It's Only Rock'n Roll
The set list:
Show start time : 9:45pm Show end time : 11:55pm
Lifehouse warmed up for the stones tonight, like they did in San Antonio and Nashville. They are a strong guitar based band, and even if they had a few slow songs as well, I though they played too loud, actually louder than the main attraction to follow. They were on at 8:05pm, and played for 50 minutes.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is a beautiful venue made for playing music. It is probably one of the few places the Stones play on this tour that is not made for sports, theatre, movies or other events. Just music. And even if the crowd is never the same, as they probably don't live in Las Vegas, but come in for the entertainment only, it is a pleasure to enjoy such a special crowd, event, arena and show.
The opening song Street Fighting Man made all the VIP's run with their drinks. The sound was excellent and the band was in a great mood. Mick said this was the final show of this leg of the tour, and I though they deserved a month or so break. Still, my mind was on the soon to be announced tour of the rest of the world - for me that tour is yet to start...
Mick was really turned on for this show. When he ran for some water at the back of the stage, I noticed he was still stepping the beats and dancing for himself, even if he wasn't really in the spotlights anymore. Later on, he walked like a mad dog with his water bottle, then emptied it in my direction, before he threw the entire plastic bottle into the crowd.
I got all my favorites. Then they did the "Sticky Fingers" theme. Wild Horses, Dead Flowers and Bitch were in the dedicated set, all performed in a great way, and the other great Sticky Fingers songs were performed later on as well, of course.
Mick said they had to discuss how the next song would go; then they did a great version of "Neighbours". Indeed this was the night for the pure and raw rock. Then Tumbling Dice. Mick walked all the way to the small stage, and as the spotlights followed him, the crowd went wild. Meanwhile Keith was sitting on knee playing his riffs to the crowd on his left side, and Ronnie strayed behind with Charlie. Tumbling Dice sounded great, and I just thought they were all over, still sounding so great together...
Then Mick introduced the band. Keith walked Charlie all the way up to the front of the stage. Charlie, dressed in his favorite red T-shirt and grey trousers seemed to love it. Why doesn't he come forward more often? Mick commented it was a big surprise to see Charlie come to the front.
Keith did Slipping Away with his guitar in his hand, not resting it on the floor as he use to do, just holding loosely to it with his left hand. This is much less theatrical than leaning it on the floor, more like "Keith".
Happy made the few people who sat down during Slipping Away get on their feet again. Ronnie had some great guitar playing as usual, and I believe Keith said this was his favorite song.
Then Mick was back. It was great all the way. Not a single song I would have traded for another one. Satisfaction kept me standing by my seat, I just had to enjoy it, while I noticed increased security activity for the small stage. I was ready, but I would not miss a split second of Satsifaction. By the final chord I made my way to the small stage.
The security at the Grand Garden was great. It was possible to get to the small stage with no hazzle, still nobody was bothered, as people were nice to each other, keeping the club feel for the small stage set. Mannisn Boy, It's Only Rock'n Roll and Brown Sugar with Bobby Keys on sax for the small stage - perfect for me.
Then they did a final bow at the small stage, and left through the crowd. Following a wait that felt like endless, they came back and did Jumping Jack Flash. This is a song they have done so many times, still, listen carefully, and you will notice how much energy and passion they put into it during every performance. Keith tried to finish off JJF with his killer riff, but Charlie rambled and beat his drums to say this was his finish. Then Keith challenged Charlie, another riff, but Charlie closed JJF, threw his drum sticks into the crowd, and the Rolling Stones tour 2002 was over!
Las Vegas, Dec. 1, 01:10am
Right when it seemed we were already blessed with a fair amount of non-megahit gems, the Stones exploded into a big-stage version of Neighbors, which was the highlight of the evening. Charlie was especially good on this, complimenting the manic interplay of Keith and Ronnie's guitars. This was the first time I could recall on any tour seeing a live version of Neighbors that captured the delightful insanity of the recorded version. Mick once again used almost all of the walkway to the B stage for Tumbling Dice, getting into the middle of the crowd for an effect that was not possible at the club show the night before.
For introductions, Mick said, "and on cigarette, Ronnie Wood!" The line was funny but it was clear Ronnie was having a very good night, seeming to have the same energy he displayed on Friday. This is not the goof-off Ron Wood of some previous tours, but another strong personality in the band, working with Keith, and also making sure Mick gets a continuous supply of mocking and provocation to keep the energy level high.
Ron's best feature on this leg of the tour has been Can't You Hear Me Knocking, which we got late in the set long after the Sticky Fingers theme seemed to be over. I decided to time this song as it has evolved into a very cool jazz like instrumental journey, and found that it took 10 minutes and 26 seconds to unwind! While Bobby Keyes' sax and Ron's guitar get big cheers with their solos, the most underrated part of this song is Mick's harmonica. Seeing Mick the instrumentalist as he improvises through his part of the song is very different than Mick the cheerleader/vocalist and is a great part of the show. This is especially true when hearing Keith's rhythms come in to compliment Mick's harmonica parts.
The Stones finished the show on the B-stage with Mannish Boy, IORR, and Brown Sugar. It was tremendous fun to see Chuck Leavell and Charlie stretch out the end of Brown Sugar with Chuck pounding away on the piano, following Charlie's drum leads.
While earlier in the tour arena shows had a two-song encore on the main stage, tonight we got just one song as in San Antonio and Nashville, with Jumping Jack Flash ending the show. The first leg of the LICKS tour was now complete, and more excellent than anyone could have imagined with song selection and the band playing better than ever. It is great to see that the signs in the MGM casino that advertised tonight's show have already been replaced with signs for the Stones' upcoming February show at the MGM. This gets one looking forward to the winter shows, as after taking December to rest and organize we get still another round of proof that this is truly the World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band.
Thanks to Axel Schumacher for news links.
Thanks to Robert Bagel for special Las Vegas T-shirt scan.
This page will change over the next few days, as you and other fans send reviews, set lists and reports. Please send your e-mail to IORR. Thanks! For details and great photos from the Rolling Stones and their World Tour get the IORR magazines.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 2002 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe