It's Only Rock'n Roll
The set list:
In the review by Dean Goodman he couldn't see the person well who jumped the main stage, but I could. The jumper was a guy standing right next to me. He climbed the railing we were all leaning over and made his leap. Not a real cool thing, if you ask me. I LOVE the Stones and I fear for their (the Stones- not the jumper's) safety when people act in this dangerous manner.
The show was amazing, as usual. I've been to every tour since 1975 when I was 15 years old. I've seen them countless times and even traveled as much as possible to see them in different cities and venues. I even named my son Keith after, you guessed it, Keith Richards of course. So I am a huge fan and you might think my opinions are swayed, but each tour and each performance just keeps getting better than the last.
Keiths rendition of You Got The Silver was so sweet and perfect. He was totally on for his part in Memory Motel too.
I was in the 4th row on the floor section on Tuesday night, but then moved to the 1st row of the side riser section for last night and was much closer.
The camera pit directly in front of the stage is at least 5 feet deep and you can't get too close. But last night I was close enough to reach out and hand Mick a pair of thong panties that I had brought for the occasion. He took them from me and stuffed them in his pants. Later I saw the panties had ended up on Charlies drum riser. Then later when Keith came to our side of the crowd I threw out a brassier which landed on his back as he bowed. It fell to the ground and was later picked up by Mick who again stuffed them in his trousers. I'll be wondering where that one ended up.
The horn section never disappointed and the back up singers were great, as always. It's so good to see that Lisa Fisher and Bernard Fowler are regulars on the tours. They are so talented and cool. Love that Lisa. Wish they would have done Gimmie Shelter which is a tune that allows Lisa to really shine and belt out the high notes.
Charlie seemed to be having a fun night. Ronnie too. Mick tousled Ronnie's hair a bit in the beginning. Keith was smiling all night long.
Apparently lots of celebs attended the show although I couldn't see them because they were seating far from me. My seats were, happily, much better. Rumor was that Jack Nicholson was there taking bows. Al Pacino was to have been there too. I wouldn't know or care. My eyes were on The Stones.
I thought I would miss not hearing Satisfaction and Miss You but I've heard those plenty of times on previous tours. But it was so good to hear the ones never done live in a long time like Live With Me, Moonlight Mile and Sweet Virginia (a real favorite of mine). One of my favorites of the two shows was Paint It Black-- they really punched it out for that one!
Great show. Never a dull moment. Non-stop dancing. Loved every minute!
The highlight of the concert for me was in the next 5 songs. Memory motel, with Keith using what vocals he has, was great. Then Shine Alight was just awesome. Then Some Girls, Saint of Me and Paint it Black were great. It seemed as if they had fixed the sound.
But, then came You Got The Silver and towards the end of the song, the sound went out again. Keith then tried to sing You Don't Have To Mean It, but by then his voice was gone. When they went to the B-Stage, the sound was down right lousy. During When the Whip Comes Down some guy runs on stage and the two security guys literally throw him back into the crowd.
By the time they got to Start Me Up I was real unhappy, but then magically the sound got better and the last three were smoking. During Sympathy for the Devil, another wierdo ran on stage and security got this guy under the stage real quick. Mick didn't miss a beat. But, even as good as the Stone's wanted to be, and the crew was, this concert could have been a lot better if the sound had been mixed properly. The concert I saw in Sacramento on the 6th was twice as good as this show was. For some reason, the sound in Sacramento was perfect. I hope somebody taped that show.
I had never been in the Pond before and was surprised as to how big it was. Haze hung in the air. I was down in the tunnel when Jack Nicholson came to the concert and they spotlighted him a couple of times before the concert started. All I can say is, why can't the Stones play a different set of songs than we keep hearing on this tour.
The first three songs (Jumping Jack Flash, Live With Me and Respectable) set the tone. They came to rock. "You Got Me Rocking" rumbled through the building like it always does, Charlie always sounds like WW3 on it. "Honky Tonk Tonk" sounded like a poor drunken sailor lurching down the street with the help of the horn section.
Things slowed down a bit with the next two songs which were "Memory Motel" and "Shine A Light" and both them were great, as much as the Stones have been rockers, their great ballads can stand with anybody's. Both songs were highlights.
The next three ("Some Girls", "Saint Of Me" and "Paint It, Black") started to light the fire which started to simmer with "Some Girls" and by "Paint It, Black" it was a three alarm blaze. "Paint It, Black" was so good that somewhere Brian Jones must be smiling down.
The introductions came again with the fans erupting for Charlie. The fans know that he is the engine that makes old Chevy go. Then Keith went back into the way back machine and pulled out "You Got The Silver", a real highlight. He was pirate cool as he stood there singing it. "You Don't Have To Mean It" was Keith sloppy, it lurched along fueled by too much Red Stripe Beer. The Jag came back for "Out Of Control" and he was.
The B stage took me back to Olympia in Paris circa '65, last they were young and lean on "Route 66". hopped up on "When The Whip Comes Dooown" and menacing mean and bluesy on "Midnight Rambler. Another highlight, Charlie was good last night wasn't he?. Next came the fossil medley, "Tumbling Dice", "It's Only And Roll", "Start Me Up", "Brown Sugar" and "Sympathy For The Devil" on the surface we have heard those songs a lot but to hear the crowd sing on "Brown Sugar" always brings a lump to my throat and the horns on "Sympathy For The Devil" gave it a Memphis Stax feel so that was cool. Anyway the Old Men rocked the house as only they could. Somewhere I know that Muddy Waters is proud.
Yep, there were two stage invaders. The second one was a guy who resembled Sasquatch (yeti, for you Europeans out there). He got on during Sympathy, and he gave Mick a frightful moment. I immediately thought of the bit in Gimme Shelter where Mick says something always happens when that song is played.
Among the items thrown on stage was a very large basketball shoe (on the mini-stage), and I'm perhaps a little bit responsible since I wrote a story in the Feb. 4 edition of the Orange County Register about the only other times the Stones played in Orange County, the Anaheim Stadium shows in '78, and mentioned that shoe-throwing that culminated with a hail of shoes on the second day during Love in Vain.
You Got the Silver was special. Midnight Rambler was outstanding. And I, too, had grown weary of the final 5-song stretch of standards. But for some reason last night they seemed remarkably fresh and re-invigorated. I don't know how the hell that happened.
The first show was an 8 on a 10 scale. This one was a 17. The whip came down, yep.
I probably saw Keith smile more tonight than I had seen in his whole career. My seats where right to the side of the stage. I WAS CLOSE. It was neat just seeing there expressions. Mick is a dancing fool. OUT OF CONTROL he almost fell down and received the biggest applause when he pulled his shirt over his head while romping around like a mad man. The greatest show I've ever been to. Their next tour should be all arenas. You can't get any better than that.
Keith strides to the front of the stage in the dark, waits a beat, and then storms into "JJ Flash". And they're off and cooking.
The energy was great, but the acoustics were horrible. This is my third time seeing them in Anaheim, Times one and two being on the '78 tour at Anahiem Stadium (outside). And all three times the sound has sucked!
I was sitting in section 221, 6 rows off the floor -- perfect seats -- about twenty rows from the stage. We were on Keith's side of the stage. These were killer seats!! And the sound was pure mud. All bass, no high end. I had a friend up in the top section -- 408 -- and he said the sound was terrible up there as well. Hard to understand how the house mix could be this bad.
However, there were highlights: "Midnight Rambler" on The "B" stage was awesome. "Paint It Black" was truly hypnotic and took me to a new place. "You Got The Silver" was great to hear, but again, muddy sound really hurt this song.
The classics were great to hear again and again and again, however, it would be nice to hear some more nuggets. "Some Girls" was also a highlight. Mick really tore into this song.
It's still the Stones and all in all it was fun, but it didn't hold a candle to Vegas in '97 at The MGM Grand. That was truly an awesome show and the best I've ever seen the Stones.
Still worth seeing.
My good fortune and a connection or two helped me manage 8th row (Ronnie's side) for Tuesday and 7th row (Keith side) for Thursday's show. I even had a better seat than Jack Nicholson did Thursday but he looked so buzzed that I doubt he could tell where he was. But he was rockin his ass off during the fast ones and waving him arms in the air, eyes closed, during the slow tunes. I'd say he was groovin'.
I'm not going to review song by song here as we know most of them from repeated tours. But I would like to touch on some of the highlights.
As with the previous tours, one song always jumps out at me as a real surprise. "I Go Wild" from the VL tour, "Out of Control" and "Saint of Me" from B2B and now "Some Girls" from NS. I have to admit to skipping over this song often when listening to that album. But no more. It was just plain great. Mick just gives it his all on this one....maybe a shot at Jerry Hall....but whatever reason, it's worth the price of admission.
Next in line has to be "Midnight Rambler". This is the best they've played it since '72-'73 and very reminiscent of the Ya-Ya's version. From the small stage, it's a show stopper. My only complaint was that it should have been longer than the 6-7 minutes. I was just a few feet from the b-stage both nights and was blown away each time.
I got chills hearing "Moonlight Mile" on Tuesday. It's just amazing that they have not done this song live before now. Mick did the song true to the album and didn't miss a beat that I could notice.
"You Got The Silver" was easily the highlight of the Keith tunes. What a treat it was to hear that one. He sang it wonderfully and you could tell he was really enjoying it.
"Paint it Black" was very intense with a big ending. The cool lighting really complimented this classic. Almost symphonic, very dramatic.
I think "Route 66" is a very adequate replacement for "Little Queenie" this time around. Both have that small stage, rock & roll, Chuck Berry kinda sound that they do so well.
"Shine A Light" is one they should do for every show and not here and there. A great treat!!
Sprinkled over both nights were Memory Motel, Sweet Virginia, Just My Imagination and When The Whip Comes Down. All sounded great and just demonstrates the depth of their treasure chest of great tunes. I only wish we could get a tour without.......
All the Greatest Hits.
Damn it, I love those songs to death but I could easily go to a show without hearing a one of them again. The final 5 songs are surely a great way to end a concert and get the crowd screaming and dancing. I'm right there screaming and dancing and pumping my fist in the air along with the rest. I don't know... it's just that I'd love to hear so many other songs, I guess........
All in all, I have no complaints and couldn't recommended any more highly that you go see the show if at all possible. The bare bones stage adds to the excitement of seeing a band in top form. "It's Only Rock & Roll may be the most intense version I've heard of that one. Just balls out, chord banging rock & roll.
They just keeping rollin' on!!!
GO SEE IT
Unfortunately, once again the sound was a major disappointment: poorly mixed, the vocals and instruments lost in a sea of echo and mud. The attraction of going to a Stones show in a relatively small venue is a chance to actually HEAR the music, rather than the wall of sound typical of stadium shows.
I've been to countless arena shows where the sound was excellent. Just 2 years ago I saw the Who perform Quadrophenia at the same venue, and the sound was clear and powerful.
Another reviewer at this site wondered if the Stones are doing sound checks. Judging by the sound, I doubt it seriously. For the amount of money being charged for tickets, the Stones should feel obligated to get the sound right. Despite all the hype and staging, it is still supposed to be about the music right? If the sound sucks, what's the point?
Lastly, when the band played the smaller stage, the energy level of the audience went off the charts. They should do the whole f**king show there! It even sounded a little better. It's still early in the tour boys. It's not too late to save it, not too late to make it great.
That's right Mick, scrap the main stage and invest the savings in the sound system. Even if all that's needed is dragging the band down to the hall a little early to do a f**king sound check. Joyous, rock and roll bedlam will be everyone's reward.
The first 5 songs - JJF, Live With Me, Respectable, YGMR and HTW - just blew the roof off of the place. Mick strutting his stuff with a 'take no prisoners' attitude like I've never seen him before. Keith smiling and jamming with those monster riffs. But Keith - what is all that stuff in your hair?? LOL. Charlie - well - what can I say about Charlie except I LOVE YOUR DRUMMING, providing the perfect beat to the Greatest Rock n Roll Band in the World. Ronnie adding those solos and extra touches just when they're needed and looking great. And the rest of the band rounding out the sound. This band was HOT!
I wasn't ready for the pace to slow down quite yet, but the next couple of songs took it down a peg. Things picked up again with Some Girls, Saint of Me and Paint it Black. I was glad to see Keith do both YGTS and YDHTMI as he didn't do either on Tuesday night. Keith and Ronnie appeared to be having a great time with YGTS.
And then the hi-lite of the show for me, just as it was on the BTB tour - OUT OF CONTROL. The band sounded so good, so fresh and so damn lively. The song starts out slow and then build and builds and builds and....well - you get the idea. This is one incredible concert song. Mick was running around like a 20 year old, full of more energy than the entire crowd in attendance. Mick - you are incredible. Strutting, snarling, howling, dancing, toying with the crowd.....just unbelievable how good this song is.
Then the B-stage. This is such a great concept. Giving another part of the arena a chance to see them up close and personal. Glad they did WTWCD, and of course Midnight Rambler brought the house down. What a performance!!
Then it's back to the main stage for the usual closing songs - packed with all the power riffs, great drumming, backup singing, horns and of course Mick - all the things that make us go see the Stones time after time after time.
The one downer for me is that the sound was not as clear as it should have been from where I was sitting - 8th row center. I was surprised - since all the other shows on the past few tours where I have had seats like that - the sound was perfect. There were several songs where Keith was cranking on a solo - but his guitar was barely audible. But that aside, I have never seen the Stones perform with more enthusiasm and energy - and this was one truly outstanding show.
At the end of the concert after the entire band took it's bows, getting ready for the Stones to take their bows to thunderous applause, Lisa Fischer, who was wearing bright red lipstick, leaned over and planted a big, wet kiss on Charlie's cheek. The other Stones started pointing and laughing as Charlie now had bright red Rocky Horror lips on his cheek. A fitting way to end the show.
Midnight Rambler, what can I say? I'll never forget the performance, especially the way they pounded out of the slow section of the song. As far as them playing war horses goes, I don't have a problem with it as long as they really get into the songs. This concert was one where they did just that. I thought the version of It's Only Rock 'N Roll had more of a Chuck Berry sort of sound to it. This was the best version of that song I've heard live.
If you haven't been to a Stones concert this tour or ever, SPEND THE MONEY, it's worth it. THE STONES RULE!
I was wondering if anyone else noticed anything strange with / about Charlie? Although he played spectacularly, he did seem to be somewhat lost. Nothing I can put my finger on but something didn't seem quite right. Is he alright? Anybody notice the same?
Read all about the "No Security" and "Bridges To Babylon" tours of 1999 in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazines. New issue IORR 35 out Jan 20, 1999.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe