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Mick
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The Rolling Stones
Olympic Stadium
Helsinki, Finland
Wednesday July 16, 2003

The set list

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Start Me Up
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Don't Stop
  5. Angie
  6. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  7. Bitch
  8. Tumbling Dice
    --- Introductions
  9. Slipping Away (Keith)
  10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith)
  11. Sympathy For The Devil
  12. Respectable (B-stage)
  13. Little Red Rooster (B-stage)
  14. Street Fighting Man (B-stage)
  15. Gimme Shelter
  16. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  17. Honky Tonk Women
  18. Satisfaction
  19. Jumping Jack Flash (encore)

The Hellacopters (warmup-1) :       
ZZ Top           (warmup-2) : 7:10pm -  8:10pm
The Rolling Stones          : 9:10pm - 11:10pm


Review by Jarkko Visnen

After four years of waiting now it finally was the week when I could see the Stones again, and most important of all, in my home town Helsinki. The show at Olympiastadion was to be my all time third Stones show, the earlier ones being Helsinki 98 and Wembley 12.6.99...

The band arrived to the luxurious Kmp Hotel on Monday, and there were already tens of fans waiting outside the hotel to catch a glimpse of the greatest band of all time. The boys were all in great mood, seemingly delighted by the warm welcome from the Finnish fans. Later on in the evening Mick spent half an hour on the open-air terrace of the Kmp Hotel and Lisa was spotted walking in the Esplanadi park. From then on it seemed that whole Helsinki was in the Stonesland - there were all the time loads of people waiting outside their hotel (including myself!), everywhere you went you could see people with Stones T-shirts, it seemed that almost everybody was talking of the upcoming show, and all the Finnish tabloids had front page stories of the Stones. This is the way it should be always!

On tuesday the Stones kept a lower profile than on monday. Mick was the only one to leave the hotel publicly some time after 3.00pm, to go boating to the Helsinki archipelago. I spotted Bernard, Blondie and the horn section guys walking in the streets.

And then, it was the show day. I arrived to the Olympiastadion at 8.30 in the morning and was the second in line. Little by little more people arrived and the waiting went by very fast talking about the Stones. The weather was extremely hot today, about 30 Celsius, and in the afternoon when you couldnt find any shade, it became so bloody hot that I thought I was being barbecued alive...and also burned my face and arms pretty badly. So the final two hours were pretty tough to get through, but finally it was the time they opened the gates and we ran to get the best places in the floor. I got front row in Ronnies side, dead center.

The Hellacopters were the first opening act, and did a pretty nice set. Then ZZ Top followed. The crowd seemed to enjoy ZZ Tops set very much, but I saved all the energy for the Stones... The Olympiastadion had a 11.00pm curfew, so it was expected that the Stones would hit the stage pretty much the time that was announced, 8.30pm. But it wasnt until 9.10pm when the canned music stopped and the intro music started...this is always when your heart beats like a big bass drum (yes indeed!) and you are ready to go nuts...

Then Keef finally entered the stage and hammered the opening riff of Brown Sugar from his Telecaster and it was like heaven on earth..lots of "whooh, whooh, yeahs" at the end of course, a very strong opener indeed. Then Start Me Up followed. Mick dropped his ear-mike during the song and had to ask a guy from the crew to come and put it back in place. Ronnie did a blistering solo and Keef hammered that fantastic riff brilliantly. I have to say, as a huge Keef fan, that I was a bit scared before the show after reading some of those reviews that Keef has lost it or whatever, but those worries were quickly vanished: Keef played as great as he ever has, hammering those killer riffs like only he can and doing blistering, characteristic solos.

The sound was also just the way it should be: very loud, the guitars were upfront (especially Keefs), Chuck was hardly audible (which is a blessing!), also the horns were mixed down, so it really was a guitar and rock feast all through! Mick said its "fucking great to be back in Helsinki" and also greeted us Finns with Finnish phrases, for example "Miten menee?", "Te olette mahtava yleis!" and so on. YGMR, Dont Stop, Angie, YCAGWYW, Bitch and TD were all great, powerful versions. Then it was time for Keiths set, he said "Its great to see you again, but actually its great to see anybody." A brilliant version of Slipping Away followed, which was in my opinion the best ever version. It was just so beautiful with Keiths voice full of emotion. Before They Make Me Run was another brilliant one. Keef really was something tonight.

Sympathy For The Devil was maybe the best of the best. It sounded so diabolical, dangerous and threatening with the huge flames you could feel burning on your skin... Street Fighting Man on the B-stage was out of this world with Keef playing so great it was hard to believe, another best-ever version to me! Gimme Shelter was fabulous with Lisa sending shivers to the spine. The next three, IORR, HTW and Satisfaction, were rocking so hard and great that I cant find any superlatives no more...then the encore, a brilliant Jumpin Jack Flash roared thru Helsinki before it was all over way too fast...two hours and it felt like five minutes. I had a time of my life singing along every song, clapping, jumping and dancing. The Stones certainly proved that they still are the "Greatest Rock n Roll Band In The World"...no other band can even come close. Also, after seeing them from one meter away, I was amazed on how youthful and healthy looking they are. After the show I talked with a lot of fans, and they all said it was a fantastic show, many also said it was the best theyve ever seen. I certainly agree to that!

THANK YOU STONES!


News links

Thanks to Jarkko Visnen, Joelle Bonnet, Thomas Knutsson and Kim Dahlbo 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.

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