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It's Only Rock'n Roll

Festival Site
Imst, Austria
Monday May 31, 1999

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Review by Walter Maccari, Italy

For second venue of the Bridges To Babylon Tour 1999, The Rolling Stones played in Imst, an Austrian little town with about 8,000 inhabitants. There were more than 50,000 people at the show. In the afternoon soon after the opening of the gates, it began to rain, and Bryan Adams, who played after Zucchero, an Italian blues man, changed the verse of his song "Heaven" from "'s hard to believe we're in Heaven" to "'s hard to believe it's raining". Strange thing, two supporters before the Stones.

Luckily, the rain stopped before the main act, which began at 21,55: The video, showing the entrance of the guys, and then Keith on the stage, smiling and playing the first notes of "Jumpin' Jack Flash". "You Got Me Rocking" and "Bitch" followed soon after. The fourth song was surprisingly "Respectable", and then the audience, composed mostly by Austrian and Italian people went wild on "Gimme Shelter".

After that we had "Honky Tonk Women" and "Ruby Tuesday". No surprises with the following "Saint Of Me" and "Some Girls". The audience went more wilder with the unexpected "Out Of Control", and with the more expected "Paint It, Black".

After the introduction of the band it was time for Keith; he sang "All About You" and "Before They Make Me Run". The guys went on the bridge, heading for the b Stage, where they played the same song as Stuttgart's night "Route 66" "Get Off Of My Cloud" and Midnight Rambler".

Maybe God intended "Get Off Of My Cloud" was for the rain, and after this song it started again to rain. As usual the last song were "Tumbling Dice" "It's Only Rock'n'Roll" "Start Me Up" and "Brown Sugar". The encore was "Sympathy For The Devil", which made me a very good impression, having heard the horns for the first time on that song. At the end it was 00,05 and the audience sang "Happy Birthday To You" dedicated To Ronnie.

What else can I say? Even if it was a Bridges To Babylon concert, the songs list was all different from the concerts of 1998. I was in the second row, and saw them very near. Last year in my Zagreb review, I asked the Stones to play at least one time in Italy, but this year it wasn't so. Like in Zagreb, there were many Italians, and so I Think they could play one concert in our nation. Maybe for next tour.... See ya guys.

Start time:  22:00
End time  :  00:05

The set list:

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

Review by Peter Lacres, Belgium

“Rolling Stones begeistert von Tirol”

At Sunday 30/05 I stood before the hotel in Innsbruck were the Stones were staying. Just after 6 p.m. they arrived as thiefs in the day... Mick & Charlie went straight inside without looking left or right. Keith on the other side said something before he started to run... I just could scream to him to play All about you & Slipping Away in Imst. Ron on the other side took his time & wasn’t in an hurry (it’s nice to see that at least one Stone takes some time for the ordinary fan) Some other members should think about this, especially with tickets not selling that fast & much for the last part of the BtB tour.

The day after I went to the Ron Wood exposition (thanks Vik for your information that we can find on the IORR website) This is a nice time to talk to other fans & share our impressions... I didn’t want to go early to the field (yet again because of the hot weather, luckely it wasn’t as hot as in Stuttgart). So I did some sightseeing and when you come from le plat pays, you really like the mountains and so on.

At 4 o’clock, it started to rain a little & I went to the field with my winter coat (at 4.15 I think, the doors were already open... and believe it or not, I was again front row, same place) There was only one difference... The Austrian feeling, you should have seen it, I think this venue was the most fascinating one of the world tour (97 included)

Zucchero was good (He has surprised me) Bryan Adams had one disadvantage, the weather... raining and raining. When you have to sing & stimulate the audience at this point, you’ve to be a real performer and this was the case with Brian.

10 o’clock... Stones time and yet again a real performance. Luckely, it wasn’t raining at this point. Only after Midnight Rambler until IORR, there were a few raindrops. The Stones were even in a better shape than in Germany & only a few songs were changed... Respectable, Ruby Tuesday (extremely soft with even D. Jones on vocals) & for me, the highlight of the show, All about You.

If you see Keith, the way he sings the lines, plays his guitar... one word, fantastic. I think all Austrian people were looking at me when I sang all the lines along. How this bloke knows this song? Most people behind me didn’t barely know that Keith could sing in the first place and what the song was all about... perhaps they should have stayed home.

And yes, Der Spiegel, the Stones don’t playback... do I have to prove this? Well, you should have been in Imst. For instance, Mick forgot to sing 3 lines during IORR. During Start me up, there was a problem with Keiths guitar, during 15 seconds, you couldn’t hear the riffs, only Mick was singing... Th intro of HTW had also a little setback. During YGMR, two strings of Rons guitars were gone. And at the little stage, dear good Charlie had some problems with the intro of GOMC.

Playback... no, this was pure 100% r&r. And do you want to know something. The Stones are real professionals. Mick for instance was singing & looking to the stairs (or they still wet or not? - because he doesn’t want to fall - and suddenly he decided to come nearer to the fans at the front during a song. And he wasn’t slipping away. Perhaps Keith will one other time.

Have the Stones enjoyed Tirol. No doubt about it! So did I!

Bye, next one isn’t Groningen but Scotland for me... hope I don’t forget my bottle of whiskey.

Review by by Walter Maier

It was the second Stones show from the BtB-Tour I saw within a year. The first show was last year´s concert at Wiener Neustadt on July 11. Still remembering that glorious night I came to Imst with high expectations. Both headliners (Zucchero and Bryan Adams) did a good job especially Bryan who performed only with a trio and managed to produce a fantastic atmosphere eventhough it was raining heavily.

The rain stopped before the Stones entered the stage at about 21:45. The first song they performed was Jumping Jack Flash and from the first chords on it seemed to me that the band was in better shape than last year, when some songs were performed too slow (such as Jumping Jack Flash). The show went on with You got me rocking but my favourite song was still to come (number 5, Gimme shelter).

Another fantastic piece was Saint of me eventhough the audience disappointed me. Last year more than 50.000 people sang along the chorus line of Saint of me and kept singing it for at least two minutes after the band had already stopped playing the song, this year nearly no one of the spectators surrounding me sang along. The entire atmosphere wasn´t as good as in Wiener Neustadt. It seemed that most people didn´t know the text lines of the songs which was a pitty.

Nevertheless the band played a great show, especially on the b-stage. The setlist was a bit different from last year´s show, but it once more was a fantastic concert. One really had the impression of seeing the greatest rock band on earth at work. After about two hours the show ended and I really hope to see Mick, Keith, Ron and Charlie performing some more years and some more concerts.

Review by Pietro Tarantola, Italy

stones in IMST, great concert, bad organisation

The stones concert was great.I was very disappointed about the organisation. I payed for a VIP ticket (a lot of money). In the price were included car park and buffet. I couldn't enter the Vip car park (too many cars) and after a little time I tried again; it was possible to get in and park the car. Two men came to me and asked for some money (200 shilling). I told them I had already payed for that but ther was nothing to do. I had to pay! (in Italy we call it mafia, in Austria how do you call?) The buffet was too crowded and I ate some meat that was cooked last year. No numbered seat, no covered seat, just one bathroom. Luck to be a man. What about women? Some children of the "Security" (15 years old, i suppose) tried to steal my camera and told me I had to go out and leave the concert.

(no Stones on stage, I just made a picture of my friends). I couldn't see anything when the group was in the stage in the middle of the field because there was a little house between our VIP (and expensive) seat and the stones. Most of the people sitting there couldn't see anything. I would like to know if some of you had the same bad experience. What dou you usually think when you buy a VIP ticket? Better to stay in the field!!!!

... more reviews coming soon ... busy days...

The press reports:

Thanks to Philipp Happel 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 36 out May 18, 1999.

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