It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Strokes were a great choice for a warm-up band. They played from 8:15pm to 8:50pm. All songs were straight rock songs, and they all crammed together on a small spot on the stage like they sere playing at the club scene. Sure I will see this great warmup band in Hartford tomorrow as well - recommended!
This large stadium could probably take something like 65,000 people for this show, not counting the 10,000 or so that were behind the stage, seats that do not go on sale at all, but the top sections were not full, and I guess there were around 50,000 people at the show tonight. Still a lot of people!
Mick sounded a bit hoarse during the first couple of songs, and I was afraid this break of four days might have messed up his voice, but it got a lot better, so no worries about his voice for the rest of the show.
The crowd was great and warm, so was the weather, being in the 80's F for days in the Washington area, i.e. around 25-30 C. Don't Stop was played after Tunbling Dice, even if the official set list had it planned the other way around. The crowd liked the new single as well.
THe most popular song of tonight was You Can't Always get What You Want. The whole stadium was singing along, the biggest sing-a-long I have heard. Great song, great crowd.
For the first time at a stadium show they played "Can't You Hear Me Knocking". Finally! And it worked great. Ronnie seems to have a twist at his great solo every time he is playing it. Still I miss the one he did at The Garden, but you can't alwayts get what you want...
"Love Train" brought back the sing-a-long and fun mood, as the crowd had now got a bit quiet, listening to Bobby, Mick and Ronnie working their ways through their solo parts of "Knocking".
Keith was "Happy" as always, said it was good to be here, anywhere, smiled wide, and did Slipping Away plus Happy.
The B-stage set rocked real hard. The sound was perfect from my spot in the 100's. Little Red Rooster had some great blues, also some great solo by Ronnie. Mick said Like A Rolling Stone was a song they made in the 60's. Every time he has got a new story about this old Bob Dylan song. Tonight I loved it, but I don't like it every night...
The rest of the set was the fun part. All great and familiar songs. The crowd loved them, smiling faces everywhere. This is how a stadium show should be!
RS show start: 9:30pm
RS show end: 11:40pm
Washington Oct. 5, 1:50am
I had an obstructed view sect 126, row 1 seat 21, right behind one of the lighting towers on the field. Went to guest services and they relocated me to sect 101, much better seats and got a great view of the main stage along with the second stage.
There were 2 songs I REALLY wanted to hear, Monkey Man and Can't You Hear Me Knocking. Heard both of them. After hearing these songs I was happy and could have gone home right then.
A lot of people didn't know Monkey Man or Can't You Hear Me Knocking and got up and went to the bathroom, food, etc..., their lose. If any one goes to fed ex field, TAKE THE METRO, there is a shuttle to the stadium from Landover that's free. The best way to go to a show, no traffic just a relaxed time and no hassle's at all. This was probably the best show I've ever seen.
The stage show/screens were perfect. They didn't start until about the 3rd song but once they got going it was great. Fireworks at the end, flames from the top of the stage during Sympathy, very cool. Only animation during Honky Tonk, no blow up dolls. This setlist was perfect.
It seemed the Stones came on a bit early tonight, and the music beforehand was not the usual progression of Jimmy Reed’s High and Lonesome and Bo Diddley’s Mona. So it was a bit of a surprise when the lights went down and Keith kicked into Brown Sugar, with people streaming through the aisles trying to find their seats. Brown Sugar is so much more likable early in the set, and I for one have gained a new appreciation for it on the Licks tour.
For most of the show, Ronnie had on a long gray coat with concentric circles on the lower backside, like a target. Whether it was coincidence or subtle defiance, it gave the show more of an edge with the news events unfolding in suburban D.C., literally minutes from where the gig was taking place. I was especially looking forward to Don’t Stop, having become more familiar with the song since 40 Licks was released. It looked as if they were ready to do it, but then had guitar problems and went to Tumbling Dice instead. Even then, it took a short time before Ronnie’s guitar was working. Don’t Stop then followed in the #5 spot instead of the customary #4 spot, and it was great. It was especially interesting to watch the band do it having learned more about the song in recent interviews, where Keith said it is pretty much Mick’s song. Keith stayed back with Charlie, while Mick and Ronnie were the focal point, interacting with their guitars. Mick’s rhythm guitar on Don’t Stop seems especially good, providing the background for Ron’s wonderfully clean and compact solo. This song is the newest example of how much more Ronnie is doing on stage compared to previous tours.
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking was excellent in the big venue, and the crowd seemed to really get into it. In a similar way, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see gems like Hand of Fate or Rip This Joint make it out of the club gigs to light up the big stadiums!
The B-stage situation was much improved, with the box of speakers over the stage (like at Foxboro) now gone and the sound LOUD and clear. The B-stage selection was excellent, capped off by Mick’s continued campaign to steal Like A Rolling Stone from Bob Dylan. As lights shined around the stadium during the “How does it feel?” sing along part, it looked like the upper seats were not as into it, but on the floor the atmosphere went into high gear. Most everyone was standing on their chairs and singing along. Some guards told people to get off their chairs, but those told to step down were just as quickly up again and rocking when the uptight guards moved on to others. It was bedlam but the transformation had occurred, with FedEx now seeming as small and rocking as much as any club could.
The show really seemed to flow well as Gimme Shelter followed the B-stage songs. As the band was walking back from the B-stage, Lisa was already on the main stage doing an extended vocal intro that sounded very cool. As everyone got back to the main stage and Gimme Shelter commenced, it was intense and exciting so there was no mini-letdown that typically follows the B-stage. Gimme Shelter in this spot is a tremendous idea.
The show moved to conclusion with Keith’s guitar on Street Fighting man sounding especially good, and a strong wind doing a great job to disperse the red confetti so Jumping Jack Flash seemed extra dramatic. As Satisfaction ended and the band took their bows, it was clear that the glorious transformation the Stones are so good at took place once again. An evening that begins with the cynicism of suburban traffic jams, $25 unavoidable parking fees, and a venue with all the personality of a highway off ramp becomes a physical night of great in-your-face Rock and Roll, leaving you sweaty, exhausted, and ultimately satisfied.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2002 -
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