It's Only Rock'n Roll
Boy, I've seen these guys in 73 for the first time and believe me or not ,Saturday night was their best show ever!.You know, I heard all the people talkin bout the setlist(to standard,they say).But all these guys , let me ask you one question:
Have you ever heard a better Midnight Rambler than on Saturday?So do me a favor and stop bitchin about that fuckin set list, I´ve seen the Amsterdam Rehearsal list too, and boy I wish I been there , but the Waasenshow, for me was the best ever (till Cologne).Its the whole reason why I love the band because the last show is always the best,nothing is sacred, everythings changin.What do I know why these man keep getting better and better?
Start time: 21:37 End time : 23:45
The set list:
The opening act "OCEAN COLOUR SCENE" was already playing. I did not know this band and it was nothing to remember, just average. We had seating tickets in block A ( keith side) By the way..there was a lot of new merchandise stuff from the NO SECURITY tour. The crowd was really impressive...about 80.000 or something. Our view to the stage was very good...to give you an impression. We have been seated just opposite to the center stage on the right side. The sun went down and as it was about 21.30 ...the crowd was getting nervous and suddenly (21.40) the music stopped and it was show time. This was going to be my 12th concert of the Bridges to Babylon tour. (2 X Honolulu/ 3 x Amsterdam/ Düsseldorf/Paris/Hamburg/ 2 X Berlin and Gelsenkirchen)
I was asking my self if the Stones would go back to the old setlist from last year ( satisfaction as the opener) or if they would do a new set list, a more risky one, which would be very similar to the brilliant NO SECURITY set list. I even did not look at the internet from IORR for the last 10 days, as I knew, that bjornulf would give detail information about rehearsals and the set list which could be expected for the opening show in STUTTGART. I said to myself: I just want to see at least ONE Stones concert without knowing what song will be next..Just one time. And I must say: I was absolutely impressed about the setlist this night. It was a really good choice, boys.
First of all...the INTRO was different to the last years intro. NO lion screaming...no firework..instead they did open the curtain and on the large , giant video screen you could see a black and white back stage intro movie...the Stones where on their way from backstage to the main stage. The music was partly mixed with " Might as well get juiced". ( it was the NO SECURITY INTRO) Oh dear..it was such a cool intro..the crowd went wild..and just when the intro ended..the band did reach the stage..you could see AND hear HIM ( keith)...
The opening riff of......JUMPINK JACK FLASH. YEAS..the final song from the last years babylon tour was the opening song of this years babylon tour..Funny. So that made me realize that the next 2 hours would be very similar to the NO SECURITY setlist...so that made me feel lucky and happy. JJF was a very rough and dirty and short version, without any horns in it.
After JJF the went straight into YOU GOT ME ROCKING...also hart and rough..they were still working at the sound, as the sound mix was not perfect already..but it became better and better after each song and all in all I must say, that, the sound was very good and very crisp and clear ( From my place) To my surprise the sound even got better at the small stage...but I tell You later about the center stage. By the way..my brother could manage to take a video camera into the stadium, so thet he did record about one hour of the Concert...a very good souvenir for this evening. The first 2 songs were all hold in black and white. I mean the the light show and the Video screen. After YGMR mick said HELLO to STUTTGART and all this kind of stuff. He spoke in german of course. Then BITCH was to come. Strong version..very loud, very strong horn section ( Bobby)...I enyod it...the stage changed into coulourfull lightings and so did the screen.
So the first 3 songs were different from last year..but the song nr. 4 was, as it was last year: GIMME SHELTER....the sound was improved already and LISA did a great job this time....it was HER song and Mick did "assist" her . Song nr. 5 was: HONKY TONK WOMEN..and the WHOLE CROWD went nuts this time. It was a really strong version and the band was enjoying it, too. ( keith did his "Spontnious piano solo "..to those of you who did complain about this small show element from Keith. Come on boys...what is the problem..it is just fun and some of you are discussing as if the whole review of the Concert depends on this small show element... Forget it.." IT `s only...., but I like it"..Did you forget that, guys ?
Then they did slow down a bit..Mick was announcing a very romantic and old song..ANGIE. I tell you guys..I have never ever heard such a good version of this song. The sound was cristall clear, and everything was in the right place..the guitars..the singing of Mick...The crowd did create a romantic atmoshere by lighting with lighters( feuerzeige) It really did look very impressive.
Than it was PREMIERE TIME: HAH..SHE DOBEE..SHE DOBEE..HA SHE DOBBEE SHATTERED..WOW..I really love this song and for me it was the first time ever seeing SHATTERED performed live. I also think that the Stones did not play it since the US leg of VOODOO LOUNGE. Tough guitars and mick was doing a good job..I like this kind of Speech singing ( Sprachgesang).
After Shattered Mick asked the crowd: " Wollt ihr mitsingen?" ( Would you like to sing a bit) Everybody was expecting MISS YOU , of course, but: they did play SAINT OF ME instead. The ending was very extended with crowd singalong. Mick was really in to it....as he was the whole show, though he did not run so much "outside"..he just appears once or twice at the left or at the right side ending of the stage..which was looking very impressive meanwhile. Great light effects. Song nr. 9 was the next highlight and the next PREMIERE for europe. SOME GIRLS...A killer version..Awesome !!! Wow..it knocks You off...Mick on guitar as well..i can not explaine the impression of this song..just look forward to it..and enjoy it. After Some girls they did perform another highlight of last years set list. OUT OF CONTROL...As good and as intensive as last year..Great guitars and great harmonica what more to say...Afert OOC they did jump back 30 years, straight into: YEAH..straight into PAINT IT BLACK....the version was almost similar to last years version, they did extend the end a bit, which made the song become a HIGHLIGHT of this evening ( Got damned..so many highlights, unbelievebable) the crowd did like PIB very much and they were all clapping hands, following Mick.
Half time....Band intro... Well, to me personally the middle part, up from Song nr. 6 ( ANGIE ) till song nr. 11 (Paint it black) was the strongest part of the concert. You could divide the show into 5 parts. First 5 songs..to rock down the stadium Song nr. 6 to song nr. 11 ( see above) than it was Keith to sing just after the band intro. The band was the same as last year, except they did change one horn player, TIM REES was the new one. Keith was ready to perform his 2 songs...I was hoping for it..and my dreams became true, when I saw they did put a bar-hocker to the front of the stage and Keith did take place on it. YOU GOT THE SILVER....WOW..This song was made especially for KEITH. Noone else could make this song better than Keith did it, yesterday night. Bluesy accoustic guitars, perfect sound..just fantastic...and Keith`s voice. O man..This voice was made to perform this song !!! I love you keith..... After this brilliant version Keith did a fast rocker as usual..this time it was my favourite: BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN
But the absoloute highlight of the show was still to come. The bridge came out and the band did walk over to the center stage. Even the bridge music was changed, compared to last year. It seems as this was a new tour whith the old stage. What was coming now, was just SUPERB. 3 songs..one better than the other..perfect for the small stage: As I said already, the sound on the small stage was just perfect.. the whole stadium went nuts.
ROUTE 66....Yeahhh GET OFF OF MY CLOUD...a really refreshing version.... and the KILLER VERSION..a version which is just a MUST BE PLAYED on the small stage, as this song was just written to be performed on the small stage. MIDNIGHT RAMBLER.....Can`T explain..Just FEEL it, listen to it, and LOVE it.
After this they went to the home straight..it was the tourist section TUMBLING DICE ( which is the wrong choice to follow with after the center stage, it just does not kick, it doesn`t push...as I think the could drop out TD anyway.... After TD they did perform a strong version of IT`S ONLY ROCK`N ROLL...then START ME UP.. with the 3-time beginning riff again BROWN SUGAR...Konfetti rain again.."Yeah,Yeah,Yeah...Hooooooo"
Than the concert was over after 2 hours Just ONE more to come..the ENCORE: NOW i knew it would be SYMPATHIE FOR THE DEVIL. It was a very good version with horns in it..first time ever i think. The crowd did like it very much...a lot`s of HOooHooO After Sympathie it was all over....small fireworks followed, really small as it was in the centre of the city of STUTTGART.
All in all: Strong set.....Stones were in a good mood, you could see and you could feel the fun, the boys had on stage. The set was a bit shortened, compared to last year, but it was more intensive, so I do prefer THIS set list....but, so what ? 10 reviews are 10 different opinions. I love this one. YOU prefer that..HE likes this..SHe wants that..., They did not play this, but what about that and so on and so on. I mean, there is NO PERFECT set list ..but this one was very close to, in my little opinion, of course.
As I said already..the show could be divited into 5 parts. First 5 Songs..rough and dirty . Song 6-11, which are the interesting songs (rarely/obskure/crow pleaser/new ones/Ballads) then it`s KEITH 2 times, I hope he will play YGTS in the next shows as well. Than it is the 3 songs in the center stage..Perfect set list. And finally the home straight last 5 songs.
I will visit one more show this year..it is the final concert of the whole BABYLON TOUR on June 20th in COLOGNE / GERMANY. If You are thinking of going to the Cologne concert..Just do it. As I do live in Cologne, I know that there are still plenty of tickets left for the Cologne show ( seating and field tickets) that is fore sure. It will take place in a stadium which looks similar to WEMBLEY..just smaller 58.000 tickets..and more than 10.000 left. The opening act in cologne will be the local band BAP. BAP did open already in 1982 at the same venue. By the way: there are loose rumours that US president Bill Clinton will visit the Cologne concert of the Rolling Stones.!!! In fact Clinton IS in COLOGNE at show time. And the local paper said, that Clinton asked for extending his visit for one more night, so that he can visit the Stones Concert. Maybe the president of the United states will replace Bobby Keys on the saxophone solo on Brown sugar ( Ähem...)
So, this was my little impression of the opening show in STUTTGART. Enyoy the next one..regards. Let it all rock.
I know what I am talking about! I saw the NS shows in Kansas City and Memphis. They were simply great. But what I experienced in Stuttgart yesterday was simply the best show I have ever seen. (It was my 21th Stones show!)
You must know: If you want to get a frontrow place in Europe you will get it! But it's hard work! For me and my friends it meant sitting on the bare ground in sweltering heat of the burning sun, nervous standing in a tightly packed crowd before the gates opened at 4 pm and then running for about 500 meters breathing in all the whirled up dust. But we made it! Front row Ronnie's side! But you know, no seats! Again sitting on the ground or standing at least in a tightly packed crowd too. But only the TRUE FANS are wiLling to make such a strain and THEY are in the front section! So you always meet old friends or make new ones. And it's great to talk and to share each others Stones experiences. All in all it took us 10 hours of waiting for the Stones.
But what a show and what a crowd! There was no highlight, it was ONE big highlight from the beginning to the end. WE AND THE STONES WERE ONE!! Mick had to stop the sing alongs of "Saint Of Me" by starting with "Some Girls", the crowd never would have stopped!! "Angie" with the sea of lights and Mick's voice that sent shivers down your body. Keith sitting on his stool and playing "You Got The Silver". You must have seen his face! He is the soul of the Rolling Stones! I don't have enough superlatives to describe what I have experienced!
It was great seeing the Stones in those "small" arenas. But now they transformed the NS show to the big BtB stage and I tell you it is more impressive, it's gigantic!
So once again: Come and see one of these shows!
It took us 7 hours to get to Stuttgart (almost 700 kilometers) and we arrived at about 1.00 p.m.
We met several "old friends" from Holland as well as from Germany (nice speaking to you again Alfred and Brigitte) and even Australia (hey Jaime, see you next week).
The gates did not open before 4 p.m. and we had to run again for the best spot. It was a long distance (too long and unnecessary actually) to run and in this warm weather it must have been dangerous to run at full speed! It reminded me of a guy who dropped dead last year while running for a good spot at the Mannheim show!
I always thought that the Germans were good organizers, but now I know better... :-( At the end of the show the police kept us at the parking lot for almost two hours, because the crowd (80,000 people) had to be gone before the cars were allowed to leave... Can you imagine? We wanted to drive back to Holland again (7 hours!) :-(
But nevertheless it was a great opening show as far as the Stones concerned. The band played excellent, especially Keith and Charlie! Keith was the best tonight. And Charlie "the basher" was great tonight too.
BTW The opening band, Ocean Colour Scene, wasn't too bad eather. After the first 3 songs I even started to like them... ;-) They playd about 40 minutes.
The Stones started their show at 9.40 p.m. and closed at 11.40 p.m. No Bridges To Babylon opening, but a No Security opener! After the video shots of the Stones walking through the basement of the stadium (!!) a firm Jumpin' Jack Flash made the crowd wild. This song was immediately followed by You Got Me Rocking and this was a great version. Much more "stacato" than the Voodoo Lounge tour version.
Before playing "Bitch", Mick said: "Willkommen in Stuttgart". Then Lisa did her traditional part in Gimme Shelter; nice but not the best version I've heard. This was followed, like the No Security set list, by Honky Tonk Women (no Robert, not Honky Tonk WomAn!). Keith opened the song "hands free" but I think he was concentrating on the audience too much :-)
First new song in the set was "Angie". The crowd liked it and so did we. It's a nice "romantic song" as Mick called it.
Angie was followed by a very nice, but much too slow, version of "Shattered".
"Saint Of Me" ("Wolt Ihr Mitsingen?") was very nice. Before the song ended, the crowd was singing "Yeah, yeah, oh yeah, you never make a saint of me" and the band started playing along with the audience again.
Mick announced it as "the twisted version of Some Girls" and although Mick started the wrong verse at one moment, tonight was the best version I heard so far!
"Out Of Control" was as steady as it was in the States. I though it was played with a slightly different instrumental part.
"Paint It Black" was good too. The audience sang along fermly!
At the band introductions Charlie was favourite, like always in Europe. Keith then took the microphone and said "It's good to be back sisters... and brothers". And he played the best version of "You Got The Silver" so far! This song was followed by "Before They Make Me Run". There was no Leah Wood on the backing vocals, like I saw during the NS Tour.
Time for the bridge to be moved to the center stage. (Keith stumbled while crossing the bridge). The center stage was not included within the front ring, so there was no stress in this part of the audience ;-)) The center stage set was great tonight: "Route 66", "Get Off Of My Cloud" (even better than the first time - and the last time I saw it in Philadelphia) and an outstanding version of "Midnight Rambler". I thought it was longer than they did it during the NS Tour; the middle part was much longer.
Then the band went back to the main stage for the grande finale: "Tumbling Dice", "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" "Start Me Up", "Brown Sugar" which is far to long :-( and the encore "Sympathy For The Devil".
It was a great show, certainly worth while the 7 hours trip to Stuttgart! See you in Groningen!
For me, the center stage songs were greatest change of the set when comparing it to last years B2B-tour, especially Midnight Ramber and Get Off My Cloud, which I never heard live before at a show.. Mick was singing very high notes on this one like in the past!! The centerstage songs simply rocked though we were standing in front of the main stage on Ronnies side with four of us having front row on the edge of main stage and to the catwalk! We got up early for this .. we were melting in the sun and we ran through the dusty desert of Stuttgart, really.. To sum it up - great weather, great crowd and a great show by the Rolling Stones!
We went into Ronnie's side and made it to second row, 3 meters away from the catwalk. They let in far too many people, you just couldn't move. It took roughly an hour to get out and in again to get something to drink. After an hour or so security were told they were allowed to give us some water, so they did, but stopped that during the show. At least we had something to drink there. It was badly needed, as it was extremely hot and dusty in the front row. A couple of people fainted and had to have medical treatment.
Ocean Colour Scene got onstage at 8 pm. They were ok, but very unspectacular, slaughtering every musical style from the Who to Hendrix to Jeff Beck to the Small Faces and even had some Ritchie Blackmore type guitar licks. Nothing special, not worth a mention, really.
The Stones took their time until the sun settled down and hit the stage at 9.47 pm on my watch. I was exited about the NS video, which did look good, at least better than the BtB thing from last year. It's a good intro for a show and makes more sense than last year's video.
The show was more back to basics than last year as well, not too many horns, not too many backing vocals, more Stones. I liked to hear JJF closer to the original than in many years, just pure riffs and energy. I could have done without YGMR, having heard that song far too often since 1995. Ronnie's slide work was good, though. Bitch brought in the horns, very brassy, very tight, a very good version.
Gimme Shelter was a bit of a letdown for me, I could have done with something else inthat slot. Keith enjoyed playing it and Lisa did well as ever. But again, I might have heard it too often in the last years. The same is to say about HTW, I think I heard it at any show I have been to, except for Berlin last year. Adn I think Keith should consider NOT going over to Chuck to play the piano, which would make a nice change.
Angie was a very good electric version, a very nice Ronnie solo, although I thought it was not a very good choice as a song. I would have preffered something like I got the Blues or Moonlight Mile instead, but for a crowd of 80.000 people they do not seem to take risks at all. It's an absolute crowd pleaser, in Germany at least, so I think that's why they played it.
After Angie was over, Mick went to the mike and just said "shdobie", barely audible, but that sent shivers down my soine at least. A very punky, basic version of Shattered followed, real great, really nice, something completely different, a very special treat. That was the moment the show took off for me and for the people I was with. Mick did sing it in a very monotone voice, maybe he did not want to take any risks with high notes, maybe that's the way they do the song nowadays. I just loved it.
Saint of me was ok, a good singalong at least in the front bit, I don't know about the back of the place, a bit re-arranged from last year, a crowd-pleaser and very well done.
Some Girls was pure energy, three guitars hitting it very hard and Mick shouting and spitting out the words. WOW, what a song, one of the highlights of the show. He said something like "A true Story" before they started the song, but didn't he say that before and isn'tthat all a pose. Nevermind, I loved to hear it live for the first time in the 40 shows I have seen until now.
Out of Control was a bit of a letdown again, the guitar middle bit we really loved last year was shorter, much shorter and not as hard as last year. Maybe they did not want to make it as long as Midnight Rambler, now that they have both songs in the set. It was good to see the harp/guitar bit to our left, but I could have done with some more guitar.
Paint it Black was also a bit shorter than last year, but I still prefer this version to the 1990 version, although it was played unspectacularly.
The intro's now start with the horns, not with the singers, Charlie got a few calls again and then The chair for Keith was brought out. A dream came true: You got the silver was played very delicately, absolutely fantastic slide work by Keith, back by Ronnie, with Blondie on second acoustic guitar. I did fear they were not doing it outdoors, but my fears were wrong. Thanks for playing that song, Keith, I loved it.
Before they make me run had some nice guitar work by Ronnie and Keith but couldn't match my alltime best memories of that song in Cologne 1990.
After they crossed the bridge, they hit Route 66, played very basic and rocking a lot. Never heard that song live before either. Next was Get off of my cloud, good to hear it again after such a long time (1976). Mignight Rambler was pure blues and played loud and clean, a very good song for the B-stage. I could see them pretty well even from that far away (no way to go down there, far too many people in the front bit) and the sound was really good this time (not as bad as Nuremberg last year, where they had problems with the B-stage sound on the opening night).
They did not change the greatest hits bit (Tumbling Dice, where the camera on Ronnie guitar did not seem to work, IORR, Start Me Up and Brown Sugar). I wonder why they do not change songs in that bit more often or just rearrange the list of songs. It would make some difference to people that go to more than one show, but that seems to be the way it is nowadays, we just have to live with that. Brown Sugar again had the bit, where no guitar could be heard, as both guitarists weere out on the stage posing, so Chuck had to fill in the bits. the confetti came down mostly on stage, as the wind blew it all to stage left. Mick had to be careful not to swallow the confetti whilst singing.
Sympathy was the encore, re-arranged again with Keith adding some guitar sounds in the beginning. A nice version, but it does not work as an encore for me and for most of the people I was with. After about 2.10 hours everything was over.
A good show, not a superb one, but what do we expect from an opening night of a tour? Some relicts of the BtB where there, some of the videos like the eye in Sympathy, the golden tongue for HTW, the tongue on the turntable and the map that comes closer and closer until you could read Stuttgart on it. It's a bit strange to see the same stage as last year, but have different lineup of songs, but who am I to compalin? I am just lucky they are back this year.
Have a nice time in Imst tonight, I will be back with the tour in Groningen, hopefully.
- Well, I'm happy that I do not live in Libya or Nepal- But as a fanatic you are satisfied with meeting all the friends and sharing a concert with them and even on my 66th concert in total there were still new experiences. The new opening movie is one of the best starts of a concert I have ever seen, Shattered and Some Girls showed the Stones with the power of 1978, You Got The Silver with Keith on the stool is a memorable moment even without the music and the Midnight Rambler on the B-stage is still pure Stones-magic. Sympathy in the actual played version is not a good choice to end such a great gig, but probably the heat and the waiting made everybody a bit tired and we were dreaming about a cold beer and say Cheers to the Stones and another great evening.
Thanks to Johannes B. Tuemmers 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.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe