It's Only Rock'n Roll
The day was warm and beautiful, as the sun was shining from a blue sky. We had 25-30 C during the day, really warm. But by 5pm lots of strong wind appeared, and shortly after 6pm we got the first big rain showers. And it should rain all through the show, more or less.
The band and the crowd was great, despite of the cold and ugly rain. We all got wet, except for those who got shelter on the left side of the seated areas. Ronnie took shelter under the rain cover by Chuck, Charlie and Darryl for most of the time. Keith was back there a lot more than usual too, I guess he hates rain too. Mick stayed up in the front getting wet most of the time. When the rain was peaking, he put on a black hat, or a cap, like he had on Like A Rolling Stone on the small stage.
Out Of Control was one of the rainy numbers. It was fun to see Mick with the hat, and I did even got a reprise of it on the television, as I was home (well as "home" as it gets tonight). They did broadcasts of parts of Out Of Control shortly after the show, soon after midnight.
Love Is Strong finally made it as a web choice. And what a song! Why don't they play it more? Mick alternating on harmonica and singing all the time. Strong and loud guitars. A great song.
You Got Me Rocking keeps hanging in there, this time on the small stage. And as it finished, we got more rain. Just like in Paris 1995. A rain song!
The crowd was great, and the stadium was great too. Much nicer than an open field. And as I rushed out just after the final bow, I saw the whole band entering their vans and cars just to the left of the stage, just like they entered quite openly two hours and twenty minutes earlier. As I was walking all the way to the tube station, I could hear the crowd still crying for more inside the stadium. But the band is gone. Great concert!
Start time: 8:45 End time : 11:00
The set list:
They started early 20:41 (Perhaps because of the bad weather forcast) so I saw a lot a people coming in through Flip the switch. After the standard start (Satisfaction, LSTNT,FS and GS) we got Any body see my baby and a strong IORAR.
Web choice was Love is strong which was a nice alternative to the web standards Although we could hear that they don´t play it very often theses days. Keith did You don´t have to mean it and Wanna hold you (were as far as I could see and hear Ronnie did most of the soli´s which I think is unusual)
B-stage songs were LQ, You got me rocking, LARS. Well it was again a nice show and the early start was good. About 20 or 30 min. later it started to poor down the rain. On the end I must say stadium shows may be more comftable (Toilets, better seat for those who wants to sit through the show BUT the sound at Open air shows is always better. I can say the sound in Wiener Neustadt was really great Munich was just OK.
It was a beautiful day yesterday when we all gathered before the gates long before showtime. Dieter Hoffmann told me he was waiting there from 10.00 in the morning. I did arrive around 3 pm., having flown in from Dortmund. Without my wife, because she and our daughter Nessa Nuisance were leaving that night for our flat in Spain. So I got an early flight and tried for the front area again. While we were waiting, the weather got real windy and dark and the opening of the gates was delayed and delayed, due to technical problems (they said). We heard the soundcheck, bits of Thief in the night and riffs from the end bit, but no proper songs were played.
Gates opened close to 6 pm at last and then the other Munich problem struck again: Security. They are only there for you, that's what they tell you on their T-Shirts, but they sort of want to make the world a better place without anyone asking for it. What they did is keep everybody from running. You have the front gate, where you weren't let in, when you pushed, then you have the second gate, where they controlled your tickets. I could run 30 m after that, when they had another entrance for the pitch, controlled every ticket again and only let people in one by one. On the stairs down to the pitch there were guards every ten steps or so that kept you from running. Down on the pitch I could run for another 50m, when there was another ring of guards and so on and so on. I crossed about 5-8 rings of guards to make it into the inner section, keith side this time. It's a stupid thing to control a crowd, but it's the Munich way of doing it. The same with fireworks. Fireworks are not fireworks in Munich, they are little blobs and spits, that's all. the confetti machines for Brown Sugar had to be installed on top of the stage sound system, the end-firework was barely seen, and the one that goes off when the Stones have left was seen by nobody, as that took place on the ground behind the stage and they were not allowed to have that higher than 2 m or so.
The rain set in right before the Hothouse Flowers were going on stage and what a bit of rain. everything was drowned in a minute. I had that once before in East-Berlin 1990, 2nd show, where the stage was nearly falling apart and of course in Munich 1982 and 1990 (1995 was different: I orderd pitch tickets but got bad seats high up, so it didn't rain at all then).
The Hothouse Flowers couldn't win under those circumstances. They tried, but the audience was trying to get not as wet as they already were.
After some more warnings about the show possibly being interrupted due to extreme weather conditions and the promise, that the full show would be played, the Stones came on around 8.40 pm (maybe there's a curfew as well as in Wembley). Richards wore some outrageos green shoes, Jagger wore a hat a lot of the time, Even Ronnie did wear one when it got really heavy. The rain didn't stop the show, but we could see some outrageos stage wear by Jagger (that one coat with the fur round the collar was brilliant), no glimmer jacket for OOC, but a leather jacket & hat. Keith had a sergeant's jacket from the dutch army he wore for his songs and in the end and Charlie even wore a jacket, when he had to cross the bridge.
The show was good, but not brilliant, Jagger missed his bit in Tumbling Dice, Keith had to save that song and Love is strong (web choice) was another rehearsal version. they seemed to play it safe as well last night. During Miss You Jagger dared to kiss Lisa's inner thighs, but she was still laughing about him. It was good to see that right in front of you this time, but all in all, you can see more and better on Ronnie's side. There's more people over there on stage than on Keith' side. You do hear much more of Keith on his side, though.
Best bit: the ending of Wanna Hold you, where the guitars where really battling, great version.
Odd bit: Jagger coming on stage for Sympathy (fromt he catwalk). He gave Ronnie a strange look about not playing correctly or not at all. ronnie got eye contact with Keith and complained about Jagger's complaint. Keith tried to calm Ronnie down, who seemed pretty upset, because he was not supposed to play at all, as this was BEFORE the guitars set in. the guitarists then went to Charlie's drums and planned for revenge: When going over to the chorus, all three hit an offbeat note, that had Jagger looking back in amazement and everybody was laughing again.
Other strange bit: Jagger going out on the catwalk again for "Brown Sugar" and Charlie alone on the stagefront, going left and right and thanking the crowd with the other three in the back. Mind: I bet Charlie now likes what he does and on the next tour we see him do his own solo bit as well. There's Bernard, who can sing, we have a piano and there's brass as well, so let's all vote for a Charlie solo song, ok?
Although the first 8 songs were the same than in Nürnberg, Mick was in a fabulous condition this time, even so it was pouring cats and dogs during the show. Somehow he had fun in every stage of the program, which was felt by the fans, too. From the beginning on there was frenetic applause during and after the songs. Even "Anybody Seen My Baby?", which is normally live not such a success, pulled the crowd away (but not me!!). To my displease they also again played "It´s Only Rock´n´Roll", which I´m really stuffed from. I would have preferred "Memory Motel", "Bitch" or "Sister Morphine", but the majority obviously had a different opinion!
"Saint Of Me", an absolut crowd pleaser, was minutes afterwards still sung by the audience with Mick´s help, and even the rest of the band - like in Amsterdam - jamed on. Simply fantastic! Nothing must be said to "Out Of Control" - in my view the best song of the show, that is hopefully also heard on the next tours, too. (Go and get the US-Promo CD of "Out Of Control" with the great Madison Square Garden live-version!).
Web choice: For days I was sending E-Mails for "Love Is Strong" and finally I couldn´t believe it: Really, "Love Is Strong", which is very seldom sung on this tour (up till now, only in Hannover, Germany), that also was obvious as Mick twice made mistakes in his singing - for Keith displease. But anyway, "Love Is Strong" is a winner in every concert where it´s played. "Miss You", which is in my ears not such a hit, was also gigantic, because Mick varified his voice in never heard ways (and, by the way, he was licking Lisa´s legs during the song!!!).
Keith did "You Don´t Have To Mean It" (in my opinion on stage better than "Thief In The Night") and (surprise!!) "Wanna Hold You" (great version).
Center Stage: In difference to many other B2B concerts the sound on the B-stage in Munich was very clear. "You Got Me Rocking" was just great and the whole audience thought so, too.
The end: Business as usual, but with an overwhelming Mick (the rest of the band seemed very inspired, too - only Ronnie seems often bored on this tour!) and with excellent versions of "Start Me Up" (Keiths extra long intro riffs) and "Jumping Jack Flash" (with the sax and trumpets). All in all: One of the best Stones concerts I´ve ever been to, even so I liked the set lists of the Voodoo Lounge Tour better (were they mainly played two songs more).
The songs they played were all very clear because Keith and Ronnie likes it to have some spare time during their show (No way to hear a sound-of-wall like "Love you live" or "Still life", even not like "Flashpoint"). Without Darryl Jones on the bass and Chuck Leavell on piano and keyboards I think you need about 30 seconds to know the song title.
No fluid soli on Satisfaction or Sympathy (Sorry, Keith. You know, I adore you but on this evening you played aweful!). All soli were just like these magic "Tumbling Dice"-lick-cliches, no chance on soli like on the video of B2B-tour at St.Louis (Keith, were have this fluent Chuck Berry-licks gone? Listen to "Get yer ya-ya's out or "Love you live". Ronnie, I would die for one more solo like "YCAGWYW" on "Love you live" (In my opinion it's one of the top10-live-soli of all time ).
I think Ronnie played about 3 or 4 measures at "Satisfaction" and the rest of the show he played really laid back. He also got only one lead line on "Miss you" and the interlude of "Saint of me" the rest of the lead lines (?) played Keith.
Though it rained the crowd got wild at "Saint of me" and didn't stop singin' like the gigs before, so the band shortened the song (no second interlude) and started again with the crowd. Really cheap trick, boys!.
And what the hell has "You got me rocking" to do with an gig on the small stage. No "Little red rooster", "The last time" or anything else. They also played no ballad or slow number like "Wild horses", "Angie", Memory motel" or"YCAGWYW".
The web choice was "Love is strong", which Keith started too slow, Mick played the harp intro too early, so they played really on the edge to break up and start again.
The rest of the show was fantastic in order to sound and lightning design of the stage but in order to the setlist and to their playing style it would be the best they stop touring after this tour. It hurts to much for a real fan. (Press release in Munich say that it was fantastic, brilliant and so on with pictures of VIP at the buffet and so on. I think if Charlie died on stage they will also print that it was fantastic, brilliant,... - you know what I mean.)
I also think that this time it was really the last time because at the end Charlie stood alone on the stage and it seemed that he wants to shake hands with every single person in the stadium to thank for the last 36 years - he also came back again on stage with Mick for a last good-bye. Just think about that scenery!
I hope you don't understand me wrong but in relation to such legendary tours at '76, '82 or (my favourite) '90 they were on this day only a shade of themselves.
I read all reviews of the European tour and I know they can be brilliant if they want - read the review of the brilliant trio (Mick, Keith and Dave Matthews on "Memory Motel") and you will know what I mean.
So I hope that the show in Munich was the only one which they played on a low or middle level and I hope I can see them one more time at their best because that's the reason why I love them.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1998 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe