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It's Only Rock'n Roll

Tokyo Dome
Tokyo, Japan
Saturday March 14, 1998

Review by Toru Aoki

After the rehearsal of yesterday and this afternoon, the sound situation was drastically improved, especially the guitar sounds. The Stones don't compromise. That's The Stones are all about. Did Mick read my review? And the lighting was splendid on Gimme Shelter. It was really suitable for Dome Stadium. Despite Mick seemed to be hard to sing the high key, Star Star was excellent. I wanted so badly to hear this song that I vote it for web choice yesterday. I remembered the review of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1973 which had written like this,"The Rolling Stones was really vivid when they play such kind of Rock'n Roll song."

Fisheye lens was used on Miss You for the screen, but I guess the photo of Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix was shown on this song in Chicago. Was it under my wrong impression? After the high touch with Mick, Keith presented two songs. Blondie Chaplin was on acoustic guitar. Long time to see Blondie since he came here with Japanese base player, Rey Ohara and Bamboo. There was a girl as back singer. I don't know who she was. Is she a Ronnie's family?

Little Queenie was so heavy. No band in the world can make 50,000 crowds dance by playing Chuck Berry Song except Boys, I believe. And You Gotta Me Rocking was heavy too. It was incredible that they played it like this on such a small stage without any gimmick. Tumbling Dice, my son's favorite, Mick slipped the start. But who cares? He didn't mistake Honky.

Anyway, the sound was good. And audience was hot. Saturday night was all right for dancing. Excuse me Keith! And I hope they will play Beast Of Burden as web choice on Monday or Tuesday.

Start time : 6:45
End time   : 9:00

The set list:

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Let's Spend The Night Together
  3. Flip The Switch
  4. Gimme Shelter
  5. Anybody Seen My Baby
  6. 19th Nervous Breakdown
  7. Saint Of Me
  8. Out Of Control
  9. Star Star (web choice)
  10. Miss You
    -- Introductions --
  11. Thief In The Night (Keith)
  12. Wanna Hold You (Keith)
  13. Little Queenie (center stage)
  14. You Got Me Rocking (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 Tom Hayes

The Stones concert on Saturday, March 14th, the second in Tokyo on the Bablyon Tour, was by all accounts better than the first. The Tokyo Dome was nearly full, and the sound better than at the Wednesday concert, though it left much to be desired until about halfway through the show.

The Stones started right at 6:45 with Satisfaction, and ran through the usual opening songs, "Night Together", "Flip the Switch", "Gimme Shelter", "Seen My Baby", until they shocked everyone with a very fast and dirty version of "19th Nervous Breakdown". It must have been a while since the Stones were used to doing this one live, as Mick sang the second verse three times until finally moving to the final verse!

They then moved to the hi-lite of the show, for me, which are "Saint of Me" and "Out of Control", and then delighted everyone again with a somewhat plodding but still exciting version of "Star Star", the Internet Choice. Oddly, Mick sang the first verses as he generally does the final ones, slightly higher in pitch.

"Miss You" was led by Lisa Fisher, who can hold her own against Mick Jagger better than anyone around. Perhaps better than Tina Turner.

Keith's set began with another surprise, "Thief in the Night", with Chaplin on guitar and a back-up singer who may have been Ronnie's daughter. He followed TITN with a so-so "I Wanna Hold You."

The mid-arena set blistered! The Stones blasted through an up-tempo "Little Queenie", with Keith taking a very fine extended lead, then "You Got Me Rocking", equally up-tempo, and "Like A Rolling Stone".

From then on it was the basic Babylon tour, with no real surprises. Not even the encore. The audience clearly knew the Stones would not finish with "Jumpin' Jack Flash", and there was virtually no excitement before the encore. Still, the music was excellent throughout the show, better than the Wednesday night before, and certainly better than when they played Tokyo in 1995.

Review by Hitoshi & Junko Sato

Unlike the previous concert on the 12th, Tokyo Dome was packed with sold out crowd tonight. In addition to 50,000 audience, TV cameras were there and the Stones gave an energetic performance. The sound had been improved, better balanced with louder guitar sound.

After the opening 4 songs, which were same as the 1st show, Mick asked the audience "Tanosinde ru?" ("Are you having good time?") then "Anybody Seen My Baby" was played for the first time in Japan. Mick's vocal seemed to be unstable on this song which was seldom omitted from the latter part of the North American Tour. "19th Nervous Breakdown" appealed strongly to the audience, especially when Mick and Keith got close to each other and sang together. "Star Star", the web choice of the night, made the audience even more excited although Mick started to sing in higher pitch than usual and the song turned into a slightly awkward version.

On the first song of the Keith's set, "Thief In The Night", Chaplin played acoustic guitar and a female backing vocalist (Probably Ronny's daughter) joined along with an additional keyboard player. On the center stage, "Little Queenie", "You Got Me Rocking" and "Like A Rolling Stone" were performed. There seemed to be no underwear being thrown in, but Mick received a bouquet of red roses. The hit parade at the final part of the show was exciting as usual. Mick missed the very beginning of the first verse of "Tumbling Dice", but there was no other notable mistake. Audience filling up the Dome singing those songs with the band was a spectacular sight.

Read all about the Bridges To Babylon tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine. Next issue IORR 32 out March 20, 1998.

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