It's Only Rock'n Roll
Start : 9:10 End : 11:20
The show ended at 11:10 PM. One of the highlights of the evening occured when a large busted women tossed her huge cupped bra onto the B-Stage which caught on Mick's Stratocaster at the end of "When The Whip Comes Down". Mick appeared to have trouble removing the bra at first, finally tossing it near Charlie's drums. A great show all the way around. Kudos to the gents mixing the sound. The sound was perfect at a venue notoriously bad for its acoustics.
Sherly Crow opened around 7:45 and did a 45 minute set. Good sound and good opening band.
Stones hit the stage at 9:10. I was expecting Street Fighting Man, but they opened with Brown Sugar. Another surprise. From that point on they basically did a stadium set. The sound was good and crisp, surprising for the Tacoma Dome.
The projection screen wasn't used until Start Me Up, with the 4-5 way split on the band members. Overall, the video was good, but I didn't need it being so close to the stage.
Sherly Crow came out for Wild Horses and did a very good duet with Mick, and joking around with Keith as well.
The crowd was overwhelmingly excited during the intros, and when it was Charlies turn, they actually got him to get up and bow 3 times.
Keiths solos were very well done and his voice was in good shape. Much better than Honolulu in 98.
B-stage was rocking, with the sound seemingly getting louder, or maybe it was just the audience.
Lisa's vocals on Gimme Shelter were chilling. She did a lot of clowning with the horn section during Honky Tonk Woman.
The show was one of the best I have seen. The boys were having a lot of fun and there music was that much better for it. I took my 15 year old son tonight and he is now a die hard Stone fan. If you haven't seen them yet on this tour, don't miss it.
We left Victoria (Canada) at 8am, caught the ferry to Vancouver where we picked up my cousin just before noon and headed to the Canada/U.S. border. At the border there was very little traffic and after asking to see our tickets they waved us through.
The drive to Tacoma was about 3 hours. I wanted to listen to the Argon and Orpheum shows I had with me but the others thought it might spoil their experience. We did listen to some great blues and also Sheryl Crow's new album. We checked into our hotel, took showers and then went out for dinner and a few drinks. We called a taxi to pick us up at the restaurant but after waiting over 1/2 hour I started to get uptight. I wanted to arrive at the venue early to check out the merchandise and also to see Sheryl Crow. The taxi finally showed up and we sped off in pouring rain to the Dome.
I thought the Tacoma Dome was a very comfortable venue. No long lineups, clean, decent seating, and laid back staff. They scanned our tickets upon entry but didn't check our coats or use metal detectors, which would have uncovered my digital camera. I bought a poster and a tongue pin, not the flashing pin but a classy red colored metal one. We found our seats which were close to the stage, Ronnie's side about 30 rows up and sat down for a few minutes taking in the atmosphere. The flashing tongues were everywhere and the blimp was flying around. The stage was very sparse, nothing like previous tours I've seen.
I decided to walk down to the floor and check out the B stage, I noticed the electronics equipment had No Security tape on it. I liked the fact that I could freely stroll around without some security person on my back. My plan all along was to find a seat on the floor during Sheryl Crow and then move back to my own seat for the Stones when the owner arrived. I wanted to be up close and see this beautiful woman in action.
I sat down in the 6th row on Ronnie's side of the catwalk; there were empty seats all around me. I met two very nice women who worked for a local radio station and had just gotten their picture taken backstage with the Stones. They couldn't get over how small the Stones were in person and how gracious they acted. I told them what I was doing and they mentioned that their group had 5 seats but it was possible that 1 seat would be left empty, if so I was welcome to the empty seat. I couldn't believe my luck. I told them that I was going to write a review and that I would send it to them. I got their email address and told them I would send this review, they said they would send their backstage picture to me.
Sheryl Crow opened with her new song Steve McQueen; the sound was slightly muddy but pretty decent and improved after 3 songs. She had the same band as Wembley 1999 but without the Violin player and backup singers. The people around me were up dancing after a while and her band did a kick ass version of the Who's "Can't Explain". The crowd around me was also really up for her latest hit "Soak up the Sun". All in all, a strong set from lovely Sheryl and her band.
During the break some great blues was played over the sound system. I heard Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin Wolf. On the stage I was surprised to see what looked like Mick's wardrobe rack, perhaps the backstage area was not adequate.
The Stones opened with a hard-hitting version of Brown Sugar, I remember Ronnie strutting out with his trademark cigarette. Mick and Keith stood side by side for parts of the song, which was nice to see. A wonderful sax solo from Bobby Keys made this version cook.
The crowd in Tacoma at least on the floor was really into it, most were standing up and dancing. Don't Stop was a treat to see and hear. I like watching Mick play guitar even if he is only strumming chords. It seems to give him more determination to perform. By this the forth song, the sound was excellent from the floor, I'd say it was the best I've ever heard in an arena, and a domed arena at that.
Monkey Man is one of my favorite songs and was done like only the Stones can do, a little messy and raw. My cousin and I both noticed that the ending was slightly unusual; it looked like Charlie was going to play on and then abruptly went in to the ending. Mick shook his head at something here.
The whole band looked happy this night, many smiles from Keith and Ronnie. I didn't see the tension between Ronnie and Mick that others have mentioned. I do remember Mick and Ronnie with the arms around each other later on in the show.
I was surprised when Sheryl Crow came out to do Wild Horses. We expected her to come out for Honky Tonk Women like Wembley. During the song Mick said something to her and she fell back to hang with Keith while Mick sang a verse. I thought that maybe Mick had asked her to stop singing or something. The next verse was hers and she nailed the vocal, way to go Sheryl.
It was cool to see the Stones without backup singers on some of the early songs. Another surprise was Blondie played acoustic guitar on 4 or 5 songs. He didn't look very well however; hopefully it's not too serious. Lisa was stunning in her red satin dress, I couldn't take my eyes off her at times and her contribution to Gimme Shelter was one of the night's highlights.
For the introductions when it came to Charlie the applause continued until it turned into foot stomping. I thought the place was going to collapse. Charlie stood up and took a small bow to acknowledge the crowd and Ronnie and Keith gave Charlie their best "I'm not worthy".
All Down the Line blew me away. They just nailed the song right from the first note. I can't wait to hear a tape of this show. Midnight Rambler was killer; Mick and Charlie were playing with the tempo changes and had fun with this song. At one point all four Stones where together in a semi-circle - very cool.
As Keith came out to do his set the crowd went nuts and Mick finally said, "they're trying to do a show up here". Keith's set was special for me as it always is. The man is just so "real' up there. His vocals were excellent on Slipping Away. It's obvious his heart is really into this song.
Sympathy was all right but I wanted to see some real flames instead of just screen shots. I guess the venue wasn't big enough for the real thing. Keith gave a little peck on the cheek to Lisa during this song. Where was that Bacardio (sic) dude anyway?
During the B-stage set I stayed put in my floor seat. I didn't want to risk an usher asking for my ticket and then sending me off the floor to my real seat. I saw Keith pick up a bra from someone on the catwalk. I did notice a few things like Ronny playing the clear acrylic guitar on Little Red Rooster. Kudos' to the sound people because the B-stage sound was very good up front. None of the delays I have experienced before. When the Whip Comes Down was pounding, loud, beautiful rock and roll. For Little Red Rooster, I was wondering why Mick doesn't play harp on this one. He did start playing but to me it sounded like the song ended prematurely because he was still doing harp solo lines when the song finished. You Got me Rocking was excellent with Mick very confident and Charlie playing harder than other songs.
During Honky Tonk Women, something went wrong with Mick's sound system just as he finished singing and Keith started the solo. Mick shot his hand up and the technician appeared out of nowhere behind the amps and Mick walked back to fix it up. It was already to go by the time the solo was done. Very professional. This was my first show this tour and I enjoyed the risqué cartoon of the women riding a tongue. I also started feeling a little sad because I knew it was all coming to an end.
Ronny had that strange looking guitar with the small body for Street Fighting Man. Jumpin Jack Flash was awesome as always and it was a buzz to see the red confetti shooting all over. Satisfaction was next and the horns were more prominent than I remember before. Mick wore a real cool shirt at the end of show. It was a sleeveless white tee with a silver tongue - I want one.
After the show I was talking to one of the vendors selling posters and he showed me the hidden "40' in the new tongue for this tour. Look at the tongue closely and you will see the number 40.
This show ranks up there with the best I've ever been to and I will never forget it, they are still the greatest.
My next show will likely be in Vienna but who knows maybe I can make it to Montreal or MSG in January. I need another fix. Long live the Rolling Stones!
Comment from Steve:
Gene Stout got it wrong, in his Seattle Post-Intelligencer review saying that Sheryl Crow did Happy. Her introduction to the song would make you think that what she was going play, but she in fact played her own song "If It Makes You Happy".
Thanks to Axel Schumacher and Steve for news links.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2002 -
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