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

Air Canada Centre
Toronto, Canada
Thursday Feb. 25, 1999

Review by Meghan Fowler, Toronto

I was in the new Air Canada Centre on Thursday night waiting for The rolling Stones to make my 300 dollar ticket worth it's value. My seats were in sec 3, 33 rows back from the main stage and almost righ beside the B stage. Unfourtunatly on the opposite end NOT beside the cat walk. This depressed me a little but when the stones came on stage I forgot all about it. They sounded better than ever, if you were not there then please do not pay any attention to the grumpy old toronto press that think they know something about good music. By the looks of their poor reviews of the Stones they obviously do not.

When the stones finished their last song before walking to the B stage Mick led they way and the row I was in began pushing towards the small iale way between the rows and the bridge. I followed and found myself reaching out to the boys as they walked by but no luck. When they were on the B stage i was trying to worm myself through people to get to the back side of the stage, just then a usher backed up and pushed me towars the stage letting me and my friend go by. Now all my dreams were beggining to come true. When Mick came around to the back of the stage he was but two feet away from me as there was only about a foot gap between the rail I was leaning on and the stage. After the three songs I turned to lean and reach over the railing of the bridge that was to my immediate left. Charlie walked by and then Ronnie who missed my hand by no more of a sliver as I felt the wind of his fingers pass by mine. Now realizing that I was going to have to reach a little harder I gave it all I could and it worked! Keith slapped my hand on his way by and I was so excited I almost forgot to reach out to Mick who soon followed after throwing his water out into the crowd. Despite my efforts Mick just walked on by only reaching out to about two people on his way in total. This was very frustrating because I was so close yet so far!

Start time:  9:30
End time  : 11:25

The set list:

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. Live With Me
  3. Respectable
  4. You Got Me Rocking
  5. Honky Tonk Women
  6. Moonlight Mile
  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. Just My Imagination (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 Lawrence Solomon

Toronto was treated last night to perhaps the best stones concert i've ever seen. We had 10th row floors and there was very little between us and the greatest... you know the line. From the opening riff of j.j.flash to the lights coming up at the end of the night the stones were fresh , tight and into the show .the atmosphere was electric as they tripped through the set managing to somehow keep even the usual songs like start me up fresh and enthusiastic. we were treated to moonlight mile, a personal favorite, and a smoking version of somegirls not to be believed!!!!! ( i can't wait for the boots to start rolling out).on the smaller stage they played midnight rambler which as another reviewer from a different show pointed out was the best version since 72/73. the stage itself is stripped right down to the band and they're underwear leaving them with nothing but themselves and the magic that they still possess. thanks boys and come again soon, we" miss you" already!!!!!

Review by Robert Schneeweiss

A Youngster's Perspective

Well, it's early Friday morning here in Toronto, but unlike most school days, I have the opportunity to reflect back on a previous night's concert, in this case of course, the Stones show at the Air Canada Centre. It was the second time I was able to see the band, the first being the "Bridges" show last year. In comparison, I would have to say that the latter was a very different experience, as I had the good fortune of sitting in the best seats in the house (front row at the walkway). I think most people would agree that the closer you are, the more you appreciate the effort put forth by everyone on stage.

After the show last night, people were complaining about how flat the band sounded, and the lack of energy projected by Jagger. As far as I'm concerned, one must look beyond the surface. Although a full year of continuous touring may have knocked the wind out of some of the guys, the music that's being played is unrivaled. To have the opportunity to hear such rarities as Moonlight Mile and You Got The Silver speaks for itself. One must not lose sight of the fact that these tunes were recorded over 25 years ago, and that they stem from what could be the greatest 4 consecutive albums ever recorded (Let It Bleed, Beggar's Banquet, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St.). Although I'm sure the band's live shows during that era were more cohesive then last night's show (the MSG Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out show as one example), one shouldn't expect a performance on that level.. Nonetheless, Jagger's attributes are profound for anyone of any age (and that goes for the rest of the band as well).

So I say hats off to the Stones, you're still the greatest rock and roll band on the planet.

Review by David Hart

Just got home from Toronto... 5 hour drive plus sleepover to get back to the Nation's Captial... Boy would this show have gone over well at the COREL CENTER. (here's a quick plug for Big Sugar... Canadian boys... loved it) What a great opening! The Stones always seem to find an innovative way to open up the show.

Right from the get-go the show reminded me of the 78 tour with its stripped down staging and hard-edged versions of songs. Flash sounded like a hybrid of 72-78 versions with great guitar mix... keith and ronnie back up front (sorry chuck) but this is how the stones were meant to sound.

Live with me took a few seconds to get organized with Ronnie walkin over to Keith to decide on guitar parts.... a quick laugh and they were into it! Respectable with Mick-guitar-in-hand looked like the saturday night live version (with mick's voice in good form this time!) with Mick strutting around tossing off his best johnny rotten 'sneer's'.....

boy was it BUSINESS last night... no long delays between songs... bang, bang bang.... the tempo of the flash,live with me,respectable, got me rockin and honky tonk 'first five' was impressive.... Jagger commented on the NEW building and asked the Torontonians if they liked it?... didn't seem to get a big reaction......obviously Mick and the boys were reminiscing about Maple Leaf Gardens which they rocked so hard in 72 and 75.

I had been praying for Moonlight Mile and I got it!.....Mick, with his no security pick guard... strat in hand played beautifully with Ronnie and Keith handling the fills magnificently... I really didn't know what to expect (arrangement wise) but this surpassed my wildest expectations!!!!! I sure hope we get a good 'sound-board' of this from mr bootleg!

Saint of me was next and it was nice although i would have preferred another 'surprise'. SOME GIRLS was absolutely a killer. Its hard to describe... beautiful, rough, dirty chords and fills from the guitar twins... thankyou Ronnie and Keith! Mick's vocal was terrific... charlie abused his drum kit on this one.....if you haven't seen/heard this one yet.. you are in for a TREAT.

Paint it Black had a new feel to it and it worked very very well... one of the best received songs by the Toronto audience. I have to say that Keith's vocal on You got the Silver blew me away...nice guitar arrangement with Keith playing slide on his Martin, Ronnie doubled up on the slide playing his Zemaitis and Blondie played nice acoustic fills (chuck you were great too!) Before they make me run was well played - Toronto is where Keith had to "walk before they made him run" so it had a slight irony to it......

On to the B stage! seat with buddy Stu was close by so we had a great view. At first the sound wasn't quite right and Route 66... a real crowd pleaser didn't allow us to "get our kicks on route 66" as much as we all wanted to.... overall the song felt like the knebworth version in 1976... my favorite of all time was at the el mocambo march 5/77 (yup i was there!). although i wasn't keen on imagination being played on the B stage... boy was i proven wrong!... super intro and beautiful guitar weeving from all 3.

Rambler was nice and sloppy with a hesitant intro until keith got in synch with charlie, darryl and ronnie... but then it COOKED... beautiful groove (like bedspring-welcome to newyork)... a mix-up at the end with charlie stopping to early left the boys with their pants down... but in typical keith/ronnie fashion... they just laughed!... Mick didn't seem to think it was so funny and he was visibly upset... Ronnie tried to give him a big hug to help him 'cool off' but it seems to me like the anxiety of Mick's divorce, the media attention and negative press revolving around his personal life... are starting to eat at him... overall he didn't seem too happy the whole night.......

although the 'big windup' of the last 5 songs was a real crowd pleaser (i know they have to do these one!) it was a ho-hum finish for me... true, Its only rock and roll had great guitar arrangement and overall sound... but, sympathy with horns just didn't do it for me. All in all, it was another great show (my 24th show). What I love most about this band is their ability to remain CONVINCING...even after all these years. Its such a delicate balancing act to keep putting new material into the set lists yet still make sure the 'average' fan goes home happy. THIS HARD CORE FAN SURE DID! thanks again guys for the turn-on "We had it all"

Review by Flynn Welles

The fans had no "surprises" from the Stones at the Toronto show last evening! And the Air canada Center isn't all it's cracked up to be either! I had great seats, off from the wing-side and the sound could have been better, some Canadian fans sitting next to me also complained about the sound in that section, perhaps it was different in other parts of the arena, hope so!

It was obvious from the get-go, that the Stones were not into the show, not as "into it" as I have seen them at previous Concerts on this tour!

I was unimpressed, because I have seen the Stones do such fabulous shows. I'd much rather have some blundering mistakes, (at least a surprise, or two) than a "Set in Stones" concert, which was just too "pat" for my liking.

The Canadian next to me said, "I've seen the Stones do a lot better than this."

The Toronto fans got 20 songs, "Memory Motel" was dropped and so was "Sweet Virginia." I think they would have enjoyed those two!

The change-out songs for the evening were: Moonight Mile Saint Of Me Just My Imagination (B-Stage)

Keith did his same two: You Got The Siver Before They Make Me Run

Hopefully, during the break, the Stones will rehearse some new ones and FRESHEN the Tour up a little! PLEASE! Some of those "less played songs" too!

Can't wait to see if it happens on the second leg of the NO SECURITY Tour... be nice, if it does!

The bad-boy image seems to be in jeopardy, ya all need to spice it up a bit Stones! Thought you were afraid of becomin' too "RESPECTABLE"? (per Keith quote).

From The Toronto Sun, Showbiz section: The SUN rating (out of 5) gave the Stones 3 stars for the Thursday night show! The heading reads:

"STILL NO SIGNS OF MOSS" [Oh, NO?...Read on] [The article glows in some places for the Stones themselves.] "Another year, another Stones tour,...why not! Their formula for satisfaction is foolproof,...they're as nimble a blues-rock band as ever."

Later, even the SUN had to admit, "Still, things did drag at times as the band went through the motions." [This is very true, like they were going through the MOTIONS, only]!

The SUN continues: "Poker riffing was substituted in place of ramshackle beauty,... "Moonlight Mile." "Some Girls" was a tinny blur."

"But, as a young Jagger onced mused, "This could be the last time. May be the last time, I don't know." [May be, it will be, if the guys are starting to throw the concerts away. I can't hardly believe it though, prove me wrong guys!]

The back-up band, well, at least Bernard and Lisa seemed to enjoy thmselves and have some "juice" going for us!

However, The Toronto Sun was closer to the truth in their review. The front page has a photo of Mick and the lead is: "STONES SO SUBDUED"

Page A-18: "But band and its mixed-bag audience curiously subdued."

"Half an hour or so into last night's curiously draggy Stones performance at a soldout but subdued Air Canada Center, hyperactive manchild Mick Jagger ceded the reins to his longtime sidekick so Richards could step to the fore for a two-song burst of weathered blues-soaked raunch that was arguably the first truly grabby moment of the night. [I'd like a little more Passion in the whole show as well].

"The 20,000 strong-crowd was the usual generational grabbag of parents,...suburbanites and Stones lifers....Difficult to say wheather they all went home satisfied." [Not me, and the Stones need to add "Satisfaction" to the set, I heard this in the crowd too!]

"There was a lagging quality to much of the performance, as though some handler had forgotten to replace the band's batteries." [This ends the article from The Toronto Star]!

Like I said ealier, "Sad, Sad, Sad," such a waste, Get On Your Toes Stones! Some of us fans "sacrifice" to come and see you! We're not all affluent, (per: Keith quote). Give us a great show, you can't sit down on your butts, we won't let ya!

Review by Stephane Giroux

OK, my first Stones review here since Montreal last April.

Something cool happened to me shortly after I entered the Air Canada Center (much nicer than the Molson Center BTW). I looked for my seat number 25 on row 28 in section 116 behind the stage. Lousy ticket I know. Turns out my seat...didn't exist! Tickets went on sale when the place was still under construction, and I guess they couldn't squeeze all the seats they planned. Anyway, a few of us were in that situation, and a venue official relocated us...right by the stage!!! In the $300 seats!

Cool upgrade. I was about three yards from the stage on Keith's side. When the lights went out, I could clearly see Keith run from the back of the stage to the front, hammering the riff of Jumping Jack Flash. Mick followed from behind Charlie's kit. Such a contrast to the highly choreographed Bridges show. No fancy clothes, not pyros.

The stage was so open, it was fabulous from where I stood and danced. I knew I would be in for beautiful Moonlight Mile since they did Memory Motel in Detroit. The crowd sat down during the song, and I gather that many just didn't know it. Oddly enough, people in the most expensive seats with me didn't seem to know half the songs. Bet they saved their money for that one. Not!

Saint of Me got a thunderous response, even if it followed in the same slow-tempo of Moonlight. Some Girls also got the crowd going, and people responded well to Mick's macho taunts. He once again wisely used the line White Girls Wanna Get Fucked All Night, to a roaring approval (and hopefully from Lisa)

Charlie once again got the loudest cheers during the introductions, and Keith got a receptive, if quiet response during Silver. That changed on the first chords of Before they Make me run, when the place once again exploded.

Mick had mike problems at the beggining of Route 66, but things got fixed in time for the real disaster of the evening: Keith missed not one but two major cues in Midnight Rambler, leaving Mick clueless and even pissed-off. I saw a nod from Keith meaning that he was getting back into the song.

There were no mistakes when the closing hits started flowing, and the crowd kept it up right to the end. Only the encore of Sympathy seemed somewhat anti-climatic for reasons I can't explain.

But overall a great show and I can venture to say that it beats every B2B shows I saw. Less gliter, more rock. That's how it should be...

Off to Tampa for next week.

Review by Garry Williamson

I am a huge Stone's fan, dating back to my first show on the '75 Tour of the America's. I have now seen them 6 times.Buffalo '75 & '78, Keith's benefit concert '79, Detroit '81, Toronto '89 and Thursday's show. With the Stones' massive repertoire of music, why couldn't they be a little more adventuresome and dust off a few old gems. What about "Can't you hear me knockin'" or "Around and Around". I just feel that for $100 or $300 a pop for ticket's it would have been nice to see them be a little more unpredictable. Everybody has heard the standard closing to their shows and quite frankly i'm am tired of it. Great band, Great tunes, Great big rip-off.

Review by John Kitson, Brampton, Ontario

This being my seventh Stones show, was ultimately the best concert I have ever seen, Stones or otherwise. It even beat out, in my opinion, last years show at the Molson Centre in Montreal, which was amazing. At the new Air Canada Centre we got seats 33 rows back from the stage, directly beside the B stage, on Keith's side. We sat immediately infront of the sound board, and just prior to the guys coming on stage noticed a familiar face standing behind us. It was none other than Liah Wood (Ronnie's 20 year old daughter), she was very friendly and even posed for a photograph with me.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that we WERE allowed to take photo's throughout the entire show, and they were the best photo's of the guys I have ever taken. It's hard to believe that I wasn't up there on stage with them! The set list was great with the outstanding tunes, for me, being SAINT OF ME, SOME GIRLS,PAINT IT BLACK and YOU GOT THE SILVER. The ultimate for me however was JUST MY IMAGINATION on the B stage, but there really wasn't a bad song all evening and the sound was the best I've heard from the Stones!

It's hard to believe that they played for over two hours, where do those guys get their energy? We were worn out just watching them! Keep up the good work guys, hope to catch them on their NEXT tour!!

Review by Jack Gibson

What Happened to that old "black" Magic?

Well sadly I wasn't overly impressed. I had the closest seat in the arena seat 19 row A section 2, and everyone around me except maybe 3 people were all quiet, motionless idiots. Do Canadians not know how to enjoy themselves??? You'd think it was a Celine Dion concert with Julio Iglesias up there this audience was pathetic!!! As if they had taken a few valium before the show! Ive been to alot of concerts over the years ranging from the farthest seat in the house, to the immediate front ( wembley '95 ) and for some reason this show didnt do anything for me.

Mick and Keith looked like they were pissed off with each other cos' there wasn't any "magical togetherness". Maybe I've just seen them too many times now, and the novelty of MICK JAGGER and KEITH RICHARDS living breathing legends has worn off? I dunno. I got lots of amazing pictures too of the classic Keith poses and Mick gestures! Other than that though, I'm glad this isn't the last show I'm goin' to see cos' it wouldn't be the best memory I have.

I'm not a fan of Paint It Black, but that one does come over quite well. The first half of the show has got to be the more interesting I think. But Keith had some wicked grooves goin' ( as well as clothes he had on ) with SOME GIRLS, and TUMBLIN' DICE. .. What happened to Midnight Rambler? I couldnt really understand but there was like some miscommunication in the last time signature boogie. (?)

Over all, I think the Stones were pre-occupied with other off stage problems and they did look tired. I tried valiantly to get Mick motivated but he wasnt paying any attention to the down front audience. He just kept looking all around with dollar signs in his eyes. If this is how they plan on playing for the remainder of the tour I want my Wembley June 11 & 12 tickets refunded. Happy to go but could have passed. Even having the front row spot at a measely $91. Its just too overwhelming dealing with their attitudes and egotistical personalities the music gets shuffled to the back seat. ( and its the music I went for ).

I think I'd like to have a seat in one of the upper levels to get a more broader view. I give this a 6 1/2 outta 10. The European audiences are goin to be so much better!!!!! :-) PS Are we never goin to hear SLAVE, SILVER TRAIN or FINGERPRINT FILE???

Review by Tyson Blue

The Stones were among the first to use the new Air Canada Centre, built in the shell of an abandoned post office. The sound quality was a little muddy from our nosebleed seats, but the view was good and the show was, although a little short, terrific.

The Stones came on at around 9:30 p.m., a little later than usual so far, with the usual filmed intro and opened with "Jumping Jack Flash". "Moonlight Mile" made a reappearance this time, and although a little ragged here and there, the final long fade worked really nicely.

Keith's "You Got the Silver" was another highlight, featuring some fine slide work. "Midnight Rambler", now a B-Stage staple, hasn't sounded this good since its heyday on the '72 tour. Other than that, there were no real surprises, but it was worth the trip up from the US to see the boys again so soon after last year.

The Toronto press:

Thanks to Axel Schumacher, Ted Saxlid and each and every one of you for supplying links to newspaper reviews!

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 Jan 23, 1999.

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