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What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: keefgotsoul ()
Date: March 21, 2019 06:14

I didn’t get a chance to see them live during the SW tour so my only exposure to it was the Live at the Max video. But from my understanding, it was the first Stones tour after the Mick and Keith solo albums and bad blood between them in the press. I was curious what you all think of it. Was it a “comeback” tour for the Stones or do people consider it the beginning of the huge corporate side of touring that was to follow? Did you like SW upon first hearing it and if you saw them live on that tour, what did you think?

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: March 21, 2019 07:01

I saw them two nights, opening, and closing at Los Angeles, October '89. They were creaky and old the first night, magnificent the last. I thought it was like a royal crowning, especially when they played Ruby Tuesday. 2000 Light Years From Home was mindblowing. When they played Midnight Rambler the last night they seemed to lock into this golden circle of guitars and bass and just grooved. I believe now that we were seeing the end of the spectacular Rolling Stones. 'Slipping Away' is the coda for the greatest band of all time. They should have quit after the '90 run of the tour. In a sense they did, since it's been almost all retro since. Steel Wheels was the end of their artistic period. The best songs they released after that were the bonus cuts from the original rhythm section.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: March 21, 2019 07:09

The album was lame, but the tour was good - or at least it was good to see them live again.
It was both a "comeback" tour as well as the beginning of the huge corporate side of touring that was to follow.
Seemed a bit sterile sounding compared to when I first saw them in 1981, but the show I saw at the L.A. Coliseum had a nice 24 song setlist.

________________
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Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: keefgotsoul ()
Date: March 21, 2019 07:22

Quote
24FPS
I saw them two nights, opening, and closing at Los Angeles, October '89. They were creaky and old the first night, magnificent the last. I thought it was like a royal crowning, especially when they played Ruby Tuesday. 2000 Light Years From Home was mindblowing. When they played Midnight Rambler the last night they seemed to lock into this golden circle of guitars and bass and just grooved. I believe now that we were seeing the end of the spectacular Rolling Stones. 'Slipping Away' is the coda for the greatest band of all time. They should have quit after the '90 run of the tour. In a sense they did, since it's been almost all retro since. Steel Wheels was the end of their artistic period. The best songs they released after that were the bonus cuts from the original rhythm section.

Great post! Slipping Away is magnificent indeed. I agree about your comment regarding the end of their artistic period as well. I consider Undercover to be the last truly authentic Stones album. It still had that slightly dirty feel to it, while still sounding inspired. Their albums haven’t had that since in my opinion. Steel Wheels had Almost hear you sigh and Slipping Away, which I think are great tracks

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: March 21, 2019 09:54

Quote
keefgotsoul
... Was it a “comeback” tour for the Stones or do people consider it the beginning of the huge corporate side of touring that was to follow?...
Quote



Both ..and with the advantage of hindsight , perhaps a mixed blessing.

To a large degree we lost that "seat of the pants" RocK N Roll band, bashing out rough, exciting guitar driven arrangements of their catalogue.

This was replaced with a more disciplined approach , with arrangements consciously worked to sound more like the record and to suite the perceived "average customer" and ticket buyer.

The "danger" was to a degree sacrificed... but without that new found discipline and professionalism we might not have had them around at all for the last nigh on 30 years.

Whilst the Rolling Stones we have today might not be my dream incarnation of the band... I'd much rather have them as they are than not at all.

And they still produce moments of pure magic



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-21 09:57 by Spud.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: March 21, 2019 10:37

Quote
Spud
This was replaced with a more disciplined approach , with arrangements consciously worked to sound more like the record and to suite the perceived "average customer" and ticket buyer

Agree. Start of the second coming - The RS 2.0. The click track version. Critics loved it. In hindsight it had some benefits though. Like:

- they toured on a new record
- With songs they actually dared to play live
- Jagger's voice was still intact
- Keith sounded better than on the tours to follow
- Bill Wyman
- the introduction of Lisa Fischer...
- ticket prices were still reasonable

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: SKILLS ()
Date: March 21, 2019 10:46

Well when you watch Atlantic City it's very reminiscent of Jagger's Solo tour in 88, which only NZ, Australia and Japan got to see. It's pure 80's polish and I think that in a back handed way the Band benefited from it, as described in earlier posts. As a spectacle it is on par with the Voodoo Lounge Tour and it doesn't have the Video Screen Technology employed in 95/96 which upon reflection makes it quite the achievement.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: March 21, 2019 10:53

Yes, Atlantic City stands out. I don't think the other gigs on the 89/90 came up to par with that one though. Despite the click tracks.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: March 21, 2019 10:55

By the way, the 1990 European leg was called Urban Jungle.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: March 21, 2019 13:47

It was great

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Kurt ()
Date: March 21, 2019 14:15

'Twas MAGNIFICENT

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: March 21, 2019 14:19

Quote
Stoneage
Yes, Atlantic City stands out. I don't think the other gigs on the 89/90 came up to par with that one though.

Yes and what's strange is once you listened to that great show you didn't really feel the urge to "taste" other gigs from the tour. Whereas I can enjoy Hampton'81 and still want to listen to other 1981/82 shows.
That proves that from 1989-on the gigs tend to be somewhat formulaic (apart from the club-gigs of course).

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: keefriff99 ()
Date: March 21, 2019 14:49

The tour started four days after my 11th birthday, so seeing it wasn't in the cards.

I've only watched Live at the Max and Atlantic City, listened to Flashpoint, and then watched and listened to random unofficial boots.

Great, GREAT guitars, very cool stage production. A bit too stiff and over-produced musically. Watching Mick, he looks WAY too over-rehearsed. His dance moves have not aged well.

He's great at it, don't get me wrong, but he looks tightly-wound. He loosened up more on subsequent tours.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: RockingLonestar ()
Date: March 21, 2019 14:58

Watch or listen to Atlantic City (or Tokyo or Barcelona or Maxx) and you know how great the music and the shows were.
They did not change the set lists that much, but they did not do that earlier also (at least when I saw them in 1982, 1976, 1973).

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: keefriff99 ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:01

Am I the only one who doesn't like Live at the Max?

I've never actually seen it on an IMAX screen, but watching it on a TV is painful. Everything about it feels artificial. There are some cool moments, but overall, it comes off like a digital simulation of a Stones concert.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Date: March 21, 2019 15:13

I remember how great it was just to have them come back; for real. I mean, today we know how SW fits into their overall story-line, and that it was the start of a certain era and all. But as it transpired it was a big deal; the reunion tour.
Keith was playing well; it was the first time with the BU singers and horn section. But they used them all well. They had the psychedelic section.
It was also pre-Net. So we didn't know everything that was going to happen. we did not over analyze every instance before it even happened etc. still an adventure.

Looking back now, it was the beginning of the end of course IMO. Although SW, VL and B2B were worked on as real albums, there is something missing in them. Like previous poster said - Undercover is the last proper Stones album. where risks were taken for art's sake.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Valeswood ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:29

The set list was great but the songs were played too close to the original versions (IMHO). The big downside was Matt Clifford's synthesised noises which ruined the overall sound for me.

There is a great soundboard boot from Dallas 11.11.89 where the guitars are right up front which is where they should have been.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:41

At the time, I loved STEEL WHEELS. Sad Sad Sad was a great way to start the album and Slipping Away was a fantastic closer. When Mixed Emotions came out a couple weeks before the LP, it seemed very promising. And the B-side was outstanding. It immediately made me forget about their worst release ever three years prior.

As singles and videos came out, I fell into a groove with enjoying the album by buying the single, like RAAHP, listening to the various mixes, hating most of them... and then starting to skip songs that, to this day, I don't listen to: Hold On To Your Hat, Can't Be Seen, RAAHP, Continental Drift.

All of those should've been left off. Didn't they do better songs?

The show I saw in December blew my mind. From various footage I'd seen on TV I had an idea of what to expect - but seeing it and hearing it in person was amazing. Of course the stage was jaw dropping - it looked like someone had parked an oil ship in the Silverdome. They sounded clear, especially for a domed football stadium. It was loud. They played fantastically. Start Me Up was incredible. Midnight Rambler sounded so good it wasn't long enough. Almost Hear You Sigh, the newest single at the time, was fantastic. SFTD was great. 2000 Light Years was cool but was a bit cheesy. Harlem Shuffle was interesting. It was cool to see the crowd with Brown Sugar. Jumpin' Jack Flash was very long but with a lot of energy.

Maybe there was something to hearing cheese so loud that it was fine.

At the time, Ruby Tuesday was great but listening to it on FLASHPOINT and AT THE MAX, it's flat and a bit off. JJF seemed fantastic live but on the record and live versions since, and then with more live releases pre and post 1989-90, it's always been played awful - no finesse, no movement, just a cruise controlled generic version.

The show went by fast.

After the show, the album fell off my stereo.

When FLASHPOINT came out I was quite interested having heard Start Me Up on the radio and I really liked Highwire. I got the excellent live boot SEVENTH OF JULY and stopped listening to FLASHPOINT.

AT THE MAX was a lot of fun.

These days, I hardly ever listen to STEEL WHEELS or FLASHPOINT. The odd track once in a while. I listen to UNDERCOVER a lot in comparison.

Overall, a great tour. But as others have pointed out, the loose days of playing with swagger were over.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-21 15:42 by GasLightStreet.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:42

I'm not a big fan either .
...and I agree . The whole thing looks & feels too processed.

I did enjoy the live Urban Jungle show though...despite the ridiculous inflatables !

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: TheGreek ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:47

I loved it after an 8 year hiatus and the Stones came back with a vengeance and played so well and crisp and really gave you your moneys worth with a quite lengthy and diverse set list spanning practically there entire catalogue . Top notch shows and the sound was mind blowing and state of the art audio and video projection . Bravo and very well done !

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: grzegorz67 ()
Date: March 21, 2019 15:52

Quote
Stoneage
By the way, the 1990 European leg was called Urban Jungle.

Indeed. Although when I finally saw my 1st ever Stones show on the 2nd last night of that tour, at Wembley Stadium, they used the Steel Wheels stage instead. I have since learned that this was for filming sequences for 'At the Max'.

I will always have fond memories of this tour, being my 1st but looking back, it was very controlled, choreographed and overproduced. Nothing very spontaneous about it at all. With all these extra musicians on stage with them, several of whom remain with them today, it certainly formed the template for the modern commercial era of touring, which continues to this day. I felt the next tour, Voodoo Lounge was a bit looser and more adventurous.

With the new approach, levels of performances were much more consistent because pre 1989 there seemed to be a lot more sloppy performances in amongst the good ones!

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: blivet ()
Date: March 21, 2019 16:21

I saw a show on the Urban Jungle tour in Paris. It was great. I had seen them twice before, and for me it was really nice to hear performances of the songs that were closer to the original recorded versions.

Looking back, I suppose it was the thin edge of the Vegas Era wedge sliding in, but at the time it felt more like the band devoting a great deal of resources and effort to ensure that the audience had an enjoyable experience.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: March 21, 2019 16:28

Quote
blivet
Looking back, I suppose it was the thin edge of the Vegas Era wedge sliding in, but at the time it felt more like the band devoting a great deal of resources and effort to ensure that the audience had an enjoyable experience.

thumbs up

Yes, regardless of our personal tastes, You can't really argue with that and we have to acknowledge the effort.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: grzegorz67 ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:17

Quote
Spud
Quote
blivet
Looking back, I suppose it was the thin edge of the Vegas Era wedge sliding in, but at the time it felt more like the band devoting a great deal of resources and effort to ensure that the audience had an enjoyable experience.

thumbs up

Yes, regardless of our personal tastes, You can't really argue with that and we have to acknowledge the effort.

I don't quite go as far back as you but from what I've seen I 100% believe you. I remember reading your account of Knebworth.... grinning smiley

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:39

Knebworth at the age of 16 was an adventure..

... not sure what it would be like now at 60 grinning smiley

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: babyblue ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:45

London 7/7/90 was a great show.
The merchandise was very nice designs. Can they equal them on this current tour?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-21 17:47 by babyblue.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: LeonidP ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:46

    [*] t'was a great time, after such a long layoff
    [*] they brought back satisfaction!
    [*] nice mixture of song selection, some new ones and not sick of warhorses (yet)
    [*] a new album to promote! albeit not a great one, but much better than DW
    [*] great PPV events, such as Atlantic City, and later shown on VH1 in 3D!
    [*] i saw them in Philly, only my 2nd time ever seeing them live at that point.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: stanlove ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:46

Much better live than he 1981 tour. They were on fire in 1989.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-21 17:46 by stanlove.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: babyblue ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:50

Yea Vancouver was great, one lady outside sold out show said
she will trade her car for a ticket, eventually someone sold her a ticket at a reasonable price.

Re: What’s your opinion of the Steel Wheels tour?
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: March 21, 2019 17:53

Imagine...ticket prices on average were only about $30.00 give or take.

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