keith is sitting on a stool, playing the acoustic guitar. This is a rather rare song to be played, but they do it just fine. Bitch is next, and then Saint Of Me. Out Of Control is followed by Miss You. So I am waiting for something special after Miss You, but it turns out they just skipped one song for tonight, scaling the set down to 21 songs.

Keith does You Don't Have To Mean It and Wanna Hold You. Then it's on to the center stage. Mick is out there with his golden jacket long time before the others go; it seems like he can't wait tonight. They do the usual Little Queenie and Like A Rolling Stone, wrapping in the bluesy version of I Just Wanna Make Love To You.

Sympathy For The Devil is getting everyone in my section on their feet. So far they have been sitting down, but now things are getting serios. Keith is walking the backstage walkway, and people love it. Tumbling Dice. Mick is all over. He does a perfect catch when someone is throwing a piece of clothing rolled up as a ball. Impressing.

The rest of the set is strong, like last night. I can't really find any weak points, it's just a great show. May be last night's show was better, but I was starving then, so it's hard to compare. Anyway, the Stones gave Montreal two great arena shows, and now it's on to Chicago...

Review by Suzanne Pigeon

The Stones were unbelievable! I had seen them 8 or 9 years ago at the Olymic Stadium for the Steel Wheels Tour but Bridges of Babalon out did any rock show I have ever seen.

Hats off to the Stones, they are able bring back our youth for a few hours, to remember the good old days.

I thank you, for bringing me back in time, my tickets were not the best in the house, but they were a great birthday gift which were greatly appreciated.

Thanks again -- Total Fan

Review by Mat Treiber

I have just a couple of things to add to the many terrific reviews of the two Montreal shows, which I attended with my good buddy and fellow Stones fan Roy Zavorsky. I'll try not to recap everything, since the other people did such a good job. Just in passing before I get into it, I'm not some guy who likes the Stones and no other band. I'm a rock'n'roll fan who likes anything that's true to the music, from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to AC/DC and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. This is not a biased review by any means.

The first night, our seats were directly to the side of the stage, mere feet from the horn section and even closer to the railing which Mick would lean on to entice the crowd. I never thought much of Mick Jagger (I'm a Keith fan) until he was ten feet away from me, flailing his arms around and motioning toward the ten or twenty people in front of him as though he were singing just for us. I threw my socks in his direction (not having anything else), and he kicked one into the pit under the stage. Needless to say, my opinion of Mick has changed quite a bit. Keith came by a couple times, and I thought "My God, this is the closest I'll ever get to my hero in my life!" I was wrong.

The night of the second show, a scalper conned my buddy Roy and me into getting tickets near the back of the floor, kind of close but not really accessible to the center stage. I was angry as hell, because I knew that the night before I had been so much closer. But before the show we ran into a guy who gave us pointers on when and how to edge close to the stage before the Stones got there.

At the end of "You Don't Have to Mean It" (arguably the best Keith song since "Happy"), Roy and I moved to the aisle and crept forward. As the band launched into the best rendition of "Wanna Hold You" you could ask for, Roy moved to the corner of Keith's side, and I went right in front of Keith's mike. As I crossed the aisle, Jim Callaghan walked right by me. I wanted to say hello, but I was afraid he'd have me moved away, and I didn't want to risk it.

As they arrived, I realized how small they are, but how impossibly cool they looked. Keith was right in front of me, and winked in my direction. To see a face like his in the flesh, so weathered from experience, giving such a tough, almost evil scowl, was positively scary. He softened a bit as he shared a laugh with Ronnie (the best-suited second guitar player the Stones ever had), and as he broke into the chorus of "Like a Rolling Stone", the most contented look crossed his face, and I couldn't help but envy him - he's living my dream. Then again, I guess he earned it. Throughout the center stage set, my all-time hero played his raw, ragged riffs right in front of me. I screamed his name and sang along the whole time. It was one of the best moments of my life.

As I came back to see Roy, he subtly showed me what he was holding: Keith's (red) and Mick's (blue) drinking cups from the center stage. We swiped Ronnie's yellow one a few minutes later. Roy emptied Mick's water on the floor, but we held onto Keith's half-full watered-down beer and Ronnie's half-full watered-down apple juice (I know what they were because I took a sip of each - let's hope they don't have anything contagious).

And then it was over, and as we left, I felt like crying tears of joy. Never in my nineteen years had I dreamed of seeing two terrific shows from so close. What I got those two nights was a little taste of rock'n'roll heaven delivered by the Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band in the World. For that I'll always be thankful.

P.S.: A very sincere THANK YOU should go out to Charlie Watts for going on another tour, not only for Mick, Keith and Ronnie, but for all of us fans. He's the best drummer in the business, and it's only right that when he was introduced both nights, you could feel the crowd go crazy for him. Thanks a million, Charlie.

Read all about the Bridges To Babylon tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine. Next issue IORR 33 out May 20, 1998.

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