It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Darkness (warmup) : 5:43pm - 6:22pm (10 Songs) Böhse Onkelz (warmup) : 6:48pm - 7:55pm (13 Songs) The Rolling Stones : 8:55pm - 11:00pm
This show was identical to the show in Hamburg recently, except they replaced "Knocking" with "Rambler", and they moved "Start Me Up" to the end.
As "Angie" started I got shivers - not because the song was so sweet and nice, but because I could hear that Mick had still problems with his voice. Most of the songs tonight were straight forward no problems for Mick, but on Angie he needed more power, and with still a cold going on, he had problems. But I am sure few people noticed. After 40 years Mick do knows how to sing when he has got a dry voice and a cold, he just keep away from the high powered pitches.
Respectable was so great, the best version I have heard this summer, may be because I stayed and listened to "Sympathy For The Devil" rather than running for the B-stage, and by the time I got there I ended up in like row 10, from the B-stage that is. So for a change I got the sound mainly from the main PA, and not directly from the B-stage monitors. That worked a lot better.
On "Street Fighting Man" I could once more hear Mick had voice problems. That use to be one of his "power" songs, but tonight he had to "cruise it". Same with "Gimme Shelter". Lisa was great as usual, but Mick was fighting his running nose, drinking water, blowing his nose, and trying his best. "Start Me Up" was moved to the end part of the show, because then there is a lot of help from the crowd during the sing-a-long. And it worked.
I would say thanks to Mick for pushing the limits and singing tonight, even if I am sure he would much rather have been resting his voice for three more days until Monday, but it's a tight schedule, they can't take any more rescheduling. And his voice was much better than in the past when he really had problems, so to all of the 200,000 or so Dutch fans waiting to see the Stones next week - I am sure Mick will be peaking, singing "Worried About You", "Wild Horses", "Angie" with power, and with the rest of the band as great as they were today, you do really have something to look forward to. Rotterdam next!
PS. Ronnie side was fully packed tonight, because the entrance was on that side, while the Keith side was half empty. In fact people with "Front Of Stage" tickets were rejected on Ronnie side FOR. Still, Keith side FOS was half empty, and they let people in. There you got the same green wristband, and if you really wanted to stay in the overcrowded Ronnie side FOS, it was only a matter of walking back there, as they had the same green wristbands. The rest of the field was half empty as well, I guess they did not sell out by far. May be 45,000 - 50,000 max.
But let's start from the beginning:
It's a heat-wave here in Germany like we hadn't had before, it's hothothot, unbelievably hot, hotter than the hottest day on record ever since they started to record the temperature. I drove up and got into a traffic jam after just 9 km on the way, plenty more to follow. It was hot in the car, the cooler couldn't get the water for the engine cooled, if you opened the window, hot air came in, it was just unbelievably hot. After all I made it to Hannover in about three hours, only to end up in another traffic jam in town, because I took a wrong turn out of the motorway.
I finally made it to the place were the show was going to be, right near the Messe Hannover and the EXPO 2000 area. No shade, no shelter. So I parked my car on one of the carparks I was led to (4 EURO, quite expensive), chatted with the guy in the car next to me and off we went to the field, about 1 km to walk. We could see the stage and could hear bits of music on our way and got there quite nicely, although completely wet from sweat.
As this was indeed the last German show and it did not sell really well, the greedy German promoter Peter Schwenkow had thought of another way to make money: He sold cheaper tickets for the back of the field to get more people in that weren't willing to pay the 85 Euro plus 13 Euro service charge + postage and add whatever you want to get a feeling for the price of the FoS ticket. So we had to enter right from the back, cross the second class field area into the first class field area and up to the FoS, Ronnie's side of course. I met Werner Dwenger there while entering and we found a place to stay 3 m from the front fence and 2 m from the catwalk. First thing I noticed they hadn't bothered to put the floor in as they had in all other stadion or field gigs this tour, so we not only had to stand on the rubble, but it was also very dusty, when people moved. Worse than Oberhausen! YOu could choose to sit and afterwards throw away your clothes or just stand there and try to pass time.
The Darkness came on at 5.45 pm, they were trying hard to get people moving, but their music was just some kind of silly heavy metal, all the poses, all the chords that you heard much to often, they were not interesting at all. Even during their show, the Onkelz-fans (and there were many around FoS) tried to interrupt them with their chants. The singer didn't get what it was all about, so it was a bit strange, but the show went on for 35 minutes and that was it.
FoS was getting rather crowded by this time, hard to move. The stage was prepared for the Onkelz and their clans got together and started to chant that they are "better than the Rolling Stones". Gerd arrived and left his son, in his tens, with Werner and me and tried to meet other people outside the FoS area. Then the Onkelz started and although we turned our back to the stage, we were busy trying to survive and to keep Gerd's son unharmed. Their fans ran into everybody, jumped into everybody, pogoed their way to the front, ruled the whole FoS section. To make matters worse, we were right between two clans, so you had all this hitting and beating and jumping in the back and in your front. Hard! Turning your back to the stage had one good thing: You could see into their faces. Now I know why I am right to not like this band at all. They ARE right wing, they have a totalitarian philosophy ("No Amnesty for MTV") and their followers are not very nice to be with. Everyone that thinks that Onkelz fans might be nice people or people you would like to meet after all should rethink. Fans that try to jump with their 130 kilos bodyweight into a boy in his tens aren't nice at all. Security people did nothing at all to relieve the situation in the FoS section, they just stood there, looked and sometimes smiled. OK; we had the feeling that this would be the case, as this kind of music and lyrics (and their philosophy: Go out, YOU are the one, be a legend, destroy everyone that isn't on your side) might be fun for those people that are german security guys, but just doing nothing just isn't ok, when they are hired for keeping the fans "cool". You could forget the music and the act, although I haven't seen it, they encored with a song called "The long way", because they said it fits the situation rather nicely, describing their way to the top from the scum that they really are, that they are heroes and legends today, and this also was the feeling of their fanbase.
Most of those "fans" stepped back a step after the Onkelz were over and the stage was set for the Stones. Dust everywhere in the front bit, tongue dry, although the sun was down by then. Not really funny....
When the Stones hit the stage, I felt somewhat more happy than through the rest of this ordeal. Jagger came out really strong as if to show that his voice was up and running fine again. It wasn't perfect, you could see him coughing off the microphone during songs and he drank lots of water, even in songs, when he wasn't singing. But Brown Sugar came out strong and he even brabbled something before he went into this "Woh-Woh-Woh-OOOOOOOH" bit, which I did not understand, but which hasn't been there on other shows. YGMR was a good second song, got the crowd moving some more and singing along. Ronnie was doing fine, Keith played hard. I could only see the top of Charlie's head, as the stage was rather high this time (again). The sound was surprisingly clear on our side. IORR was a nice surprise that early in the show and delivered with a vengeance, although one could see that Mick had to "work" on the vocals, they did not come easy. I was convinced they really had to cancel Benidorm because of his cold.
The singalong bit in Don't Stop was a bit shorter than usual, at lest I thought so, but the song is still nice to have around, although not a 100 % favourite song of mine. Jagger had to "work" on Angie again, seems like it was a bit hard for him to hit all the right notes. He was talking a lot to the audience, just because it was the last show or just to show, how good he felt, I don't know. But he was enjoying himself and teased us with: "This is our last show in Germany................... for a little while" to which I thought: maybe, maybe not. I don't think he has plans for a nother German tour in his mind...
YCAGWYW got the crowd singing along as well, very good solo from Ronnie, it seems like he is still growing on his solos, even that late in the tour. MR was a first on the main stage in a field/stadium for me this tour and I loved every minute of it. The lights to the song where great and to see them all walk around each other doing their bits was just magnificent. The lights are much different to the colours they use in an arena. I was just standing there watching them through the whole song. Perfect.
Tumbling Dice followed, standard work, then the intro, with some German words for Ronnie something to the liking of he shouldn't get vain about the applause he got, then it was Keith' set. I was waiting for Nearness on the field stage, but we got Slipping away, with little but superb guitar work from Keith and my old favourite, the moon on the screen, then BTMMR.
Sympathy had some more heat for us from the gas flames, really big this time, as there was no roof or something about it.
During the walk to the b-stage, Charlie went third and Jagger came back to meet him on the catwalk, seems this is part of the show now. The B-Stage sound was crystal clear as well, never heard it so good, Respectable was delivered perfectly, short and up to the point, Jagger not on guitar, but only singing. IJWMLTY again perfectly played in a superb mix from the main PA. Street Fighting Man had its moments, for the first time I could hear what Ronnie actually plays on his sitar guitar, but Mick was fighting with the song this time, maybe his voice needed a rest.
Gimme Shelter also suffered a bit from Mick's voice being not really perfect, HTW was much better afterwards. I know Start Me Up was going to be next, as it was missing at the beginning and it was much stronger in the Greatest Hits section, so it could stay there, I reckon. Again a good solo by Ronnie. Satisfaction and JJF were as usual, great endings, but nothing too spectacular. And after all I got some Satisfaction as well: After having been avoided by the confetti for 11 show and just getting some in Hamburg, I now found myself right in thick coulds of confetti, great feeling, when the world around you is red confetti and the band is playing on. I just loved that.
Yes, I will go to see the Stones again and again, but I might be more careful to see where and when I am going to see them. I don't want this opening act disaster again and I might think twice about the places they are playing in the future. Standing in the sun and dust with people trying to jump into your back isn't my idea of fun. After all, it was worth it this time, as it was a fine show with a band trying to convince the audience that they still can play, but will it be always like this? Don't know. See you in Ahoy next Friday, though. ;-)
I stood at the left side of B - Stage and heard also the small being correct problems already mentioned by Bjoernulf with Mick. But disturbed in my environment no Fan, because all were Happy and it were a Supertendency! Micks announcement was remarkable in German Language for the Song "ANGIE". He said ANGIE as reason why one plays: "because it is the last Show in Germany for one while" it said only "because it the last Show in Germany" and waited then briefly for the reaction of the fans (very quiet!!!) and said then: "for one while it is" on what very large rejoicing of the fans began!!! That gives very large hope for a new Tour in the next Years!!!
The Highlight was for me B - Stage. "Respectable" was really a superversion! "Make Love" was also very well played. Unfortunately again "only" 3 were Songs on B - Stage, but was a fantastic farewell Concert in Germany!!!
Thanks to Iris Nölle-Hornkamp for news links!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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