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

MCI Center
Washington D.C., USA
Sunday March 7, 1999

Review by Ed Beaver

The Rolling Stones No Security tour hit the U.S. East Coast on Sunday March 7th at exactly 9:17pm sharp, and it hit hard! It was a long 6 weeks wait after the tour opening on the West Coast, and the crowd was into it from the very start. The Washington fans were up on their feet from the moment the "Juice" intro pumped out of the P.A. system, and stayed there throughout the show. Only for a few songs they were sitting down, just to pick up some more energy for the next songs.

I just forgot to tell, but The Corrs did a great warm-up for the Stones. It's always a great pleasure to see this band, irish rock music, as they did some great warm-up for the Stones in Europe last summer as well.

Memory Motel was back in the set for tonight. I was hoping for "Fool To Cry", because that was what they reheared before the gates opened. But it never came - it will probably be a gift for us tomorrow, or for the next shows in Pittnsburgh or Philly...

The whole set was so tight tonight, and the Washington fans so entousiastic. I know people were coming in from all parts of the East Coast, as they simply could not wait until the tour came closer in the days to come. I thought the Fort Lauderdale show was the best, but this was even better.

During the soundcheck they had real problems with the sound quality on the small stage. I guess that's why they used the P.A. on the main stage even for the B-stage set. Anyway, the sound was great throughout the show.

As "Sympathy For The Devil" sounded, I thought this show had just started, but I had to realize it was over, all too soon. Another great show, but I'm glad there is another one tomorrow. If you have a ticket to a show on the East Coast soon, be warned, they are in top shape, and the show is just great.

Start Time 9:17
End Time  11:07

The set list:

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. Live With Me
  3. Respectable
  4. You Got Me Rocking
  5. Honky Tonk Women
  6. Memory Motel
  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. When The Whip Comes Down (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 Ed Hemwall

As I rode down from Philadelphia Sunday afternoon with my best Stones buddy, the excitement and tension (no tickets in hand yet) began to build. Even after seeing them live almost 60 times, the Stones still produce this kind of visceral reaction and, to increase my anticipation, this was our first show of the tour. Going back to 1981, I had always been there for the tour kickoff shows and this time, due to family and work obligations (not to mention ticket prices), I made the decision to wait until the band hit the East Coast before joining the No Security tour. Now I felt like a New Jersey teenager again, reliving the frustration and jealousy I felt throughout the summer of 1972 as the hottest band in the world tore up the rest of North America while I awaited their triumphant arrival at Madison Square Garden.

Of course there was no internet in 1972 to tantlize me with reviews and setlists the morning after each show. In monitoring the No Security internet chatter, my bewilderment at the complaining (whining!) about the setlist has been enormous. Sure I wish every show could have a revolving setlist of lost gems (Dance Little Sister, She Was Hot, Torn and Frayed, Tell Me to name a few). But let's get real folks. Think about what the Stones have given us since they returned to regular touring in '89. Check your own mental list of the many examples in addition to the great new numbers: 2000 Light Years, Connection, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Monkey Man, Memory Motel, Sister Morphine, Shine a Light, Ruby Tuesday, She's a Rainbow, Crazy Mama, Rocks Off, The Last Time, Not Fade Away. The list goes on. Now we are seeing shows during which one can expect performances of Route 66! Some Girls! Moonlight Mile! You Got The Silver !!! - not to mention other less often performed classics like Respectable, Midnight Rambler, Whip Comes Down, Paint it Black, Imagination, Live With Me, Before They Make Me Run. Sprinkle that with the obligatory Hot Rocks (opening with JJFlash ala 1969) and you've got one helluva setlist. AND NO MISS YOU !!!!! So why the complaints? As a hardcore fan I'd like more variety and might travel to even more shows if there were more surprises and fewer Hot Rocks. But remember, we are not the whole audience. Most are seeing only one show and they deserve to hear some of the usual crowd pleasers for their big bucks. This was clearly evident in DC Sunday night. They wanted the hits and reacted wildly when they were played. Hey, does anybody think the Stones would bother to tour if only a few hundred hardcore showed up to each show? Besides, I never really get tired of Keith laying down the opening riff of Brown Sugar or Start Me Up with Charlie kicking in, followed by the whole band exploding into pulse pounding synchronized chaos with the best frontman in the biz. So I was psyched! My first show since August in Berlin. All I needed was a ticket.

We arrived at the venue about 3:00 PM to check out the ticket scene. The box office was still selling tickets at all prices and we almost sprung for a pair of $150s. Ultimately we were able to convince a scalper to sell us a pair of $300 ducats for $400. We ended up two rows up from the floor on Woody's side between the two stages. Not bad. We might have been able to do better but didn't want to take any chances. Advice: It seems to be a buyer's market out there. Don't pay more than face value and try to be patient on the day of the show. There are lots of ticket agents that already made their profit on big spending suckers, and they are looking to dump their leftovers on show day.

Alright so let's get on with the review. The opening video is very cool. It really brings full circle the tough scruffy look the boys cultivated in the 60's with the grizzled '90s veterans who take no prisoners as they swagger to the stage. The last band standing wins! The opening five songs were everything I had hoped for, and they are finished before I can take it all in; played with the intensity, ferocity and crisp throb that only comes from night-after-night in the groove - a runaway train barely managing to stay on the tracks. JJFlash and Live With Me were a bit muddy in mix and I wanted it to be alot louder. Things pretty much kicked in sound-wise during Respectable.

Memory Motel was lovely but I am hoping that tonight will be the Moonlight Mile treat I have been anticipating. Some Girls was my highlight of the night. The guitars really set up a screeching grind and Charlie's drums were way out front; a real showcase for him. I was skeptical about how this would come off, especially without the harp sound, but they absolutely nailed it. Paint It Black begins familiarly to cheers and ends with a pounding surging riff that stuns the audience with its majesty. Again, Charlie is brilliant.

You Got the Silver with Keith's just-right vocals and slide guitar is an excursion to my all-time fantasy setlist. Woody added a really classy melodic solo to Before They Make Me Run. Out of Control continues to amaze. It may be the first live classic of the '90s. But it's the B-stage that really takes this the top. Keith did a perfect Berry-style lead during Route 66. The crowd seemed a little subdued, trying to get used to the new stage. Whip Comes Down started out a little ragged then progressed to a churning burn that really cooked. Note: Keith stays with the hollow body Gibson for this song. Midnight Rambler is as great as everyone says. It sounds like they added an effect to Keith's guitar that gave it a fuzzy Ya-Ya's distortion, at least that was the sound from where I sat.

I thought they hurried the last final rave-up, but the beginning and middle were perfect. The greatest hits sections followed and, to my surprise and delight, these songs actually sounded fresh tonight. IORR really locked into a groove with a classic demonstration of Keith and Woody's "fine art of weaving". If you look for these nuances, even the old standards are worth hearing again and again. Sympathy was a great send-ff. Keith ripped an incredible extended solo near the end with horns and "woo, woo's" holding up a wall of sound behind him. It may take a couple shows to get used to the horns, but this finale is a really nice change from the stadium show closers.

This show ROCKS! Not a clinker in the entire set. And the best part of all; I've got a whole month of these shows to look forward to. Ask me later if I'm bored with the old warhorses. Right now I can't think of anything I'd rather see than Keith launching into JJFlash at the start of another ride to rock'n'roll nirvana.

Review by David S, Muhlfelder

My first thought when I saw the setlist for the tour was that this would be like the `78 tour. Heavy middle period Stones. My main memory of that tour (besides sitting in the mud and rain all day at JFK Stadium in Philly) was economical how they were. It was a 90 minute set with no encore, but what it lacked in length, it made up for in sheer intensity.

Last night, the boys took it up another notch. As my friend put it, "They're having a very good night." Ronnie and Keith were in perfect synch, trading licks and weaving seamlessly. Charlie was rock steady. Mick's voice was strong and clear. My cousin noted that there is a sense of pride among the band with their performance. They are defiant. They rage against the aging process, daring musicians half their age to match them. I haven't seen anyone do it yet. No matter how many times I see them (This was my fourteenth show since 1966), I am struck by the disconnect between the image of a superstar rock band on yet another tour, and the cohesive bar band that takes the stage.

Keith was pulling riffs out of his hat that spanned the gamut of modern music from Robert Johnson to Philip Glass. He pushed "Midnight Rambler" into orbit. I love his intro into "Paint it Black," and the pulsating crescendo at the end. The highlight for me was "You Got the Silver." It was just beautiful.

The Stones continue to be a rejuvenating experience for me. They offer the promise of limitless possibilities. As long as they keep playing, I'll keep going. Now, it's on to Philly 2.

Review by Wrobelsr

the rolling stones no security is still more proof that these old graybeards are still the bad boys of rock and roll. and undoubtly, the best band on the face of the earth. unwilling to rest on their laurels and collect royalty checks, the stones still play with fervor and urgency of a band that's still trying to prove themselves. starting with the opening chords to jumpin' jack flash until the lights came up 2 hours later, the stones were in total control. by now, the band has worked the show into a ritual. start with a classic anthem, give us a little pure r-n-r, rest us up with a couple slow ones, and let 'er rip for the final onslaught of a band on fire.

looking at the setlist, we sometimes wonder why the stones continue to play the same handful of songs. but after last night's show, there's no question of why, everything was perfect. from beginning to end, each song seemed to feed off the other, not getting off to a really rousing sart, then slowing down to prepare for what was to come later. by the time the band hit the small stage, it was sheer energy til the end. after the deliberate route 66, the stones went into overdrive. when the whip comes down paved the way for an unexpected jamfest called midnight rambler. frenzied at first, then dying down into a slow, methodical groove, the stones ripped our hearts out and stomped 'em, spraying blood until there was no pulse left.

only the stones weren't finished. getting back to the main stage, the stones launched into the home stretch. tumblin' dice, always a crowd pleaser, let us know the last five songs would be, well basically, undescribable. if you didn't feel like dancing at this point, and you should have been on your feet most of the night, you had no business being there. it's only rock-n-roll tells it like it is, with the band juicing us up for the final reward. it was good to here bobby keys still playing mindblowing sax on brown sugar, and sympathy for the devil wrapped up a delightful evening, to say the least. the rolling stones may or may not tour again. that's up to them. but as they prove time and again, they will never go out and give anything less than their best. and that is all we can hope for. mike wrobel, rolling stones fan forever!!!

Review by Marco Peper and Roberto De Tuoni, Holland

We are waiting for our second Washington DC show tonight, with still the yesterday's one in our hearts. MCI Arena was packed with 20,000 enthusiastic fans. We waited for the Stones impatiently in our seats close to the B-stage and the Corrs helped us out with a nice opening act. We are glad we are going to see them 4 more times till the second Philadelphia show.

The first 5 numbers followed the usual No security track list. We liked specially You got me rocking, better than in both the Florida shows. Memory Motel was the 6th song. We listened to it so many times (Marco would have preferred Moonlight Mile, since he was not in Florida with me), but it's always great: you got to close your eyes and dream when you listen to it...... There's only one guy who can sing this song: the marvellous Mick Jagger. Sait of me simply doesn't work in US: the American crowd doesn't sing along at the end, despite all Mick's efforts. Maybe they should drop it for Sweet Virginia or Shine a light.

Some girls was one of the highlights of the concert as every night. "White girls want to get fucked all night, I just don't have that much jam", and the MCI Arena went wild. But it was funny that a lot of people around were looking at us more than at the Stones: we were jumping and singing like crazy and they maybe thought we were aliens. Keith's set was very good and Out of Control as well. It's the Midnight Rambler of the 90s, and after that we were going to get the original one.

We were waiting impatiently for the B-stage, one meter far away from us. We could almost touch them, and they could almost touch us. Route 66 and When the whip comes down rocked the crowd. Suddenly i found a girl on my back screaming "Mick! Mick!" One of the wildest version we've heard of Midnight Rambler closed the B-stage act as every night and what i was waiting for all my life suddenly happened: Keith moved to my side and threw his plectrum to me. The emotion was too much: i had to sit down since i couldn't stand on my legs.

Everybody came to congratulate and i couldn't even realize that the Stones were already far inside Tumbling dice. The final part of the show is again made by songs we heard hundred times during the last tours, but we never get bored of them. It's always a great fun. We can't wait for tonight. And we will never try to make saints of them!

Review by D. Manzo

I got my tickets 2 hours before the show about 10 rows from the stage directly on the side almost right in front of the runway that Mick and Keith use often. The show seemed to start with more excitement than JJF actually produced. Sound seemed a bit muffled and low but the crowd ate it up. It wasn't until Some Girls that I felt that the band was into it and really did some Classic Stones Rocking. Mick seemed to be into it extra and I thought we might even hear Bitch given his recent life changes. The crowd went nuts for Paint it Black which was next and it was done well - the closest thing to 2000 light years or anything that resembled any Pshycadelic or Variance from popular sing alongs that seemed the theme of the night.

All I really wanted to hear was Before They Make Me Run and I got my wish, it seemed that the song was rushed and Keith's guitar wasn't loud enough where I was sitting. Out of control seems to be the breakthrough song in the 90's and a Band favorite given the amount of energy they put forward and how good it sounds everytime I hear it. Brown Sugar was awesome and I felt that the band was finally warmed up and into old form but they only had enough left for a great version of Sympathy that seems to have been totally reworked ( maybe a different key) or speeded up but it was killer. Keith and Ronny donned Red coats for this song while Mick put on a weird silk shirt and all Red lights set the mood. While Keith was on his knees blasting out riffs in front of me as only he can do, it dawned on me that maybe these boys have actually made a pact with Lucifer because to be that Thin, Rich, still living and able to generate over 3 million in ticket sales for 120 minutes of music something's gotta give. This is not a negative review, I had a great time and now I'm on my way to worship again. Peace.

Review by Flynn Welles



Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie kicked butt tonight! It was excellent - Fabulous - Simply beautiful! I couldn't sleep all night! Thank Ya kindly Sirs!

I paid more for my ticket than I had wanted to, but I was right back of the B-stage and it was well worth it! I'd forgotten how much fun it could be at that vantage point, not being there since Frauenfeld in Europe and Chicago, in the States on the B2B Tour! Well whatever was eating at Mick worked last night. It was a "KIller" Show! Mick and the rest of the Stones had full power this night!

I say whatever it was, keep doing it guys! You proved again, You are the Greatest Band Ever! Totally believable, the Stones were Driven with a VENGENCE! Everyone on the floor was rockin', we were thrilled and Satisfied the whole night!

This show surpassed every other +++NO+++SECURITY+++ Concert Yet! MEMORY MOTEL was back in the set. Keith did his two, YGTS and BTMMR. The B-Stage got "When the Whip Comes Down!" Midnight Rambler was down and dirty!! Pure Gold!!

I really felt as though it was ONLY THE STONES this time on stage! Lisa and Bernard seemed to cool it a bit with their "playing with each other" (oops!) and although I knew the backup was there, the focus was on the STONES, Only!

Whatever adjustments were made, they were the right ones! Give it to the Stones to know how to do it up right! Thank yewwwwww again! A most enjoyable evening! Never, Never, Never STOP!!!!!!!! LOVE THE STONES!!!!

Review by Jonathan Mertz

The Stones' two-night stand at the MCI Center was a triumph. The band was kicking some serious ass, both nights, and they changed the show enough to make going both nights well worth it.

The Corrs provided a nice opening set. The sisters are beautiful & are fine musicians. I was bewitched when they played more traditional celtic instrumentals. But their pop stuff was fluffy & forgettable, and covering a Fleetwood Mac song ("Dreams") is a pretty bald attempt at pandering. I would like them with more tin whistle and bodhran and less bland arena rock.

Scanning the floor before the show started, we noted an alarming number of heavily-shellaced "politician's garish wives" and feared it would be an unresponsive audience. When the lights went out our fears proved unfounded. DC audiences rock.

My previous view of No Security was from the front row, in Milwaukee, so this was the first chance I had to see the opening film. It's GREAT. The Washington Post said it looked like a Sergio Leone film, with the Stones as grizzled old gunfighters. It does indeed. The wide-screen video set-up stayed in black & white when the band exploded into "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

The band stuck to the standard setlist of the past few shows. Memory Motel instead of Moonlight Mile. Paint It Black was INCREDIBLE, frighteningly powerful. Of course Charlie's drums are the key to this power, but Woody's guitar work is impressive too. His playing in DC was above par both nights.

Other highlights: You Got The Silver was as REAL as you can get -- if that wasn't up close & personal, I don't know what is. And all of the songs they played from Some Girls rocked HARD, thanks in large part to Mick thrashing his guitar. Respectable, Whip, and "This is a true story about Some Girls." I'd sure like to hear some soundboard recordings of these shows where you can pick out the individual guitar parts, because in an arena they just turn into a glorious din. Not that that's a BAD thing! But Mick's punk approach to the guitar adds an extra layer to Keith & Woody's weaving that is wondrous to behold.

During the intros I got the sense that Woody started giving a mock acceptance speech, hamming it up and drawing out his applause, which REALLY annoyed Mick. They showed him on the screen looking very pissed. He was just goofing, but damn it, Woody deserved some applause for the work he did this week. On Sunday, however, he was lost in the mix much of the time.

From my seat in section 104, the sound of the b-stage was muffled. That didn't stop "Midnight Rambler" from being a religious experience. After this powerhouse, the final Hot Rocks section is somewhat anti-climactic. It gets the audience on its feet, though, and gives the average joe what he paid to see. And everyone goes home happy.

The Washington press:

Thanks to Olaf Reuthebuch 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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