It's Only Rock'n Roll
Pretenders (warmup) : 7:25pm - 8:10pm The Rolling Stones : 9:05pm - 11:10pm
The AOL Arena is a stadium,that gives you the feeling of an arena, because it�s build in the way Arenas are bulid. But it has the size of a stadium! On 9.05 p.m. the intro started the lights of the stadium went down and I could see Mick and Keith going backstage. (The moment was to short to spot all four Stones) Keith jumped on the stage and started Brown Sugar.The crowd was on from the first second! Even better than in Leipzig! The whole stadium was singing along. Mick said:"Thank You" but Keith had already started Start Me Up.
I don�t understand what some say about Ronnie, that he is not playing so well! The first half of the show was his part! He played the solo on Start Me Up perfectly. After Start Me Up Mick said hello to us: "Moin Moin! Hello Hamburg. Es ist sch�n wieder hier zu sein! (Hello!!!Hello Hamburg!!!It�s nice to be back!) Then You Got Me Rocking. Mick let the audience sing along. Mick spoke German again: "Was f�r ein sch�ner Abend! (What a nice evening!!!)
Don�t Stop rocked the house! Now everybody was singing! I really enjoy the break to sing along!!! As Keith and Ronnie got their accoustic guitars I knew that Angie would follow and we would get a 19 song show. A really nice version. Mick sang very good. With You Can�t Always Get What You Want another sing-along song followed. Ronnie did his solo very well. But his part should come later!
As Keith got his Telecaster he walked to the front and started playing Can�t You Hear Me Knocking.I hoped for this song, because they don�t play it often in a stadium and it was time to play this great song again! Bobby began the instrumental part, Mick followed but then it was time for Ronnie and again one of his solos!
With Tumbling Dice Keith began to live he ran all over the stage and played great! And now it began to rain. It was not as much as in Hamburg wayback in 1998, but it was wet.
Mick introduced the band and then it was time for Keith:"Hello Hamburg" Slipping Away followed and Keith sang great. Then a rocking version of Before They Make Me Run!
SFTD started but Mick had to wait because the crew had to dry the stage. They added a break in it for the audience to sing the Whoo Whoos! Keith went down to the audience like he did for JJF on the VL and BTB Tours, but I haven�t seen this for a while.
The B-Stage was next.I hoped for Respectable and I Just Want To Make Love To You and finally got them. The sound was not the best. Mick was not to hear at the beginning of Respectable. Street Fighting Man rocked the house again. Then way back to the main stage. Keith did a perfect start of Gimme Shelter. (He messed up in Leipzig)
Then IORR with Mick waiting for some reaction of the crowd, but he had to wait until Honky Tonk Women, which was next. But the whole stadium exploded as they did Satisfaction. It was the best version I�ve heard live ever!!! The crowd was singing every word to Mick! Not only the chorus. The wole song was perfect. Mick said:" Gute Nacht Hamburg" (Good night Hamburg).
After they left the stage many people left the stadium, because they had to work on Friday. They didn�t want to hear the encore. Again it was Jumping Jack Flash. Also a very good version. After they did the final bow the firework started. It was not outside the arena, as in Munich or Leipzig, it was inside the stadium. That was a little too loud. They did only 19 songs,but I don�t care.I got CYHMK, Respectable and IJWTMTY. The setlist was the perfect add-on to Leipzig, but the crowd in Hamburg was better. My next show is Hannover. I hope for Midnight Rambler, Bitch and Rocks Off. See you there!
The first four songs: Brown Sugar, Start me up, You got me rocking, Don`t stop was the typical start of a stadium show. Keith didn`t hit the right chords when they played Angie. You can`t always get what you want seems to be the crowd-pleaser at this Tour. And then a great version of Can`t you hear me knocking?. Ronnie`s Solo was just great. And not to forget Mick`s Harp.
Between the other typical stadium songs (Satisfaction, Jumping Jack Flash etc.) they played a great Version of Street fighting man at the B-Stage. When Mick went back from the B-Stage, to play "Gimme Shelter", he signed a cardboard, or something others. Amazing, I`d never seen this before.
All the people around me screaming and dancing (I was Front of Stage). The Stones have fun on the stage, that`s why they play so good at this tour. Hope they roll on the next few years.
I went there with my wife and a neighbour, we met two close friends at the catwalk. My parents were in the crowd, a very good friend with his 9 year old son and two schoolmates from last year.
At 6 PM we walked around the stadium when suddenly a black Phaeton drove through a gate. In the back was Mick himself, no sunglasses on, no darkened windows. Wow! Good sign for me, because I wanted to do my last attempt for a Jagger autograph during the show. I got all personally except for Jagger and Brian (where is he, btw?). So I said: today or not. Everything was prepared: cardboard with MICK PLEASE SIGN on it and a great 82 shot.
The stadium filled slowly, the Pretenders were good. I didn�t expect much to say honestly, because Oberhausen was dull. SDF was much better but the last kick was missing. So I at least wanted a good show for my people in the stadium. AND I GOT IT, too!
From the beginning the sound was very good, loud and crispy. The band was totally on, less goofing and posing. It was Ronnie�s evening. During Can�t you hear Me knocking (a big surprise for me) he did a fan-f**king-tastic perfect solo, loud, fast in the end, no mistakes to be heard! Wow! All songs were much better than the ones heard in OH and SDF.
The beginning rain had just stopped again a minute before. Another good sign. When Mick came down the catwalk I showed him MY sign, he looked but went on to the small stage. My wife was angry about that: "Why didn�t he sign??" Peter, a friend next to me, said: "He will do it when he comes back"
On the way to the B-stage Jagger looked and read. On the way back (Gimme Shelter intro) he looked again, stopped (!!!), took the cardboard and wrote the name of the best frontman the world has ever seen on it: MICK JAGGER!!!!!!!!!
He even gave the pen back to me! I was so thrilled, people I don�t even know congratulated! All my friends were happy, and TooTough too!!!!!
So what about the music? Well, even without the autograph it was the best stadium show out of three I�ve seen this tour, maybe the best in years.
AHOY is next, then on to Vredenburg. It�s getting smaller. And after Vredenburg the tour is over for me, sad, sad, sad.
The Pretenders played very nice and Chrissy Heynde played a song in advance of Micks birthday.
The Stones started with "Brown sugar". This time clear sound and Keith jumping first on stage, awe-inspiring. AOL-Arena looked beautiful. It�s a stadium with an open roof. BS, SMU, YGMR very straight. Mick on guitar for DS. Then we got Angie and YCAGWYW and CYHMK. On CYHMK Micks harp was a little bit longer than usual. Mick said "Moin, moin, Hamburg. Funny.
For me Keith was the real star of this concert. Everybody played/sung beautiful, but Keith was in such a good constitution, the Real-Keith. Keith sung SA and BTMMR. With the wind in SA. Big applause for the Stones on their way from center-stage to the B-stage. People clapped their hands all the time.
On B-stage we got: Respectable, I just want to make love to you and Street fighting man. What was my favorite? This time hard to say: maybe the youngest song or the oldest song? Don�t stop: think it sounded somehow good I just want to make love to you: never heard it before and it sounded somehow like in the 60 s. O.K. I wished to be there and I was there. Rolling Stones keep on rolling.
The Pretenders were ok, but they sound better on CD than they do live. "Back in the Chain Gang" was dedicated to Keith, "I stand by you" was an early birthday present for Mick, as Chrissie announced. Most of the people seemed to be ok with them, some threw things on stage, which is a rather rude behaviour.
When the Stones came on, Richards blew the second chord of "Brown Sugar", which sounded VERY odd. But that must have wokne him up, as from there on it was powerchords only. The sound was somehow distorted with a buzz coming from somewhere, but you could clearly identify the guitars and this was night of weaving, weaving, weaving.
You have seen the setlist, it was all stadium show stuff, nothing really new, but you should have been there to have heard HOW they played it. The night of guitars only, really great singing by the audience during Don't Stop and YCAGWYW, beautiful Ronnie solo, Angie done with a vengeance, SMU and YGMR in top form adn the best CYHMK I have heard on this tour. Richards filled out every space in the background during that song, a lick here, a riff there, he was all over the place. Great, great, great.
You know maybe that I do not go to extremes very often, but this show really was a great stadium show for me. Ronnie got a kiss from Mick after CYHMK for a beatiful, hard driven solo, he also did powerchords in there. At one time Ronnie and Mick were standing together at the stage left, Ronnie grabbing Mick's butt, Mick laughing out loud about this. Even the band seemed to enjoy themselves.
Ronnie got a great intro, Mick commenting that he shouldn't go over the top now, Charlie was celebrated, when it was his turn. Keith came out with a great hat, which MIck mentioned, as it had started to rain again for his set. Slipping away was mostly without Keith on guitar, but singing out loud and playing a beautiful solo, BTMMR was another guitar classic for those two guys, weaving back and forth.
SFTD only got small fireworks, they would have roasted the roof of the AOL-arena otherwise, but the fireworks were in Keith' guitar during the solo.
Over at the b-stage, the sound was even worse during Respectable. It took me some time to recognize the song at all. I guess somebody at the controls might have got a problem after the show. ;-)
IJWMLTY was great, the rain had stopped, SFM just was up to the point. They couldn't do any wrong last night.
Gimme Shelter saw Lisa in top form on vocals and Jagger really appreciated it. IORR had the line "Do you think you are the only whore in Hamburg-town", which made the audience around us smile. Keith did a great intro to HTW and then it was all over too soon with Satsifaction and again the Woody Woodpecker guitar coming out. OF course JJF as the last song, powerchords, powerchords, powerchords.
At last we got a full share of confetti this time, my 12th attempt this tour to stand in the confetti rain and finally it worked.
I never felt bored with any of the warhorses. The setlist might seem lame, when you read it, but it was a great, great show and it could have lasted forever. Richards was out in the wings a couple of times and threw kisses to people in the front rows. He ackowledged people he seemed to recognize here and there, Jagger was pleased with it all, he made the audience go "ooooh", "aaaaawwwwww", "yeah" and whatever. All I can say that it was my best stadium show up to now, this tour. Thanks a lot, and: Happy birthday Mick! :-)
The show began I jumped up like every stonesfan and I�m standing alone clapping my hands, singing the songs, enjoying the incredible show. the man behind me ordered me to sit down. I turned around and looked in 10.000 motionless faces. Enviously I was looking to the crowd in front of the A- and B-stage. I�m looking forward to the Hannover show where I will be one of the front-of -stage person.
Another question: In Hamburg the crowd freak out at Satisfaction. Are the Stones only Satisfaction ? There are uncountable other hits and songs from great albums. Why are the stones reduced in many cases to that song ? I can`t see that. And therefor I`m glad to find the IORR-Site where the whole works of the stones will really appreciate.
What can I say about "Brown Sugar", "Tumbling Dice", "Honky Tonk Women" etc. that hasn't been said? The Stones did their standard set as good as always and I was happy to be front of stage. For the first time I could see them from a very close position. And that was the real magic for me: These four guys played in a big stadium as it was a small club. Mick Jagger was constantly communicating to everybody in the place. He had the attention of 45.000. No big deal for him and his band. Forty years of experience. That was the real effort they made on this rainy evening in Hamburg. And it made me happy to be there. I felt at home . A good feeling.
The encore "Jumping Jack Flash" revealed Keith giving himself to the music. He swung and swayed like he was in a thunderstorm. It was obvious he enjoyed the music as the fans did while they were dancing. Yes, he was dancing to his own music. No fake. The centerstage set was "Respectable" "I Just Wanna Make Love To You"(slow) and "Street Fighting Man". All the people with front of stage tickets stood there in a cloud of noise. As soon as you're not close to the centerstage you would only hear an echo of what was really going on. Like the garage-band in the neighbourhood. That's what the Stones really are: the eternal garage-band, the celebration of live-long friendship.
In Copenhagen I missed the guitars, but in Hamburg everyone did his very best, Keith and especially Ron were in the mood to play. All they loved to play together, stimulating themselves (not only Lisa and Mick). It was a harmoniously working band-team, everyone was satisfied with each other, giving each other personal gestures. And this was the real secret of this concert in Hamburg. One bonus for that perfect performance: bra�s were thrown to them while playing the B-stage. �Satisfaction� was an brilliant version, Mick and Keith were running from one end of the stage to the other and the song was getting faster and faster. It was the last song before the encore. With JJF one of our best stadium shows finished. All around us were waiting for another encore. This did not happen ever, but in Hamburg the mood was good enough to get a second encore. But finally the lights went on smoothly after the firework. People were lying in their arms, could not believe what has happened in the last two hours. There was a little bit the Olympia-feeling! And while the stage was rebuilt minutes after the concert, you can hear from a couple of people �We are happy, because we just decided to see them in Hannover as well now�. We won�t, but Amsterdam or Wembley are ours.
Thanks to Iris N�lle-Hornkamp, Thomas Piehl, Henrik Schulze and Joelle Bonnet for news links!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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