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

United Center
Chicago, IL, USA
Friday March 26, 1999

Review by Marc Jacobs

I came late to the party, having only seen the Stones for the first time in 1975 (a mere 25 years ago) But I had the opportunity to see them again in 1981, 1989, 1994, 1997, 1998, and last night in Chicago (1999),

As I stood in the United Center [in awe] watching these allegedly old men perform I cannot fathom how they do it, but do it, they do, and they still do it great. Still, I wish they had let go of their security blanket of hits (especially on a so- called 'No Security' tour) but nevertheless, highlights of the show included: Some Girls, You Got the Silver & Moonlight Mile. Some Girls was particularly terrific, and one got the feeling that Mick sang these words with just a little extra feeling in light of his own highly publicized recent troubles with 'some women'

The acoustics for the mini-set on the B-stage suffered a little bit, but Route 66, Get off my Cloud and Midnight Ramber were great crowd pleasers. Keith looks more and more like a Pirate with each passing year. One more thing, it was absolutely fantastic to see the Stones without all the bells and whistles (inflatable dolls, and other useless gimmicks) of tours past, This was a Rolling Stones concert stripped down its basics, great music, great performers, and a great time had by all. To the band, I say one thing, 'Thank you!"

Start time :  9:30
End time   : 11:27

The set list:

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. Live With Me
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Respectable
  5. Honky Tonk Women
  6. Moonlight Mile
  7. Saint of Me
  8. Some Girls
  9. Paint It Black
    -- Introductions --
  10. You Got The Silver (Keith)
  11. Before They Make Me Run (Keith)
  12. Out Of Control
  13. Route 66 (B-stage)
  14. Get Off Of My Cloud (B-stage)
  15. Midnight Rambler (B-stage)
  16. Tumbling Dice
  17. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  18. Start Me Up
  19. Brown Sugar
  20. Sympathy for the Devil (encore)

Review by Robert Bagel, Chicago

Okay Stones critics, tonight was your chance. High ticket prices bringing in the wrong people, Exile on Wall Street, all the cracks had plentiful fuel tonight. The band did play with their usual excellence, with Keith playing like he had something to prove to Buddy Guy (who he acknowledged during his set), Darryl thumping out the rhythms with extraordinary grace for his hometown crowd, and Charlie as energetic as ever. Mick was admirable as a goodwill ambassador for Rock Ďní Roll, trying really hard to energize the United Center. And he succeeded much of the time! But compared to other cities where Iíve seen them on the No Security tour, I can compliment the Stones by saying they are powerful enough to overcome even a abysmal venue like the United Center. The place and the crowd were the problem.

I am from Chicago and would love to say it is the rockingest town for a Stones show, but the only kind of rock much of the crowd seemed concerned with was part of their jewelry. As for blues, the only blues many of those attending the show could experience was maybe indigestion from their pre-show nachos Ďní cheese. When tickets went on sale for this show, I went in to work and used two internet connections and four phone lines to try and get tickets. I got through after 15 minutes and was told there were scattered singles only. After seeing last nightís crowd, I think that maybe the show sold out so fast because a lot of the seats were pre-snared by promoters or people with connections. Guys in suits shouting loudly over Saint of Me. Folks seemingly befuddled by the whole prospect of even seeing the Stones, typified by a lady in front of me prevented from applauding because she nervously clung to her fur coat rather than put it down. I sincerely hope I just was in a bad section, but I came away with the impression that a lot of the people had tickets laid on them by corporations and then said "Oh, there is nothing good on HBO tonight, I guess I will go". This crowd comatosity manifest itself when it did appear that Mick Jagger was at times somewhat exasperated as he worked sections of the crowd. A big problem is the United Center, which is without exception the worst concert venue in America. I believe the LA Coliseum seems more intimate than the skybox canyon that is the UC. The sound is not good, and it seemed that even some of Mickís gestures made light of the sheer distance (more than any other venue) between the stage and the upper reaches of the arena.

Still, there were very, very good things about this show especially Keithís playing. He and Ronny mixed it up on Some Girls to give Mick a great backing for the manic pleasure of the lyrics. Get Off of My Cloud was a welcome new edition and it fired up the crowd to the peak of energy for the evening. Tumbling Dice rolled to an especially drawn out, lazy and fantastic ending. Itís Only Rock íní Roll had Keith in his crystal clear Chuck Berry chord mode, making for one of the best versions I have ever seen. The song seemed to be extended so Keith could keep the pure Rock and Roll sound going. Brown Sugar really thundered along even the lady with the fur coat found a way to clap and dance!! Sympathy for the Devil seemed spookier than usual with Kosovo and military action in mind, and the song contained an unusual action by Mick toward its conclusion: he stopped on the left side of the stage to tie his shoe as the band continued playing, then resumed his front man duties. With a high energy level like I have witnessed in other cities, such a move would have seemed inconceivable. Tonight in Chicago, it was perfect. I am now more psyched up than ever for the April Chicago show, largely because it is on a Monday and tickets were a lot easier to get. Maybe then the "Oh I canít go, I have to work on Tueday" people will be filtered out, we will have less suits and fur coats, and we can really (as Keith says) ROCK IT UP!! See you on the 12th.

Review by Bill and Danny Kincaid

Chicago was once again treated to an awesome show by the legendary ROLLING STONES.This was my sixth show in twenty one years and my eight year old's first. Danny said it was great.It started with the gunslinger video. Then Keith walked out and ripped into Jumping Jack Flash. Mick came out in black leather and sunglasses, then he went into his crowd pleasing frenzy. The setlist has plenty of classics and some golden nuggets as well. Live With Me, Some Girls, Moonlight Mile and You Got The Silver show the Stones versatility. Moonlight Mile seemed special to me. Route 66 and Get Off My Cloud go back to there 60's roots, what a treat.

The crowd was on there feet singing and rocking most of the night. Keith said hows the taxes here seems like a nice place to live. Charlie was rock solid as ever, his drums on Paint it Black seemed to have that thunderous sound. Ronnie was grinding on Out of Control. Its fast becoming a classic in itself. Mick goes wild on that one as well. He's the best singer frontman, showman in the buisness. Sympathy for the Devil was a great finish with the red and black effect. I had not heard six of the songs live before. They can play anything anytime its alwright with me. Thanks to the girl who gave my son the streamer from the stage, nice souvenir.

Review by Jonathan T Wuepper

This was my fourth Stones concert in ten years, having seen them once every tour since Steel Wheels. I would have to say musically this was the best!

Jagger-Richards-Watts were at thier best. Ronnie Wood however did not stand out in the mix and did not seem as entergetic as past shows.

This was clearly Keith Richards' Rolling Stones, pumping out the riffs like iot was as easy as breathing. My favorite songs from this performane were Midnight Rambler (sounded better than "Ya-Ya's"), and Keith's You Got The Silver.

Jagger was more energetic than I have seen him in the past, and Watts was demonstrating that he is the best drummer in rock!

This was a night I'll remember as long as I live1

Review by Michael Naslund

Chicago #1 was awesome baby, equalling their Milwaukee performance in my opinion. It was my 6th Stones show, and the second I've seen on the NS tour. My girlfriend and I were in the third row on Keith's side, right by the small stage ramp. She got a high five from Charlie, and I got high fives from KEITH!!! and Ronnie. The only disappointment (if you can call it one) was the all electric "Moonlight Mile", which didn't come across as well without acoustic guitars. But shit, I was just glad to see it attempted.

Mick yelled at Ronnie when he fucked up during "Start Me Up", which gave me a chuckle. Ronnie sure ain't what he used to be, but you still can't help but love him. Keith's set got the respect it deserves, as everyone in my section sang along to "YGTS" and "BTMMR". The small stage sound was a million times better than in Milwaukee. "Get Off My Cloud" and "Midnight Rambler" sounded great. Ronnie's guitar went out during "Route 66", so he did a little dance while he waited for a roadie to fetch him another one. My eyes were on Keith the whole night of course, he played his heart out up there. Another great show from the best fucking band there ever was, and ever will be. My ears are still ringing, and tommorrow I'll still be dreaming, about getting a fiver from my man Keith!!!!!!!

The press reports:

Thanks to Ted Saxlid and each and every one of you for supplying links to online newspapers, and reviews, of course!

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, and the complete No Security guide in IORR 36 is out April 23, 1999.

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