It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show time: 9:30pm - 11:25pm
As soon as the opening act left the stage at 8:50pm, the speaker at the venue kept saying the Stones would be on any minute. This was kind of silly, as we all know it takes half an hour to clear the stage for the Stones. Why stress all these people? Still, I guess they wanted us all to be in our seats long time before Keith took stage.
Mick flew in from the Gold Coast in a helicopter. He arrived around 6pm, and I guess this was a stunt for the press, as they had been waiting for the helicopter to arrive all afternoon. The rest of the band came in cars, as far as I know, and I am sure Mick too would prefer a car, but the press do need their helicopter pictures for the papers tomorrow...
The Brisbane Entertainment Centre is really in the middle of nowhere, one hour north of the Gold Coast, where all the tourists are, and a short drive north of Brisbane, so you need a car or a train. Luckily I had a friend with an old car I could use, and luckily this $400 car took me both ways today. Who knows if it will work tomorrow. The Entertanment Centre is said to have a capacity of 13,500 people, but it is really small, much smaller than the very small Hartford Civic Center in USA, so I would guess there were may be 12,000 people in the crowd tonight. The papers tomorrow might tell.
The lights went out at 9:30pm, and Keith went up front to start up "Street Fighting Man". Security told me I had to sit on my chair through the entire show, but I took the risk of being thrown out, and stayed on my feet during the opening songs, while most people around me followed the stupid rules by local security. I wish these guys had more brains and less muscles. After all this is a rock shown and not a jazz concert.
Anyway, "Start Me Up" and "You Can't Get What You Want" made it clear that this is not a show where you sit down. The whole floor were on their feet, while the rest of the venue did like they did in Melbourne, enjoyed the show in their chairs.
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking" arrived early today, as part of the "Sticky Fingers" feature set (coupled with "Bitch"). Ronnie had been saying hello to almost everybody being up front today, and seemed to be having great fun with the crowd. But "Knocking" is a very different song. Ronnie stayed at the rear of the stage while Bobby and Mick did their parts of "Knocking". He was smoking a cigarette, and he seemed relaxed still concentrated. Then he was on. From that moment he was in "Knocking"-land. His eyes were closed. Some times he looked into the crowd, but it was open eyes not really looking, as he was 100% concentrated on his guitar playing. This was one of the nights when he gave us some extra bits, and I loved every bit of it. As he finished his part, and closed the song, he smiled, opened his eyes, and smiled his wide smile, saying it was tough, but he loved it. It is great every time they do it, but tomorrow I guess we will get "Rambler" instead.
Tumbling Dice was next. Then the introductions. Keith did "Slipping Away". It is a beautiful song, and Blondie is adding great spanish guitar licks to it as well. Then Keith said something I could not catch. Someone in the crowd screamed out "Play it for Freddy", and Keith replied: "I will play it for Freddy, and to everybody else". "Before They Make Me Run".
Lights out. "Sympathy". Mick is doing some great falsetto. His voice was dry in Melbourne, and on "Street Fighting Man" today his voice really sounded weired, but now he was fine.
The rest of the set is what everybody is coming for - the great songs. Even if the show was short, just 1h 55min, I loved it a lot. And it seemed like the crowd loved it too. A guy on Keith side had shaved his head and painted a true replica red Stones tongue on his head - a real masterpiece kind of head paint. Mick had the number "23" printed on the back of his T-shirt. May be that means nothing, or may be it means a great athlet in Australia.
Tomorrow I think I will do some walking on the beach, in case I meet Mick on his jogging trips. Then I hope my old car works for still another day and brings me to the Entertainment Centre once more. Great shows all the way, and great crowds!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe