It's Only Rock'n Roll
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:
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.
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.
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
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!!!!!!!
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.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
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