It's Only Rock'n Roll
The set list:
Some say arena and club shows are better than the stadium shows, but for me, tonight, the stadium show at the Giants Stadium was just perfect. Being blessed with one of the best seats you could get. it was just up to the Stones to make sure this was to be the perfect show, and sure it was.
So many great songs, everybody in the band was so loose, relaxed and had a lot of fun together on stage. Charlie had dressed with a two color long sleve jersey, and looked great.
The set list speaks for itself. Some say Lisa don't do "Gimme Shelter" like she used to, but then they did not hear her tonight. Gimme Shelter was a backbone song tonigh. As the band walked back from the B-stage, Lisa, Bernard and the rest of the backing band was on the main stage. They played back some rhythm music on the main PA. Lisa was singing along, and what started as some sort of unknown theme soon developed into the starting bit of Gimme Shelter. What a great way to return to the main stage. For her solo spot, Lisa proved that she is fully recovered from having a cold recently. I am sure you could hear her voice all over New Jersey tonight!
For the encore Mick walked all the way out to the B-stage. Both Mick and Keith did frequent trips to the wings of the stage. Thank you guys - it was such a wonderful show!
PS. The stage design of the stadium stage changed as of this show. The yellow colors and the corn is gone. They did not like it. Same for the tour program. A new one with the new design was on sale as of today. When you are the Rolling Stones, you just aim for the best.
Sept. 29 - 01:45am
After that we were really pumped and couldnt wait any longer to see the boys on stage so we decided to walk in. I had to say Goodbye to Courtney and her cousin since I was on the floor and they were in the upper lever and we had to use different entrances. (By the way, those girls made my day... it's not everday that you get to talk to such young Stones fans - thanks girls, it was great meeting you).
I walked to my seat, which was awesome, right between the main and the B stage and a couple of minutes after that the Pretenders started playing. This time they weren't boring at all, they kicked ass and played longer than usual and I must say I really did enjoy their performance. After they were done it took the roadies about 45 minutes to prepare the stage for the boys and at approximately 9:30 they came on.
The sound was clear as a bell, the stadium was packed and the crowd went wild. The setlist was the usual Greatest Hits stadium setlist but I enjoyed it more than ever before. They did When The Whip Comes Down on the B stage and since I had never heard that song live before I was thrilled as can be. Before Keith did his songs he thanked the Pretenders for having been such a great opening act (the Giants show was their last show with the Stones). I was glad to hear Undercover instead of Midnight Rambler and was thrilled about Mick's harp on Miss You.
All in all every last song tonight rocked and it seemed as they were really into pleasing the crowd and trying to reinvent the Greatest Hits to even please the diehard fans. I truly enjoyed both the MSG and Giants show and am now pumped about seeing the boys at Roseland on Monday. See ya all there !
The sound was fantastic, and while I couldn't even discern what they were singing at Gillette, I thoroughly enjoyed the forty-five minute opening set by The Pretenders, which was their last for the Stones this tour.
The Stones came out with their familiar opening songs, and every one was great. Each of the Stones was really into giving a great show to the fans. Keith showed his pleasure with Ronnie's performance several times throughout the night.
Everyone rocked to the first six songs, and then the fans went a level higher when the Stones did Angie. I read posts from hard core fans who think this is one of the weaker Stones songs, but you can't convince the live masses of that. The crowd loved Angie, and I even heard a girl scream when they started it (she was over 50).
You Can't Always Get What You Want was another crowd pleaser, and Monkey Man got a surprisingly positive response from the whole crowd.
Keith looked like Frank Sinatra on Slipping Away ... discarding the guitar and belting out the lyrics, not seeming to care that he can't sing. I didn't see anyone leave during Keith's songs. The crowd enjoyed them and gave him a loud ovation.
My personal treat was to hear Happy, which I have been hoping for since 1994, but never managed to connect with when I've seen the Stones live.
Sympathy for the Devil brought the house to a higher level still, with the whole stadium rocking.
On the B stage when they did Miss You, Mick brought back the audience singing part again and added a killer harmonica bit at the end which was a great treat and which also got a large roar from the appreciative crowd.
While Mick was delayed getting back to the main stage during his clothing change, Lisa and the band played an extended introduction to Gimme Shelter like I have never heard. The Oooo Ooooo Oooo bit preceded Keith's opening notes, and it worked fantastically as the intro built up to Keith's part. Once again the crown sang and rocked.
The last four Hot Rocks were loud and right on the mark. Keith did seem to rush from song to song though. The energy of the performance was second to none. A great time was had by all.
I also got to see some Stones friends, including the Unholy Trinity from the Rocks Off board whom I had not seen since Hartford in 1999. They are great fans and great folks.
(p.s. off topic: The night before I saw McCartney in the Hartford Civic center, and his show was out of this world. 100% of the Hartford audience rocked, unlike the 50% that rocks for the Stones.)
I was lucky to be joined by Ceci, my longtime next-door neighbor, who has for the past 10 years heard plenty of Stones blaring from my apartment. Ceci is a Woodstock veteran, who braved the rain and mud back in '69 for the Who, the Jefferson Airplane and Sly and the Family Stone. In 1981, she tried but wasn't able to get tickets to see the Stones (she got one of those awesome dragon jerseys as a consolation prize). So she was glad to be able to catch the lads this time around.
The small stage set was especially memorable tonight. You Got Me Rocking was well-received, followed by two numbers from the Some Girls album, When the Whip Comes Down and Miss You. The latter was performed differently than the album version and previous live versions. It was more in the style of a garage band, and Mick played harp toward the end.
The two songs in which the visual excitement matched the musical intensity, other than Honky Tonk Women with the naughty animation, were Start Me Up and Sympathy for the Devil. During Start Me Up, the third number of the evening, four giant vertical video screens slowly opened up over the stage, revealing closeups of first Jagger and Richards, followed by Ron Wood and Charlie Watts. It was a fantastic moment for me, seeing closeups of the band I have grown to love and admire over the years, rocking a huge crowd. These guys had their first No. 1 single before I was even born, and here it is, the year 2002, and I get to see them perform live! In front of 60,000 fans in a football stadium! I was so excited. Later in the show, the pyrotechnics for Sympathy for the Devil were terrific. Big balls of fire erupted in puffs over top of the stage as Mick sang this Stones classic about Lucifer laying souls to waste. And Satisfaction, the concert's finale, went on an on, giving Mick enough time to run to the end of the runways at both ends of the stage to rile up the crowd even more. As the final guitar chords were struck on that number, huge plumes of fireworks erupted from the stage in what can only be described as an orgasmic explosion.
I was happy that Angie was played. It's such a beautiful song, and I had never heard it performed live before despite it being a No. 1 hit for the band in the early 70s. My favorite part is when Mick sings "Let me whisper in your ear..." and then whispers her name.
The Pretenders were absolutely wonderful with a good, solid, 45-minute set. Like the Stones, Chrissie can deliver hard driving rock numbers and beautiful ballads. She was gracious to the crowd and acknowledged the Stones several times. This was her final evening opening for the boys. When Keith strolled up to the mike to sing his songs, he thanked the Pretenders for being such a wonderful opening act, before he played Slipping Away and then lauched into Happy.
I hate to say this, but the acoustics, at least where I was sitting, were poor through most off the show. Ceci and I agreed on this. It was too loud. In fact, more than 12 hours after the show, my ears were still ringing, which is not normal for an outdoor gig. Perhaps the sound was bouncing under the section above us, or perhaps sitting directly opposite the stage (in Section 123, Row 36) had something to do with it. We spoke with others after the show who were on the floor, and they said they could hear everything just fine.
A minor annoyance: During Undercover and Gimme Shelter, the video images were reversed, in an artsy-fartsy, acid-themed display. For people who aren't sitting near the stage (which is nearly everyone in a stadium, clear video images that are not tampered with are best.
This was my 9th Stones show, my 3rd at Giants Stadium, and even despite the sound problems I would not have missed it for the world.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2002 -
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