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The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: Turd On The Run ()
Date: June 22, 2007 23:41

So the Greatest Show on Earth landed in Barcelona...and the Stadi Olimpic Montjuic was nearly empty an hour before the show. Is there a show tonight? The world's greatest traveling classic-rock jukebox is in town and have you seen your mother, baby?! Is she standing in the shadows with a ticket in her hand, or home with the sex toys? There was no sell-out announced, and plenty of tickets to be had in front of the arena...que pasa, Catalanes!!!??? around 9 p.m. the people begin to saunter in and pretty soon it's clear that this is a Rolling Stones concert...the Satanic Majesties would have an audience after all. The place was not sold-out - seeing empty seats at a Rolling Stones concert is still a VERY strange and yes...sad...sensation for someone conditioned by decades of seeing the Stones playing in packed-to-the-gills, adoring, riotous, pandemonium-filled stadiums and arenas...but hey...they're the Soul Survivors, and if you decide to miss them when they're near you then it is you who have let go the torch and let your dreams slip away...not them.

The show explodes ragged and rough and a stick of dynamite going off...Jagger a bit distracted, but holding steady. Let's Spend The Night comes as the second shot and it's not a sterling version, but it pleases the crowd...oh...the may not be full, but these cats LOVE THEIR ROLLING STONES. Yes they do. Dancing in the ailes...the FOS [floor] sections is delirious and clapping loudly...the Stones are back in Spain and the Catalan fans have gathered them to their collective bosom.

After a good Rough Justice comes the most [only?] interesting part of a Stones show these days...songs 4-7. And they are Rocks Off, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, Streets Of Love and Midnight Rambler...the last 2 tunes are a we know the Satanics are 'in sync' tonight.

Firstly...the Bigger Bang 2007 tour FINALLY gets a show where more than one song [2 in this show's case] is played off the eponymous album that was supposed to be the centerpiece of this global jaunt.

Furthermore, the live rendition of Streets of Love in Barcelona re-confirms the ironic fact that this much-maligned and rather lame MOR power ballad [in its' studio version] is an absolute showstopper when done in a live setting. Every time I have seen this song played on the ABB tour it has been a highlight of the show - a moment of beauty for the audience and an absolutely committed performance by a band very often on autopilot. Jagger's voice rings loud and clear and the band hunkers down and really plays from the soul. Keith strummed an acoustic guitar on this song...adding some lovely flourishes. The SOL performance also confirms [to me...perhaps ONLY to me] that other ABB material would work beautifully in a live setting. But that is for another time and and a different discussion.

Mick gathers strength as the show goes on...reaching an early peak with SOL and then smashing the crowd with a brooding, slashing Midnight Rambler.

Ronnie is clear-eyed and focused on his axe...ringing out clean chops after an initially lousy solo on SMU to open the show. He holds the fort...nothing spectacular, but offering something on this leg of the tour that was absent in many shows in the past: consistent competence and occasional brilliance. [I heard the Paris version of CYHMK and...well...he smoked it...]

Charlie percolates like the human unassuming assassin who slips quietly behind his austere drum kit every night and kills you dead.

Keef still looks somewhat frail and strangely aged, but he is out of his fog...reawakened...reanimated. The last time I saw him - in Frankfurt - he seemed utterly dissipated. On this night the faded glimmer shone through...he looked stronger and involved...back in the game. Bless you, Keith.

The rest of the show was a study in professionalism and passionate interplay with an energized crowd. Barcelona showed the Stones a lot of love. And the Stones repaid that love with a strong show.

Perhaps that strength will be parlayed into taking a few more risks with newer material and more daring set-list choices as the band feels more secure and the tour gathers steam, but even if it is not, it is good to know that...goddamn...rock and roll is on the road again...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-06-22 23:58 by Turd On The Run.

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: Green Lady ()
Date: June 23, 2007 00:33

So glad you've seen a Good One to make up for the Bad One in Frankfurt. May there be lots more of 'em!

(Isle of Wight 10-06-2007)

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: Justin ()
Date: June 23, 2007 01:39

Great to hear Keith has begun emerging from his hibernation!

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: Raoul Duke ()
Date: June 23, 2007 02:09

Good for you, Turd. I didn't much like your review of the Frankfurt show, as I thought it vastly overstated the significance and the representativeness of that one bum show you had the misfortune of attending. But I am glad you got to see a good one for a change. I hope our boys aren't finished yet, but it's probably reasonable to expect more ups and downs as time goes by.

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: carlitosbaez ()
Date: June 23, 2007 05:20

Cual es el problema?
Which is the problem?
Empty stadium or not full?
No more snotties at Stones concerts, I live in a small island and I know at least hundreds people over here are gong to Madrid, but they dont know anything about Stones, do you know what I mean?

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: custom55 ()
Date: June 23, 2007 05:58

we're just gonna wake up...

The Stones are just getting warmed up for this tour. They're a bit older so it takes some time before they gain speed.

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: Lukester ()
Date: June 23, 2007 06:17 always, thanks turd.....

Re: The Stones' Barcelona bounce-back
Posted by: largelingerie ()
Date: June 23, 2007 06:34

Thanks for being so detailed, and writing so well! Love reading your reviews, but ESPECIALLY when the shows live up to our high expectations.

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