It's Only Rock'n Roll
Feeder (warmup) : 7:25pm - 8:00pm The Rolling Stones : 8:45pm - 10:50pm
The luxury thing is that I could travel late in the afternoon to Amsterdam because I didn't't have to run for a best place. Just before the show started I met a guy I knew from this winter when we were in line by the local ticket sales office and discussed the shows we had seen. I told him that I hoped that the Stones would play Midnight Rambler. This is one of my favourites and I didn't't hear it yet this tour.
When the Stones started, although the sound wasn't that good the first three songs, you could see that the Stones really had fun on stage. Keith hugging Ron, Mick tapping Keith's shoulder and a lot of laughs on stage. The set list was not really surprising the first six songs, but then my wish came through, Midnight Rambler was played and what a great version!
The rest of the show was also without surprises (no Salt of the Earth f.i.) but man where they brilliant. Sitting on the top ring between people who barely know the Stones was different than being in front of the stage, but I enjoyed every second of the evening and every note they played. This was my last Rolling Stones concert for now, I hope they come back in a few years so I can see them for the at least the 25th time (this was my 24th Rolling Stones show).
On with the show, So I took my car in Antwerp at 7.00 pm and arrived at the Arena at 8.30 pm. Bought a 80 € ticket for 30 € from someone at the gates and managed to get in just when the intro started. I sat in the middle of the 2 main speakers but far away. Sound was not as bad as first night at the ArenA but not as good as Werchter. It rained and the roof was closed so it echoed a bit, but who cares? Chuck wasn’t too loud in the mix; at last, Keith and Ronnie were mixed just fine. Some solo’s may have been a bit louder to me. The crowd was much, much better though. Stones did a warhorse’s set list, as expected. But they rocked as only they can. One of the best stadium gigs although I liked Paris 9/7/03 more.
Setlist, BS and SMU: Ok, You got me rocking: great, but I love to hear “If you can’t rock me” there. It smoked in Wembley (thanks to Keith).
Don’t stop: one of the best versions I’ve heard, great sing along.
Angie: a bore, but the crowd seemed to like it. YCACWYW: ok, have seen better, MR and TD: ok
Keith, da man, did a great version of Nearness of you, can you imagine this, in a stadium? It is a risk, but it worked anyhow. Keith told the crowd “I love that man”, pointing to Ronnie as mr. Wood was playing at his very best. Happy: although it is one of my favorites it just didn’t “connect”. SFTD: Keith took this one to the next level, but I’m in love with the ’69 version. LRR, nice bluesy version. IORR: bore but ok, why they don’t ever try to do the quiet part as on the original? SFM: Keith helps Mick with the intro, great interaction between both of them. GS: ok, but a personal bore. PIB: crowd went wild on this one. HTW: OK, Satisfaction: less horns, thank you, great rockin’ version. JJF: always a great stadium rocker.
This concludes my private Stones tour, did 10-15 this year. But if they do another club or Wembley gig I’ll be there anyway.
One more thing: As ULF already stated: Give us a new album and then do a tour WITH THE NEW SONGS. A bit like they did in ’78 with the “Some Girls” tour. Not 1 or 2 songs but all of them. Also I would like to hear more of the ’80s and ‘90s stuff. Love is strong, Mixed emotions, She’s so cold, Already over me, I go wild, Almost hear you sigh instead of Angie or even … I could go on forever. Get the word out Bjornulf!
Brown sugar opened another Stones gig for us in Europe. The acoustic near the B-Stage was rather bad, but who cares: The audience around us was knowing every song and melody very well and was singing and dancing so great! The audience here was like an thunderstorm. The Arena has an intimitate atmosphere like in a small Arena and not like in a stadium, it was dark from the beginning, the echo, the audience,…
Mick, we had another idea of having a show we´ll never forget as we drove 1.000 km in vain on August, 20th. Today there was no surprise in the setlist, no extra´s, but we don´t regret to drove another 1.000 km: We loved the special intros to some special songs like Angie, Paint it black, Midnight rambler. Midnight rambler was indeed a very unique version this night. It seems the band really enjoyed the show and themselves, the interaction with the audience (it´s a f***cking great crowd,..). Mick got red roses on B-stage and presented them to Charlie! In the end, everybody seems satisfied.
Amsterdam was our last show together! Thank you Mick, Charlie, Keith, Ron, Daryl, Lisa and all the others. And thank you to all like Andrea and Petra who took care of our four daughters this summer while being on tour!!!!!!!
I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed for my last concert. Hardcore fans are aware that the sound in the Arena isn't fantastic but I remember last month's press release when the concert was cancelled... "Mick Jagger declared that the resheduled concert will be one to remember" It's true that the Rolling Stones gave away a good concert but not one to remember forever, although it seems this will be my last concert of this tour.
The sound at this Stones show wasn't that crisp, clean as for instance De Kuip. You could hear the sound going around the stadium and that's a nice experience. I stood next to the catwalk and I could see Charlie Watts' face. This means that you don't have to watch the big screens all the time. The Rolling Stones picked their opening acts very well this year. I enjoyed big names such as ACDC, The Pretenders and The Simply Minds but it's nice to hear a young band around.
The show started quite early and for the set list, I prefer to hear the rarely done songs over the big hits but yet again, this is a stadium show! The Stones came out, opening with "Brown Sugar" I noticed that Mick's voice sounded very good. The crowd loved it with "yeah, yeah, yeah, WHOOO's" all around. From the opener onwards, the Stones came up with a similar setlist as Werchter. It's nice to hear Angie and Midnight Rambler but I was looking forward to hear "Salth Of The Earth". Mick introduced the band with a nice hat on. All got a warm reception, including a double round of applause for Charlie. Why have Ronnie or Keith never introduced Mick during this tour?
The crowd in front didn't take a noticeable bathroom break during "The Nearness Of You" as Keith did a great job BUT BUT BUT, a security guy had a problem with a guy just after me who took some photographs during the concerts. It's forbidden, point taken but why spoil some time in arguments and hiding away the camera. By the way, just before the Rolling Stones walked to the B-stage, the guy with some girlfriend were taken away. This meant more space to reach for the arms of our idols. And yes, I touched the hand of Keith once again. This made my day!
On the B-stage, the Stones are stripped down to the basics and they get a chance to prove that they really are the world's greatest rock and roll band. Much to my surprise, the sound didn't drastically change on the small stage. The sound was just as fine as it was from the main stage and there was nothing "acoustic" about this set. "Little Red Rooster" filled the stadium with real blues and a furious "Street Fighting Man" rocked the Arena!
They went back to the main stage to close out the show with a mostly predictable list of hits. "Paint It Black" was awesome and "Honky Tonk Women" is another highlight thanks to Lisa. Satisfaction kicked ass and you could hear very well the interplay between the drums and guitars, as if Charlie and Keith were really giving and taking.
The Stones ended with a long and rocking "Jumping Jack Flash". They came back for only one encore. No twenty songs for this last Dutch concert! At the end, the crew shot off some fireworks inside the Arena and the crowd gave them a huge ovation.
I'm really happy to have met a lot of new Stones friends such as Michael Sold & his wife, Philou, Gina from the North, Steve from Tinian, crazy Patrick, Stefan together with Henri and a few others. But I would like to thank the horn section, Blondie, Bernard, Lisa, Chuck, Darryl, Bobby, Ronnie, Charlie, Mick and Keith - THE ROLLING STONES!!! thanks in giving me such a lovely sunny rock 'n roll summer.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe