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Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 09:15

I need to say that I am positively surprised how great the Stones have sounded during 50 AND COUNTING, and now in different legs of 14 ON FIRE, and seemingly it is just getting better. This had made me thinking that are we actually wittnessing the best version of the band since their 1989 come back? Some of the things to consider:

- loud, up mixed guitars, and the whole sound of the band relying more on the core band. Probably in the beginning this was a challenge them, and they needed some time to make it work. It is getting better all the time.
- Jagger. For god sakes, he actually sings better than he has been for ages. In some cases, even better than ever. This guy is a walking miracle.
- Wood. Sobriety suits him very well. There were tours he was mixed down for a good reason, but now he sounds fresh and eager, able to deliver whatever stuff that is needed. His playing looks 'easy'.
- Charlie is Charlie. Solid as ever. He never let us down.
- Richards. The toughest case. Yes, his fingers are not like they used to be, and no way he is able even close to do something he did, say, still in 1998, but compared to the stuff he did during LICKS and A BIGGER BANG tours, there is a certain focus and determination in his doings that was absent before. His concentration more on rhythm work, instead of throwing two note noodlings and other nonsense here and there, contributes much more to the over-all sound of the band. Actually we were missing that Keith "who shines when the band shines". Being about sober works also very well for him.
- Taylor. Not used much, but whenever he is, he adds a dimension - spontaneity, danger - to their doings that has no any equavalent during modern era.

So altogether, I would even go so far to claim that they are now presenting a better band effort than ever during modern era (the issue of being an oldies act, 'boring' setlists, etc do not belong here). Surely, in 1989/90 they still had Wyman, played damn sharply (mostly) and having much more technical finesse, but, however there is so much wrong - too slick over-all sound, (ugly) guitars mixed down, Richards' 'guitar hero' mannerisms, so much extra musicians, Jagger's uptightness, etc. - that I personally like the current, more relaxed band more. The sound simply is more to my taste. If the claim is too strong, the fact that these seventysomethings are able to do something so valuable that it is sensible to compare to their doings some 25 years ago, is simply an incredible accomplishment. Hats off!

What do you people think?

- Doxa



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-13 09:29 by Doxa.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Virgin Priest ()
Date: November 13, 2014 09:29

Doxa, you nailed it. That´s what I thought after their Düsseldorf concert, June 19th.

Priest

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: November 13, 2014 09:33

I vote for 1969 to be their best year Live...






..she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long..

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 09:37

Come On, come on, the counting starts from 1989 on... Let's leave the classical times out...

- Doxa

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Sam4741 ()
Date: November 13, 2014 09:58

Great analysis Doxa. I would say the 50 AND COUNTING/14 ON FIRE tour has been easily their best since NO SECURITY. I don't know if I could call it better than the STEEL WHEELS/URBAN JUNGLE tour though, mainly because of Keith. Personally, I love his playing on that tour. He was just absolutely shredding. He doesn't possess the speed and vertical playing ability he had in those years BUT WITH THAT SAID I do think his playing has been a HUGE step up from the LICKS tour as well as the BIGGER BANG tour. He definitely has a renewed focus that seemed to be absent at times during those tours. Same goes for Ronnie. Charlie's still getting the job done. And Doxa you hit the nail on the head with Mick. It's simply awesome to see what he can do. The man is hitting notes I don't think he's ever hit live before. He appears to just be really loose up there, giving it all he's got (I know this was talked about in an earlier thread this week). There seems to be an aggressiveness in his voice that hasn't been there in years. Overall, I don't get too caught up in the setlist debates, as I'm just really happy to see them performing so well at this stage in their career.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Date: November 13, 2014 10:00

1989/1990
1999 (Didn't attend, just watched videos)
2012-2014
1994/1995
1997/1998
2002-2003
2005/2006/2007



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-13 10:17 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 10:03

Quote
DandelionPowderman
1989/1990
1999 (Didn't attend, just watched videos)
2012-2014
1994/1995
1997/1998
2005/2006/2007

Hey, what about LICKS TOUR?

- Doxa

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Macnee2 ()
Date: November 13, 2014 10:11

Agreed Doxa, on all points.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: November 13, 2014 10:13

Quote
Doxa
Come On, come on, the counting starts from 1989 on... Let's leave the classical times out...

- Doxa

smiling smiley Then comes the question in a completely different light ... I vote for ' Bridges To Babylon 'Tour, who was extremely good ...for me it took place in Stockholm 1998 and was absolutely stunning as a show...


..she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long..

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Date: November 13, 2014 10:17

Quote
Doxa
Quote
DandelionPowderman
1989/1990
1999 (Didn't attend, just watched videos)
2012-2014
1994/1995
1997/1998
2005/2006/2007

Hey, what about LICKS TOUR?

- Doxa

Edited smiling smiley

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 11:19

I think the basic problem in 1989-07 tours have been the non-balanced guitar section. In 1989/90 Richards took the guitar hero role, and Ronnie was left to play a second fiddle, volume turned low. Since then it has been typical that one of the guitarist was off, and the other needed to back the other up. Mostly the problematic one was Woodie, but Keith, especially during A BIGGER BANG, had his off nights as well. Now both of them seem to be focused night after night, giving everytime the best they can. It is a bit sad to think that if they would have been so serious and professional (=sober) as they now are, how great they might have sounded, say, during the nineties, when they still had about all the chops?

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-13 11:50 by Doxa.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: November 13, 2014 11:34

I do agree completely. Just toss in another element: what about the change in the tour/show production from the "giantism" of Cohl to Dainty and Virgin Live? May this change have affected the whole concept of this 50 and 14 tour and put the focus again on the core band soundwise also?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-13 12:19 by maumau.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: November 13, 2014 11:36

I'd say best since 78. For all the reasons you stated Doxa. Ronnie especially has been a revelation. His focus, tone, and skill has been a wonder to watch. And him and Mick Taylor really play well off each other. Keith as well. He really shamed the naysayers by pulling out some great playing. And of course Mick. The man is amazing and his best singing since 78 for sure. Another reason I am so sad to have missed the Hanging Rock show!

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: November 13, 2014 11:52

The current Stones are the only Stones we have.
And I love what they do.

Just as long as the guitar plays, let it steal your heart away

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: mikesnaps ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:06

Spot on Doxa, I was knocked out by how good they were in Adelaide. I saw them last in 2003 in Melbourne but they seemed better now in their 70's to boot!
My wife saw them with me in Melbourne and wasn't overly impressed, but she hasn't stopped raving about them since seeing them a few weeks ago.
Truly remarkable, perhaps they don't take performing for granted and give 110% to put on a truly peerless show.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: tomcasagranda ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:07

Voodoo Lounge did it for me, as I was at the front at Wembley Stadium, and thoroughly enjoyed the gig. It was also the Dr John influenced Not Fade Away that I enjoyed.

Bridges to Babylon, as an album, and No Security, were criminally underrated, and great material.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: stonesdan60 ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:15

Doxa, you said it better than I ever could have! Right on!

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:16

Agreed the sound is great. But the certainty of the second half of the set - from Keith's songs onwards is becoming boring. They need to mix it up more. Just play them in a different order for God's sake.

Back in Australia in 2003, I think it was, they even opened a show with Midnight Rambler. That was a bold move but I don't see too many of those moments. Glastonbury springs to mind. Starting the set with Jumping Jack Flash instead of Start Me Up is always a good move. But perhaps throw in a few more rarities other than the 10 or so rotational songs we are currently getting.

So yeah, I guess other than the predictability of it all they are sounding good....and still rolling. Should we really expect any more from these septugenarian legends?

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: IrelandCalling4 ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:24

Agreed, from what I've read and seen they sound wonderful.

The clip of 'Street Fighting Man' a few days ago for instance was absolutely great; guitars front and centre, loud and swaggering. Jagger's great vocal delivery; the whole thing sounded like...the Stones! Even into their 70s, they still have THAT sound, and it seems recently it's sounded better than it has in quite a while.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: EJM ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:34

There seem to be many fewer moans about Keith's playing on This leg of the tour - have the critics given up in disgust or Is the expert opinion on this board that ( within the confines of arthritis) Keith has got his mojo back ? On the basis of these Recent clips, I really hope they come back to London one last time !

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:39

Quote
EJM
There seem to be many fewer moans about Keith's playing on This leg of the tour - have the critics given up in disgust or Is the expert opinion on this board that ( within the confines of arthritis) Keith has got his mojo back ? On the basis of these Recent clips, I really hope they come back to London one last time !

There was a 5 year gap from the 02 shows in 2007 to the start of the current world tour in 2012 during which time Keith's arthritis became more apparent. He is now playing regularly again and has found his groove even though he is playing less notes.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: November 13, 2014 12:49

Quote
Doxa
This had made me thinking that are we actually wittnessing the best version of the band since their 1989 come back? Some of the things to consider:

- Doxa

No but indeed the current string of shows is the best they've done since Nov. 2012.
If you saw them in the US in 2013 you got cheated if you saw them in Japan this year you should have asked for a refund. Europe was good and now they're fantastic.

South America is going to be a blast! thumbs up thumbs up

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Date: November 13, 2014 12:58

Quote
EJM
There seem to be many fewer moans about Keith's playing on This leg of the tour - have the critics given up in disgust or Is the expert opinion on this board that ( within the confines of arthritis) Keith has got his mojo back ? On the basis of these Recent clips, I really hope they come back to London one last time !

That, AND he plays more cleverly.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: November 13, 2014 13:14

i do insist that, beside a more focused plaaying by keith and ron, the change of tour/show production both visually and soundwise have had its effect. if i remember correctly someone a while ago posted here an interview with the live sound tech that shared some interesting insight about the sonic approach to the performance. you can clearly hear the live mixin on JJF with keith guitar pumped up during the main riff.
I do think also that having stripped down the stage of the paraphernalia they added from 89 on has both an influence on the musicians and is significant of a change in the approach. It is still a very much produced show but I think exspecially Keith feels more comfortable and in a certain way, back in the control room.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 13, 2014 13:28

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
EJM
There seem to be many fewer moans about Keith's playing on This leg of the tour - have the critics given up in disgust or Is the expert opinion on this board that ( within the confines of arthritis) Keith has got his mojo back ? On the basis of these Recent clips, I really hope they come back to London one last time !

That, AND he plays more cleverly.

He plays with more restraint - knows when to leave gaps and let those gaps form part of the overall sound.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Date: November 13, 2014 13:34

Quote
Silver Dagger
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
EJM
There seem to be many fewer moans about Keith's playing on This leg of the tour - have the critics given up in disgust or Is the expert opinion on this board that ( within the confines of arthritis) Keith has got his mojo back ? On the basis of these Recent clips, I really hope they come back to London one last time !

That, AND he plays more cleverly.

He plays with more restraint - knows when to leave gaps and let those gaps form part of the overall sound.

The solo in SFTD from Perth is a good example of that, Mike. Totally agree.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: nightskyman ()
Date: November 13, 2014 14:21

Quote
Silver Dagger
Agreed the sound is great. But the certainty of the second half of the set - from Keith's songs onwards is becoming boring. They need to mix it up more. Just play them in a different order for God's sake.

Back in Australia in 2003, I think it was, they even opened a show with Midnight Rambler. That was a bold move but I don't see too many of those moments. Glastonbury springs to mind. Starting the set with Jumping Jack Flash instead of Start Me Up is always a good move. But perhaps throw in a few more rarities other than the 10 or so rotational songs we are currently getting.

So yeah, I guess other than the predictability of it all they are sounding good....and still rolling. Should we really expect any more from these septugenarian legends?

This sounds a little more realistic to me than some of the other posts.

From the view clips I've seen it does seem like they've simplified the approach, less theatrics and more concentration on playing precisely.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 13, 2014 16:38

Quote
Doxa
Come On, come on, the counting starts from 1989 on... Let's leave the classical times out...

- Doxa

I think the 1989-2014 Stones peaked with the 1997-99 tours and the LICKS tours.

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 18:02

Quote
maumau
I do agree completely. Just toss in another element: what about the change in the tour/show production from the "giantism" of Cohl to Dainty and Virgin Live? May this change have affected the whole concept of this 50 and 14 tour and put the focus again on the core band soundwise also?

This is a good point you make here, maumau.thumbs up

- Doxa

Re: Current Stones - best of Modern Times?
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 13, 2014 18:10

It's funny how Mick wanted the stages to be so huge and then the NS tour it was minimal, probably similar to 1972 and 73 tours size wise (I'm guessing, of course). LICKS had huge stadium stages but those seemed to have less going on.

ABB was horrible, their worst stage ever.

So maybe Mick is over the gigantism of ego that drove the 1981-2007 stages...

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