It's Only Rock'n Roll
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It's safe to say that Wembley has been a great place to see the Stones. Great acoustics, great crowd always, great city, great band, coming home, Bert Richards sitting under the cobra in 1995 to see Keith and the band. Bill Wyman on his last ever show in August 1990, on Matt Clifford's shoulders, if memory still holds for me, for the finals. The "football show", summer of 1990, when everybody had a radio. Sadly England lost vs. Germany that night. And these two last shows, with Elisabeth Jagger on backing vocals, Sheryl Crow on Honky Tonk Women, and the Rolling Stones who made all these great shows memories for a lifetime...
Well, on with the show, like Keith says... The opening was the usual. Two fast numbers, Jumping Jack Flash and You Got Me Rocking. They replaced Live With Me with Bitch. Mick said he was sorry for being so late, and was happy that we had waited all that long. The slight rain before the band came on today didn't bother anyone, even if it was a bit cold as well.
"This is something you will never be", Mick said, introducing the next song, and they did a great version of Respectable. Gimme Shelter was again very good, Lisa is in top shape these days, and some very good guitars as well. Angie was the slow song fr tonight. The entire crowd was singing along - a popular choice. Sheryl Crow was on for Honky Tonk Women, dressed like she was on during her warm up set, leather coat. By the way, Bobby Keys and his brass mates came on for Sheryl Crow's final song in her warm-up set, so thy were pretty warm as well tonight!
Saint of Me did not make all that noise tonight. May be the crowd did not know it that much, like the "oldies". Out Of Control, however, was a true number one for tonight. The camera guy is zooming in and out for Ronnie's pedal, saying "CRY BABY", as his guitar is howling and wheeping in the stadium. Best ever mix of Ronnies gitar tonight, so loud and so clear, and he pays back by playing it brilliantly. Mick did some killer vocals, and then some even more killer harmonica playing, as Keith came over to Mick right away, rather than walking away from him to the wing, like he did last night. How I lov that song! Paint It Black was even better, the crowd liked it a lot. Strange that one of the newest and on of the oldst songs, more than 30 years apart in time, is making the greatest memories and following for the night. THe show is at it's peak, great times at Wembley.
Keith slowed down with Thief In The Night. Nice song, but people start to talk and move around. By the time he did Before They Make Me Run people were already on the slow run, the show was not so intense anymore.
Route 66 on the small stage was a few seconds late in making it to the main PA, but once the guys on the mixer pushed the right buttons, we could hear it loud and clear. I loved to see Charlie and Daryl working so closely together on the small stage set. Then Like A Rolling Stones, always popular in any crowd, because they know it s well. Rambler was long and god as well. Then back to the main stage.
Mick's daughter Elisabeth was on stage tonight as well, with Leah, Lisa and Bernard, durig Sympathy For The Devil. Mick, being professional on stage, didn't seem to take a look at his doughter back ther once, working so hard on the Sypathy vocals and the crowd. But I bet he did take a quick look at his teenage daughter in a small second, while running from one side of the stage to the other...
Tumbling Dice and It's Only Rock'n Roll was good, but the most popular song of the finishing part must have been Start Me Up. The crowd were jumping up and down, singing the words, and Wembley rocked. Brown Sugar, and the volume was peaking. I think they had turned all the switches in the mixer to the limits, as the sound was strong and good.
Satisfaction. Long, good version, lots of fireworks, then they are gone, as Keith is back for a third and final bow to us all this night, cheating Mick and Charlie a bit on the last one. Goodbye Wembley, it has been fun, and I will miss you!
Start time: 8:21 pm End time : 10:36 pm
The set list:
At Wembley tonight I was struck by how the sound was especially clear for a stadium. Keith’s chords on You Got Me Rocking rang clear like chimes as they filled up the large venue. While not denying that it was great to see the Stones in arenas earlier this year, the way these guys work a big place is a treasure in and of itself. When Mick went wing to wing during Brown Sugar, every square inch of the stadium was frenzied. It is fair to say that even with playing in arenas or small clubs, the most amazing spectacle this band can put on is when they make a whole football stadium seem intimate like a crowded bar. No other band can do this and tonight it was great to see that this ability was not wasted on a smaller stage.
The setlist was complete with gems. Angie was most beautiful in a very electrified way - this was not an unplugged version and it was inspirational. Sheryl Crow was wonderful on Honky Tonk Women, a fitting follow up to her tight and fast moving opening set. Satisfaction was a special treat not seen earlier this year in North America, with Keith’s lead being the leanest, cleanest piece I have ever heard on that song. As I do not have an adapter for English electrical current and my laptop battery winds down, I conclude that thinking back to my favorite shows (Phoenix 97, Madison Square Garden 98, Pittsburgh 99) tonight is right up there with the very most brilliant.
This time we found our place by the walkway near to the b-stage. As always we met nice people and had interesting conversation with them. (A lot of Germans were in our section.) Unfortunately there were some rain showers, so people were busy to stay dry and did not appreciate the program of Virgin Radio as they did the day before. But they did their best to warm up the crowd by great music and a Stones flag race.
It also rained when Sheryl Crow performed. But it stopped when the GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD entered the stage. I enjoyed the video and then they were there, the show was on!!! We all had a great time by singing and dancing along although the view to the main stage was not always the best one. Our time would come with the b-stage part of the show and their walking back to the main stage.
During "Out Of Control" we noticed a pretty blond teenage girl with a ponytail who was singing and dancing along in the security section of the walkway. She even copied Mick's movements. And then we realized: she was Lizzy, Mick's daughter! I must admit she drew a lot of attention of us to her. I couldn't resist to look at her, it was impressing how she enjoyed her father's work, knowing every single word of the songs. I took a picture of her. But why didn't I have the idea of asking her for an autograph? I don't know. She disappeared shortly before the b-stage set.
This was our time now! Standing so close by was fantastic!! And then came the way back on the walkway. I managed that Keith took my hand. Believe me or not, I felt the press of his fingers for nearly half an hour!!
The greatest hits section began and we jumped around singing and clapping hands, enjoying this last part of another great show.
Now there is only one show left, Cologne. And I am beginning to feel sad.... PLEASE, MICK, KEITH, CHARLIE AND RONNIE LET THIS NOT BE "THE LAST TIME"!!! STONES FOREVER !!!
Anyway, Route 66 had a strange start again, but this time because we could not hear it over the PA, only on the monitors from the center stage.. Hey, maybe because they always mess up the start like on the night before? ;-) Midnight Rambler was outstanding again, like last night.. One of my favourites, for sure.. I love it..
They were talking about demolishing the stadium on the first show, but they did this night, as they had the big firework this time - after Satisfaction was closing the set. So we left Wembley for the last time with smiling faces and the memory of a great show in our heads.. Thanks for this to Mick & Co.. It was definately worth coming to London to see the Stones again..
After this great show I´m not sure if it can get much better.. :-) Well, see you in Cologne anyway and let´s hope for some surprises for the perhaps last show of this year..
I still can't understand how the 'ripoff' merchants get away with charging extortionate 'promotional crap' like tee-shirts etc that are 'out-of'date' the next day - 'suckas' spring to mind.
Highlights - a great rendition of 'Gimme Shelter - the coloured backing singer (Lisa ?) was brilliant & fully deserved the ovation, Saint of Me, Route 66(6) etc....At last they got the sound right & the finale was spectacular. Having seen some of today's so-called' top bands (eg Verve at V98 etc), I can't help but smile when I see the younger kids enjoying these 'old farts' - the new bands just don't know how to perform AND ENTERTAIN (not sour grapes, honest !). I'd been worried that lack of chart success & some mediocre output (except maybe Stripped & Bridges) Truly, stilll, the GREATEST ROCK'N ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD !!! I was pleased to be proved wrong !
The show started very well, JJF being trashed out at the audience, pure Stones. At the beginning of YGMR, Ron's guitar fell down, technicians got hectic to have it fixed in time for his slideworks to begin, Ron looked bemused.
Not so many specches on stage this time, they just went on with the show. The show had a very loose feel about it, all the tension from the night before were not there. It looked like they had conquered London (again) and they were loving it. Charlie had to step out for introductions again and got lots of applause.
At the start of Thief in the night Ron made some faces and pointed out that his daughter was in the backing vocals section, showing her the thumbs up. Keith was more lose this time and in better shape, knowing all the chords to the songs today. Sherl Crow made an even better apperance during HTW tonight (she was joined by the Horn section with B Keyes During the last song of her set as well).
Midnight Rambler stood out, long audience participation in the late middle bit this time, LARS was just boring. Elizabeth Jagger was back for Sympathy, but Wembley 1 sounded better.
Fireworks and pyrotechnis worked this time, so we had fireworks for BS and Satisfaction and the big firework after they left the stadium.
All in all: Nothing spectacular went on, not a very remarkable gig, but just a nice one. I wish they would try harder for the hardcore fans.
To be honest: I was disappointed with London, I thought there would be more changes in the setlist, because it was home turf. Now, as they did not do anything for London, I do not expect anything at all for Landgraaf and Cologne, my two shows to go. I will still like to see them, but the exitement about new songs is gone completely now, as I know there is only a slim chance of hearing something different than the tourist setlist.
No nostalgia in the show for these reasons, the usual set - in security they play the crowd pleasers and the enthusiastic crowd is singing and jumping. No special songs or words are dedicated to their hometown except Keith is bit proud to survive even the Stadium. I was not front row, so I had no concert, just standing on the side and being part of the big party, that was going on. It is a big difference to be in front and see exactly what's happening, the smiles and the jokes or being far away, and the most are in this distance, so you only can watch the monitor and enjoy the music.
The show in these days is a development over the years and it is good to end all this with Satisfaction again. You may have heard it a zillion times, but it ends a show perfectly and additionally they've found the final ending in the real last bow with Mick and Charlie building a gate and Keith passing it like Groucho Marx.
There will be a break after this tour and noone knows where it leads, will we see the Stones in London again, will they ever play the New Wembley ??
8.20 : JJF chords hit our face and more than 2 hours of happinness havebegan! I'm quite disappoited by the changes in the set, except for Bitch in a killer version ; great show again! Good to see Elisabeth Jagger and Leah Wood singing with Dads on "thief in the night" & "sympathy for the devil"! howcan we imagine that one day they will stop? TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE!!! What a shame!!!
We were fortunate in being able to stand on the mixer board, which gave us a great view of both stages, just above the heads in the crowd. Angela Richards & her husband, Dominic, were to our right & also Leah Wood. Keith's dad, Bert, watched from behind us. The first special moment came when they played Angie, the song that was played at Angela & Dominic's wedding last August, & the two had a cuddle & a dance right next to us-how sweet!
I was a bit surprised that the crowd couldn't carry Saint Of Me, but oh well, we had our moment at Shepherd's Bush with that one. Paint It Black is a joy to hear & see the crowd pumping their fists & clapping their hands over their heads.
Leah kept checking her setlist to make sure she left the mixer board & headed for the main stage in time to do her vocals with Keith. We asked what Keith was playing tonight & she smiled & looked at her setlist, then told us it was a secret. Of course it was to be a beautiful rendition of Thief In The Night followed by Before They Make Me Run. Onto the B stage next, where the opening chords of Rt. 66 couldn't quite be heard. I was surprised they never threw in Get Off My Cloud & stuck with Like A Rolling Stone, but I did notice that Mick threw in an extra verse at most shows.
Midnight Rambler is always a pleasure, tonight was no exception. I prefer this version of Sympathy to the one they did on No Security as well, and we got to see Elizabeth Jagger up there. The rest of the show was the usual, but very energized, both the band & the crowd were rocking strong. I rather like Satisfaction as the encore instead of the opener. And that feeling of looking up into the sky & out into the crowd when the glitter is falling down is amazing! Then the fireworks & bang, the final bows.
I can't believe the 1999 tour, for me, has come to an end. But what a fabulous year it's been. Mick & Charlie turn to take their final bow & Keith slips back out & in between them...one last glimpse of the boys. Thank you & God Bless The Rolling Stones!!!
Thanks to 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 -
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