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

First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Tuesday March 16, 1999

Review by Matt Abrams

The 2nd night here in my hometown of philly was a rockin night at The First Union center for "THE WORLDS GREATEST ROCK 'N' ROLL BAND.

This is my 12th show (4th in 8 days)... And the boys (like a fine wine)gets better with age.

The CORRS played a very good set as the prepare for an apperance on "TODAY SHOW" and an appearnce on "Letterman" this week got the St. Patricks Day holiday off a day early as they received a standing ovation.

After about 40 minutes the lights dimmed and the boys took the stage and keith walked out to the 1st chords of JUMPING JACK FLASH. Soon after the crowd was in a loud frenzy of hysteria. Next was lIVE WITH ME. The crowd sang along with YOU GOT ME ROCKIN. Like the previous the next 2 were RESPECTABLE and HONKY TONKK WOMEN. With Lisa and Mick doing a little bump and grind on the latter.

Song 6 was the ballad and like in Pittsburgh it was FOOL TO CRY. Mick seated in the front played his own Keyboard.

#7 was SAINT OF ME the crowd sang along the "OH YEAH" at the end. SOME GIRLS got a rockus ovation as did PAINT IT BLACK.

Keith did his set of YOU GOT THE SILVER AND YOU DONT HAVE TO MEAN IT. OUT CONTROL as usual started out with Mick poppin out from under the stage and dancing with reckless abandon.

The middle stage started out innocently enough with ROUTE 66. Then as reported by this web site GET OFF MY CLOUD was a suprise to a few in attendence. And as usual the exited the middel stage with a thundering rendition of MIDNIGHT RAMBLER.

The boys brought the show home in style with TUMBLIN DICE, ITS ONLY ROCK 'N' ROLL, START ME UP, BROWN SUGAR. Evidently a fan had to much to drink actually thought There was NO SECURITY and actually made it on stage during IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL but was quickly discarded by the boys in yellow and then by the boys in blue.

Start time :  9:25
End time   : 11:25

The set list:

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. Live With Me
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Respectable
  5. Honky Tonk Women
  6. Fool To Cry
  7. Saint of Me
  8. Some Girls
  9. Paint It Black
    -- Introductions --
  10. You Got The Silver (Keith)
  11. You Don't Have To Mean It (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 David S. Muhlfelder, NYC

After seeing the setlist for Philly 1, I was afraid that the luck of the draw might give me the same set as DC 1. Not that it's bad, but you always hope for some numbers you haven't heard yet. But, then again, this is Philly, and Philly is, well, special (At least it has been for me in `72, `78, and `97). The fans are great and the communal vibe is hot. My hometown of NYC can sometimes get a little too jaded for its own good.

Sure enough the first five songs were the same as before with "Live With Me" and "Respectable" back in their original spots. Then, I saw them set up Mick's piano, and I knew "Fool to Cry" was coming. It was powerful and moving. The first time I'd ever heard it live. Some girls was less angry and more playful than DC. "You Got the Silver" is spellbinding. "You Don't Have to Mean It" was another change. "Little T & A" might have provided more contrast. Still, no complaints.

The small stage was stunning tonight. The sound was crystal clear, and it provided the evening's major surprise, "Get Off of My Cloud." I hadn't heard that live since the Baltimore Civic Center in 1966 (Unless I'm forgetting a version in `81). I'm sure someone out there can set me straight. "Midnight Rambler" flowed like wine. A real crowd pleaser.

Before I knew it, they were into the home stretch. I must admit, it took two hearings for me to appreciate the new arrangement on "Sympathy" (Horns and such), but it's well-worth a second listen. All in all, I'd say the Philly streak is in tact.

Review by Tom Alexander

When I left yesterday's show, I kept saying to myself "It just doesn't get any better than this." I had just seen an incredible show from the front row on Woody's side - how much better could it get...right? That question was answered tonight - LOTS!!! I managed to get tickets for the front row on Keith's side!!! After the boys hit the stage with Jumping Jack Flash, Mick said to the audience that they were going to put on a better show than last night's show and they did just that! The show tonight was a high energy concert with the boys at the top of their form.

After JJF, Live With Me was back to it's old place in the set list and the ferver continued to build through Honkey Tonk Woman. Then they set the electric piano in the middle of the stage and I knew what was next - a song that has long been a favorite of mine. Mick came out with a white jacket on and proceeded to play lovely Fool To cry. Then into Saint Of Me and a killer version of Some Girls ( I love the way they do this song on this tour - kind of bluesy and raw ) with Mick on the red guitar. Next they ripped into a rockin Paint It Black and you could tell the crowd was lovin it!

Then it was time for Keith - he said " I have to sit down for this one." He sat on the stool they bought out and played the accoustic slide for a ragged and soulful You Got The Silver ( an absolute highlight for me ) and then into a fun reggae Don't Have To Mean It.

Next Mick pops out of the center of the main stage for Out Of Control and plays some real nice harp at the end of it. Then they're off to the small stage. As they passed by I got to shake Charlie's hand along with Chuck's and Keith's plus I got Keith's pick!!!

The sound from the small stage was great. They started with a tight Route 66 and then gave us a great surprise - Get Off My Cloud. As I looked around the arena everyone was on their feet and singing along. Next a terrific version of Midnight Rambler with Mick on harp again and it was back to the main stage and Woody slapped my hand on the way back.

They tore into Tumblin' Dice and Only Rock and Roll. Mick was smiling and you could tell they were all having a lot of fun up there and the crowd was loving it! Next the extended intro for Start Me Up and then into an extended version of Brown Sugar that the crowd was on its feet for!

They finished the show with an encore of, what else, but Sympathy For The Devil which simply brought the house down. A perfect ending to an unbelievably phenomenal show from the greatest rock and roll band in the world!!!

I will never forget this one!!! It definitely just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Review by Scott W. Allen

Some time around 8:05 p.m., we realized Plan Nine From Outer Space was in trouble when the nice lady at the South Jersey toll booth said, "Oh, no! Philly is west of here." An hour and a half west, she said. Fuck! You are kidding... no problem, my only thought is, Damn, my friend Hammer is smart! If we had taken the mushrooms already, as Belly had suggested halfway along The Road To Nowhere, we'd be singing Brian Wilson's favorite lyric: "This is the worst trip I ever been on... " The Nice Lady in the Toll Booth described a desolate twenty mile stretch of road known as Highway 72 West, which she said, "I always use when I go shopping in Philly." Good thing I brought the credit card, in case the shopping urge hits me too, like it does with TNLITTB (the nice lady in the... ). She tells us to take 72 to "a circle in the road ... and then just follow the signs to Philly." I immediately start thinking Crop Circle and the ol' UFO paranoia starts stirring itself up... TNLITTB gave us great directions but she failed to wish us luck with the signs for the Walt Whitman Bridge. We exit where she has told us but my personal fear that we were hopelessly lost and bound to walk in to the show somewhere around, well, let's say after "Fool to Cry" (which would have made me cry !!) was compounded when the first group of signs seen didn't mention Highway 72 but read: "Welcome to the Jersey Shore."

We trekked across the dark timberlands of South Jersey, stopping to pee roadside, absorbing the joy of being among trees and the adventure we were currently engrossed in. We counted the miles on the odometer to the Crop Circle. Surely the UFO gods who await us there will transport us to the parking lot. At thirteen miles, Belly spotted a sign that said: "Philadelphia - 23 miles," which was good news, considering the Nice Lady in the Toll Booth had us believing we were in for a ninety mile drive.

We jumped on 95 south one Crop Circle later and as Robert Plant would say, "Has anybody seen that confounded bridge?!" A little more "I think we're lost but won't say it" maneuvering through bombastic Jersey and a quick trip south and north around I-295 finally got us to the Whitman Bridge, exit 3 and Broad Street. Good ol' Broad Street, home of the Flyers, immortalized by the mid-70s Flyers Broad Street Bullies teams of Bobby Clarke, Dave the Hammer Schultz and Ed Van Impe. The Spectrum with the Rocky Balboa statue in front and home of countless tremendous Grateful Dead shows (including a snowy April 6, 1982, show with "Shakedown," "Terrapin" and "Mornin' Dew" attended by one Laura Hofmann). The new First Union Center with its odd shape was behind the now- defunked Spectrum.

Boom, bam and BANG !! The next thing I realize, tickets are in hand with a flair and style that befits someone named Hammer, and we are hearing the strains of Daryl Jones' wicked bass lead to "Live with Me."

"Hmm-m-m, these 'shrooms are already getting me off," I say for the third time. It is 9:20 and 40 minutes ago the TNLITTB (Nice lady in the ... ) had us stricken with fear. Now we are dancing in our seats as the Stones rip it up with "Respectable," from the wonderful album we grew to love during our sophomore year in college. Shaa-doobie !!

Mick looks so delicious in that red shirt, now I know what Pete Townsend meant in those VH1 commercials. Keith is his bad-boy self in black with a white shirt, black vest and red sash. Ronnie has the black leather vest and accompanying leather pants and they not only look very rock and roll, they play it, too, and better than ever !!. The touring schedules since the Bridges tour and the No Security tour began have really given the Stones a chance to work it out live, a machine now on Full Tilt Boogie.

"Saint of Me," "Some Girls," (whose punk poetic lyrics are relevant today as they were reflective of the '78 time period), sung with a wicked vengeance by Jagger, and "Paint It, Black," with a Chuck Levall piano introduction, demonstrated that. The real treat came on the small stage, with "Route 66" (seen once or twice during our traveling travails attempting to find Philly), followed by a song Mick introduced as "a new one" - the tour debut of "Get Off Of My Cloud." Hey hey !! You you !! Charlie does some of his all-time work on the recorded track of "Get Off Of My Cloud" IMHFO. The show's clear highlight: an incendiary "Midnight Rambler." I mean, brutally hard rock and roll. Hard. Real hard. Good job on the harp, Mick...

With glee, we rolled into the outer hallways, alternating yelling "Keith is god!" and "Let's go Rangers!" If I had known the Flyers were getting ripped 5-2 in St. Louis as we spoke (running their winless streak for the NHL's coldest team to 0-8-4 in the last 12), I would have shouted that shit even louder. LET'S GO RANGERS !!

When we left Philly, the last three digits of the odometer read 380. The yellow effervescent clock lit the tower on City Hall and the beautiful Philadelphia skyline was illuminated to our left. I briefly remember a post- show encounter somewhere in South Jersey during the ride home with a nice Muslim man, who filled our gas tank and sold us hot soup. When I dropped the Hammer off, in better shape, I am disappointed to say, than I usually let him get away with (I mean, he could actually walk without assistance and there was only a limited amount of shit falling out of his pockets), the odometer read 508. A bone and a little more conversation on the cruise home had made it seem like a hope, skip and a jump to 865. Such a short time to be there, such a long, long time to be gone...

Review by Gary Loudenslager


Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor
of my block,
And I sit at home looking out the window,
Imagining the world has stopped.
Then in flies a guy who's all dressed up
like a Union Jack
And says, I've won five pounds if I have his
kind of detergent pack.

I hadn't seen the note on the IORR Website about rehearsals of "Get Off of My Cloud" so when they broke into it, I was freaked. First time since the Blusey Medley (with "If You Can't Rock Me") in 1975, I think. Of all the songs they were rehearsing in San Francisco back in January "Get Off of My Cloud" was my favorite. I would also like to see "Hang Fire" (81 Tour Only) and "Emotional Rescue" (never performed live). Since they practiced those songs also, maybe I'll get my wish!

Mick promised that the second Philly night would be better and more "Full-Philling", and he didn't disappoint. The band was so tight and everyone except Woody seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves (more about him later). Mick was smiling and seemed relaxed throughout. One could tell he was pleased at the end of "Brown Sugar", he turned his back on the audience and smiled broadly at the band. They were really having fun!

Mick's physical appearance never ceases to amaze me. He never appears to be out of breath after running around the stage at such a frantic pace. After going nuts on "Out of Control", he ripped into "Route 66" on the B-Stage, went totally off on "Get Off of My Cloud" and anyone who know anything about this tour is aware of the energy exerted in "Midnight Rambler". I focused on him as he left the B-Stage (the last to do so), he didn't miss a beat upon returning, kicking right into "Tumbling Dice". If only the cynics who berate this band, and Mick in particular because he's the frontman, could be forced to watch a performance! Most of them would probably get tired from just watching!

Keith was into it last night. He always says at the end of his little set: "Philly, it's always a pleasure". And he sounds so genuine. I loved when he sat on the stool to do "You Got the Silver". "I gotta sit for this one," he said. But as soon as he was done, he popped up, kicked the stool away (as only Keith can do) and broke into "You Don't Have to Mean it". Woody's daughter sang backups with Lisa, Blondie and Bernard for Keith. My seat tonight was on the 10th row, on the side near them, directly across from where I sat last night: Another Excellent Purch!

Now back to Woody, I'm not an insider with this band, but something is wrong. Woody's antics seemed to be all faked. The rapport between he and Keith just doesn't seem to be there. What's up?

"Fool to Cry" was another first for me. Mick on the keyboards reminded me of "Memory Motel" during the Voodoo Lounge Tour. He donned a white jacket for this one - A Touch of Class!

As mentioned yesterday, this is probably my last live show on this tour. I'm toying with the idea of going to Hartford, but I doubt it.

Finally, I'm not disappointed in not seeing or hearing "Satisfaction". Experiencing it is better.

A lot more reviews have been received, but due to time and space limits, it will take some more time before these may be posted. Please be patient. Thanks!

The press reports:

Thanks to Olaf Reuthebuch, Ted Saxlid, Axel Schumacher 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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