It's Only Rock'n Roll
NOTE: No Don't Stop!!
Show time: 7:40PM - 9:40PM
It had been 30 years to redeem since the stones slattered the round trip ticket from LA to Hawaii, Tokyo, Australia and Hong Kong in 1973 by the Japanese governments refusal of Micks immigration admission for his yellow sheet. Inasmuch as Budokan has been a still-raw sensibility for Stones brethren, today is red-letter day for us all. Their music has the unique power. This power transcended feeling, wish and language of all audience. Performance of tonight was a remarkable example. Their every action strained air. Our pulse became quick, and our soul was shaken. Music could tie up people's mind, enheartened us and even changed tide of history. I pay my respects their passionate commitment to music.
I made it to Budokan gig with my 7 year old son in tow. We had the time of our life. To us rock and roll started with Rolling Stones out - And that's what rock and roll is all about!
The set list Jumping Jack Flash You Got Me Rocking (Daryl was back vocal) Live With Me Let It Bleed No Expectations Rocks Off Everybody Needs Somebody To Love Worried About You Midnight Rambler Slipping Away Before They Make Me Run Start Me Up IORR Rock Me Baby CHMK Honky Tonk Women Tumbling Dice (Charlie's drum was so heavy and great!) Brown Sugar Satisfaction(encore) ( Blondie on acoustic guitar)
It helped that the Stones surprised the hell out of me by delivering a quasi-club set in an arena setting -- No Expectations, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Worried About You and Rock Me Baby all made it into the set list.
I knew something was up at the start of the 4th song, when Mick went to strap on his guitar for what I assumed would be "Don't Stop." But no, it was an acoustic, not an electric, and he treated us to "Let It Bleed," which allowed Ronnie to showcase his fine slide playing. Mick kept the guitar on for the next song, "No Expectations," and Ronnie graduated to the pedal steel, to the delight of the crowd. Mick and Ronnie shook hands afterwards. Actually, it was a bit of a touchy-feely show, as Keith kissed Charlie on the head during the latter's introduction, and was rewarded with a lengthy drum solo when his turn came to take a bow.
The locals were also impressed whenever Mick spoke Japanese, which was surprisingly often throughout the set. Alas, I don't know what he said, but it sounded good. Needless to say, Keith didn't even bother, but he did deliver a heart-tugging comment at the end of "Slipping Away" -- "Many thanks, but I ain't gonna slip yet, y'know?"
"Worried About You" was a special treat, because I had never heard it before live. Mick sang it in falsetto, and did the first verse and chorus from the keyboard beside Chuck, before letting Blondie sub for him. Ronnie's solo seemed a little lame though.
The crowd went wild as Mick blew the first ominous notes of "Midnight Rambler" -- an 11-minute opus, and the momentum continued through Keith's set and the final grab bag of hits. During "Brown Sugar," Mick motioned Bobby to come center-stage, and held his microphone over the sax. As soon as the band left the stage after that song, most people on the floor sat down -- for the first time that evening. But they were up on their feet again for a better-than-usual version of "Satisfaction," supplemented by the horn section.
If I had any complaints, it would be that Chuck's cheesy keyboards were too high in the mix on such songs as "Jumpin' Jack Flash, "You Got Me Rocking," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and "Slipping Away."
No complaints about the crowd. It was low-single digits (celsius) outside, but inside the place was on fire. In a historic venue where food and drink is not sold, they were there for one thing: the music. The sound was great too; the Stones should play more octagonal arenas around the world.
In 1990 stones at last came to our country, but they never played in Budokan becuase of capacity matter. However, in 2003 the day came. Stones for the first time played in Budokan tonight 10.03.2003. Can you imagine our pleasure? We have been waiting for 30 years. I have never seen such a concert until now that audience got excited with BGM before play. Almost of the people were standing and enjoyed blues BGM ex. Mona. We were really excited before the opening. After stones started to play , I couldn't stop crying especially about you got me rocking. You really make grown men cry. Worried about you is very rare and suprising song for me. Mick's farset voice was great. Although tonight has no b-stage, it was definitely great show among more than 10 times in my life.
It's my first Stones show, and my oh my, what a show it was!
My seat was graded "A", which was in the NE corner at the second floor, means I could only see from the far left side of the stage, only 3/4 of the stage was visible (so I didn't see Bobby Keys until he was dragged out to centerstage by Mick), and I couldn't see the big screen, either.
Didn't matter, I still enjoyed the whole experience very much. Among all the rock concerts I've been to in Japan, this was without doubt the craziest, hottest crowd I've ever seen. Everybody was standing even when the warm up music was still playing, the 10,000 audiences were clapping and cheering to the music of Slim Harpo and Muddy Waters. When the light was finally out at 19:40, fourty minutes after the expected show time, and the first chord of Jumpin' Jack Flash was struck by Keef, the Budokan hall just went exlploded, I've never seen anything like that in Japan!
My seat was up there and a bit back from the stage so I could see the small LCD monitor at the feet of Mick's mic stand, which was used to show the song list and highlighting the lyrics, which is very interesting to me. I don't know if anybody mentioned this before, Mick didn't need all the lyrics, just the keywords were shown. For instance, this is what I've read (from my binocular) for No Expectations:
Take me to the station
. Once I was a rich man
. My heart is like a diamond
. My love was like the water
. Take Me to the airport
. And for Let It Bleed, I think it was like:
My breast will always be open
rest your weary head
a space in my parking lot
Dream on / Cream On
steel guitar engagement ...
Not every song was given such a briefing, there wasn't any lyric on the screen for Honky Tonk Women, for instance, and Mick did screwed up the lyrics in the second verse where he should sang "my lady then she covered me with roses..." he mistakenly sang the "heaved me right across the shoulder" lines again. And for the rather obscure "Worried About You" I thought it showed every line of the lyrics, if my memory serves me well.
People were throwing everything to the stage. Flowers, love letters, scarfs, even what I thought were pieces of gum! Ronnie picked one up and put it in his mouth, I saw Keef leaned over to him (still playing his guitar) and asked him what the hell was that. A red-faced Japanese ghost mask was also thown to the stage, Mick picked it up and took a look but didn't wear it.
Charlie was absolutely stunning, I couldn't believe he could be such a powerhouse at this age and after all these years on the road. He's my hero. Mick's voice is also in perfect shape, his falsetto is almost flawless. Keef seemed to be a bit lame at the first numbers (or should I blame the sound system mixing his guitar too low at start?), but he just came all alive when Midnight Rambler started. All those killer riffs slashing through the air, just sent thrills down my spine! Ronnie's solo lines were always mixed well with Keef's chord-based parts, and he always seemed to be enjoying himself on stage. I have not much to say about Dyrryl, the bass was muddy and boomy though the sound system, I couldn't tell too many details, regrettingly.
Apart from the epic Midnight Rambler, another highlight for me, was Can't You Hear Me Knocking, in which Bobby Keys did a splendid solo. I guess this is the closest we could get to the early '70's Stones on stage since Nicky Hopkins and Ian Stewart were all gone and Bill was left.
All in all a very good show worth every penny of my 17,000 yen, looking forward to the Yokohama Arena gig tonight. Will post more if I have the time!
A low, single digit degree Celsius outside, it was so warm and exciting inside this famous venue. Quiet, polite Japanese fans properly seated like a Bach choir? That's only a curious story. What I first saw was an enthusiastic, energetic audience, expressing great delight noisily and impatiently after each piece of entry or pre-concert opus. Next, when the lights went out, they became wilder and wilder, and no sooner the first chord of Jump Jack Fresh was in the air the renowned Budokan literally exploded.
Mick looked so confident and healthy, and so are the key Stone members, the supporting vocalists and the horn section members. The show wasn't just led by Mick. Keith sang two songs (flowers being thrown on stage) and Ron played a good number of leading guitar parts. What about Charlie? To me, he was the best musician on stage that evening, building a firm foundation for everything on top of it. His drum beats were so heavy and powerful, yet he had no sweat. The saxophonist was great, too; in Brown Sugar, he was standing at the front stage with Mick holding this wireless mic for collect the melancholy yet sweat tones. Other horn section players and the supporting vocalists added so much to what we heard. What better piece could there be than Satisfaction which brought the Budokan concert to a triumphant close.
What brought 14,000 fans together in Budokan? What made me travel some 3,000 Km (not to mention how hard my sister and my niece had tried to get the tickets) to see the concert. It wasn't just getting what we want, it was our love we wanted to show the musicians.
My love and thank for my sister, too."
Suddenly, the hole became all dark. Everyone stood up, craping hand, shouting and screaming! The moment JJF intro ripped the darkness......all the audience really went crazy.
Nobody expected JJF for the opening No. Let It Bleed, No Expectations, Midnight Rambler, Rocks Off........ 2 hours was too short, however, it was like "Japanese Stones Fan's dream has come true". March 10,2003 the memorial day for all the Stones fans in Japan. Stones and us, really became one inside the dream cradle named BUDOKAN.
Much different from another show held in YOKOHAMA ARENA, TOKYO DOME.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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