Five topics in one – a travel tale from Seattle
Date: November 1, 2005 21:38
There have been a lot of discussions of the BB tour and a lot of negative writing (often by us Europeans), heavenly opposed by the people (mostly Americans) able to frequent the shows. So, then finally I had the opportunity to find out myself by making the long journey to Seattle, a change in timezone of 9 hours from Contintental Europe. I was not the only one travelling a lot to see the Stones, besides be were a Japanese couple who had travelled from Hawai just for the concert. When you spend a lot on the airline ticket, you have to save on something else if your resources are not unlimited. I was a little doubtful about my seat, I had picked up a 60 $-ticket from Ticketmaster but it turned out to be a jackpot. I have a little experience from going to the opera, and there you know that the inexpensive seats high up on the side are excellent if you want to hear well. And it was the same here, I´m glad I didn´t spend 350 $ on a floor ticket, I hadn´t been able to get a front ticket anyway, while my ticket put me just above the stage.
Let me say first that the show was great as a Rolling Stones show always is and I strongly recommend everybody who is a true Stones fan to see as many shows they can! There were a lot of novelties compared to the BB and Licks tour, most of all:
1. The guitars are turned up in the mix
2. Chuck “Pling-plong” Leavell played a very small roll.
3. The horns were absent in a lot of numbers.
So it seems to me, we have got what we asked for. When complainers get what they ask for, they often complain even more. But truly this new Rolling Stones mach 4 or what we are supposed to call them, puts up a show that swings up and down. They nailed some numbers really well. On the other hand specially Ron Wood missed strongly in several numbers and then you really hear it. They @#$%& up Tumbling Dice completely. TD should have wonderful guitar play and it seems they cannot handle it. Ron Woods solos are often awful. But in Seattle he missed more than the solos. I was happy to hear Bitch, that never was played on the concerts I attended at the Licks tour, but it went out of hand. In some numbers the solos were done by Keith and they sounded well. The positive surprise for me were the new numbers, I haven´t been too enthusiastic about the ABB, but ONNYA and Rough Justice, were much, much, much better live than on the album and it was also nice to hear Rain Fall Down. Unfortunately every time Mick Jagger announce a number from the new album, the American audience sits down and seems half uninterested. Since old I know that the Stones are fantastic, when the audience is fantastic but in Seattle the reception was somewhat lame.
The conclusion I am drawing is that they have moved in the right direction with the new mix, but they have difficulties handling it. That also explains the conservative setlist. The other conclusion is that I doubt that we will see more world tours with Ron Wood as the lead guitar player or maybe in the band at all. He has been given so many chances but seems unable to put himself together. The third conslusion is that the Stones seems susceptible for critics, but by changing they have exposed themselves for new difficulties that they have to deal with and they will! So after all I am an optimist!