It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Hives (warmup) : - 8:50pm The Rolling Stones : 9:50pm - 11:55pm
Sunday dawned fair and sunny in Copenhagen, a very
pleasant change from the winds and showers that
occurred all day on Saturday. We had gone down to the
Hotel D'Angleterre to see if there was anyone around
on Saturday but outside of a police car that screamed
by at 1 PM there was nary a sight of the Stones or
their entourage or even a crowd of onlookers.
Ronnie's art exhibition was being held up the famous
pedestrian street called Strøget only two blocks
away, but 800 brave souls were lined up there so we
decided to try again in 10 days when we come back to
Copenhagen after the Swedish theatre show. We went
instead to see two of the jazz concerts being held as
part of the 25th Copenhagen Jazz Festival. They were
great but we didn't see Charlie at either!
Parken Stadium is in the north of the city and it has abundant parking. It recently had a removable roof installed but fortunately, it was not closed for this show. That did mean, however, there would be no gas explosions or extraordinary fireworks as the stage was setup right beneath the stored roof.
The first thing that I was intrigued by was the fact the fans could purchase 6 beer at a time. The lineups were huge as they bought their six-packs of Carlsberg draft. Quite the difference from North American shows where we are limited to 2 beer at a time. The effects of this consumption would shortly be seen.
I won't say anything about The Hives other than if you appreciate punk rock reinvented by a group of Swedes all dressed similar, with Hiwatt amps pegged at number 11 playing the same beat song after song, then you were probably happy. We simply waited for them to leave the stage.
The Stones did not come on until exactly 21:50 probably due to the extreme amount of lightness still at this hour at the northern latitude we were at. Even so, the darkness that does come at this time of year did not envelop the stadium until after 22:30.
Brown Sugar was the usual opener. The band were very happy and the crowd was very appreciative. Mick's gold coloured jacket swirled in the light breeze as Keith mugged for the cameras. The sound from our area at mid-field only a few rows up in the stands was not good though. It was very muddy and the vocals were not at all loud or clear.
The setlist followed the standard order for stadium shows. The first highlight was the fourth song, Don't Stop. The crowd did a decent sing-along in the middle section. It was followed by YCAGWYW. Then the number one song of the evening followed. Midnight Rambler was simply stunning. The new arrangement they have made for this classic on the main stage is amazing. First, the guitars have new parts. It's hard to describe it in words but they really dig deep into the blues chords. Then Mick's dancing is wild. He seems to be bringing back moves from the 70's on the song. He does this crazy dance from the left all the way over to the right of the main stage. All the while, Keith is dragging out this low growl on the guitar. It goes on and on. Even Charlie's emphatic beats in the middle section were very noticeably louder than normal to me. It was absolutely the highlight of the evening for us.
It was becoming evident by now that the Danish crowd are very understated in their appreciation of rock concerts. I think it's due to the enormous quantities of beer and hash they were imbibing. I have a Danish wife and she says I can emphatically state she was ashamed to be a Dane on this night. They definitely don't appreciate the music being presented. She said she has never seen such a boring crowd. The vast majority of the fans around us sat through 90 percent of the show and when I continued to stand, I was being tapped on the shoulder and being asked to sit! I'm sorry, but I didn't pay for the seat, but for the Stones!
The B Stage was great as usual and right in front of us. Respectable was a wonderful surprise as it is still one of my favourite old rockers. Then I Just Want to Make Love to You and Street Fighting Man were a great combo up there with probably the best sound of the night coming at us.
The last five songs of the night were the normal closers. It was disappointing that the crowd only came alive for the encore of Satisfaction. They really missed a wonderful show. I know the theatre show at the Cirkus next week in Stockholm will be a lot better with the hard-core fans attending. On this beautiful summer night, we could have used a lot more of them in attendance in Copenhagen. Overall I would give the band a solid 4.5 out of 5 but the fans only a 2 score. On to Stockholm!
For the show I had changed from my old seated position in Parken to a Fos-postion near the catwalk. The preferred place of my daughter. And what a change : The sound was fabulous after a few minutes of problems during Brown Sugar. Still the crowd was responding strongly from the very first moment. At least here on the ground. Suddenly I felt the intimacy that was lacking at SDF ( great stadium however ).
My eyes and ears were focused on Ronnie from the very beginning after some of the comments from Olympia. What a joyful relief/pleasure to see him once again at his best. And I felt that he received many “hugs” from Mick, Keith and Darryl all the way through the concert.
They really kicked off very strongly and with a lot of energy. As opposed to Leipzig BS and SMU were not played in a routine-like way. Don´t Stop is really surprising me every time. This little standard-Stones tune is just being performed so strong. I cannot comment on Wild Horses, because my wife really wants to hear Angie and she couldn´t go to Paris. If they play it in Helsinki they may not play it at our next stop in Stockholm and then…. Well, I´ve told her to finance some more stadium-tickets. Just tell you this secretly: Great version of Wild Horses at Parken !
Midnight Rambler: What a killer version ! The best ever reason for having 19 instead 20 songs. First present of this evening: First stadium performance of MR for me this time around. The next ones came with great versions of Respectable and IJWMLTY on the b-stage. Standing a little further away from the b-stage is actually not a bad idea when having a fos-ticket. Soundwise. And we had to stay close to the catwalk as my daughter so desperately wanted to make high-fives. She only missed Mick by five centimeters. Still crazy though. Almost – almost – reminding me of the screaming girls from the sixties.
HTW: Surprised when not having it at Bercy, but not really missing it. Yesterday however it was performed the real live way with a lot of energy. And with crowd being more than alive. You may play it again. JJF and Satisfaction were indeed very strong performances at the end. Mick going completely wild at the end of Satisfaction reaching out on both stage-wings and onto the b-stage. And Keith did in fact stop JJF “on time” as opposed to SDF ( but I can understand why he would find it difficult to stop in Paris – or anywhere for that matter ).
They were all fantastic this summer-night in Copenhagen. One Danish journalist calls it the best concert ever in Denmark ( including all bands - see links elsewhere ). These are of course big words. Like the phrase “The Greatest Rock n Roll Band in the World”. Personally I don´t really mind, though I never really use so big words myself. It was my best Stones-concert in Denmark since 1970. A colleague of mine thanked me today over and over again for putting pressure on him to buy some spare tickets. It was his first Stones-concert ever and he hopes it won´t be his last. I told him he would say so ! And my daughter and wife are just getting more and more stoned !!
Not stoned in the way some people in the audience were. I agree with Ronald Blank that some people just drink and smoke too much in this part of the world. I don´t like it either, and one may really wonder why these people bought the tickets in the first place. Animals. It´s sad to watch. They sold beer in Munich. Leipzig and Paris, and yet no-one turns into semi-monsters. In Copenhagen security-people were handing out glasses of water to people standing fos. I had a few. So did others. After all most of us were there to get high on music. And then we could enjoy nice big beers after the show.
Thanks to Kim Halling Mortensen, Johannes, Jørgen Baungaard Hansen, Joelle Bonnet, Thommie and Gunnar Yttri for news links!
This page will change over the next few days, as you and other fans send reviews, set lists and reports. Please send your e-mail to IORR. Thanks! For details and great photos from the Rolling Stones and their World Tour get the IORR magazines.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe